Finally Watched It – Challenge Edition: “Philosophy of a Knife” (2008)


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This movie is a docu-drama of the horrific experiments that went on at Unit 731.

Yeah. That’s about it. There conflicting reports of the absolute horrors that were committed but, aside from what I hope is sensationalism in this movie, me and my non-unethical scientist brain had several questions as to the scientific validity of what the absolute fuck was going on. I swear, some of the shit that goes on in this movie is less “what can we learn from this” and more “I’mma stab this sharp object in the general area of something I think is important and fuckiddy-do, let’s write down what happens.” Not to spoil things and this is probably my 2022, not a medical doctor bias but… Even dehumanizing these people as “logs” (omfg I just hope I never have to see people this way…), there are some baffling skips in the scientific method that make no sense to me.

And again, there’s historical information that has been destroyed and is missing so, there’s a ton of drama in this; including a young soldier who falls in love with a “log” and… You know what? I’m gonna spoil this. Because I was actually screaming at my computer screen! The war is ending. The entire area is told to destroy everything, including the test subjects. So, this soldier had taken a liking to one of the subjects and he’s been keeping her (relatively) safe. But in the end, she has to go. What does he do? He gives her a taste of freedom. She finally breathes free air, touches flowers, and sees the sun. At this point, I’m thinking this is an “Of Mice and Men” moment and he’s gonna mercy kill her. Okay. That’s the world we’re in when it comes to this docu-drama but… They had to fuck THAT up. This soldier couldn’t have the fucking consideration to one shot her. He derps to shoot her to wound at first, walk up to her, LOOK HER IN THE EYE, then take the final shot. Then having the absolute nerve to give the impression he felt like he did the right thing in the end?



Even after having to watch the sensationalized experiments for the entire runtime (to the point like with August Underground, I was waiting for this to just move on), I was left with this feeling of fatigue. There were live interviews where I felt I learned something but the overall experience left me wishing more of this was historical information and less drama. Yeah, this is in the disturbing movie you don’t dare to watch genre but I found myself being more upset about the hacksaw distortion of what these characters thought research was than the gore on screen. Granted, my 2022 non-wartime, not a medical doctor or scientific researcher brain came up with 4-6 ways of conducting certain experiments in a manner that left less variables (there was a literal zombie movie trope where they didn’t restrain a disease ridden delirious patient – who knows he’s a disposable prisoner and has nothing to lose – and he bit a doctor) but even then, I felt pissed off at the end of it. Especially with that “Gosh, I think I’m doing a good thing” soldier in the end.

There are plenty of types of media I’ve reviewed on my blog where I say what I have consumed is a good touchstone for further research into historical events. I don’t feel I can confidently say that here. If you want dramatized historical gore, go for it, I guess? I had more of a visceral and traumatic reaction to Schindler’s List. Perhaps Unit 731 needs the same treatment and needs a more serious movie.

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Finally Watched It – Challenge Edition: “The Horseman” (2008)


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So, I found me a source for fucked up movies and I’m basically looking for something that fills that description. This was one of the offerings. 

A divorced dad loses his daughter to what seems like a drug overdose. But he receives a mysterious videotape the mail showing the snuff film that lead to her demise so he embarks on a journey of brutal revenge.

This? This movie was amazing. I had a blast watching this. Our main character Christian, finds out his daughter has been horribly used, assaulted, and left for dead; then enacts his bloody vengeance. And this isn’t something like Taken where the protagonist is some super soldier, Christian is just a guy who is pissed the fuck off and wants the people who hurt his kid to pay. There’s even a touching story with a runaway he befriends!

I have to give props to the fights in this movie. There are times where I legit felt like I was watching two dudes just duking it out with no training and taking actual damage. It was visceral and really cool! 

It wasn’t super graphic, the rape is off screen, everything is as gory as it needs to be to get the point across. I was rooting for Christian the whole time and I actually recommend this if you don’t expect a completely happy ending. This is an Australian movie; where Wolf Creek hails from. In fact, I think the fact the ending didn’t give me the answers I wanted pissed me off a little… But not enough to ruin the overall experience.

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Finally Watched It – Challenge Edition: “August Underground” (2001)

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This movie, filmed in found footage style, shows the daily life and brutal murder spree of two sadistic serial killers.

Either I was way overhyped for this movie or I’m developing a tolerance because while this movie was graphic and pissed me off because our main characters are horrible human beings but… I still didn’t feel so repulsed that I was raging or I wanted to turn it off. In fact, there were several parts where I was thinking “Ok, I get it. You guys are disgusting assholes. Can we move forward?” I wonder if I was just overwhelmed by all the input that my brain just went numb and none of it was impressive or disturbing anymore.

I think what bothered me the most is this movie shows taping brutal torture and murder is the same as taping a mosh pit, farm animals, or going to the store. Goes to show where their morals and priorities are. It absolutely gives you the feeling that you are watching something terrible that you should not be seeing… And that shouldn’t be happening. But it wasn’t an easy watch, to be sure. I winced or had to take a break. But I got through it! It took me a bit to deprogram from it, but I got through. If you like found footage horror and can stomach the gore (and grossness) then this is… A thing you can watch. But if poop and rape, and a general disregard for human life make you squirm? Stay away.

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Finally Watched It – Challenge Edition: “Martyrs” (2008)


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In yet another movie that is touted on many lists for being super disturbing and graphic, Martyrs features two women who were at the mercy of a cult trying to create martyrs by having them survive supreme pain to transcend or transfigure to see God. The movie starts with Lucie, seeking revenge on what was done to her with the help of Anna, who hopes Lucie will move beyond the pain she went through.

Is it wrong of me to say this isn’t that bad? I mean, it’s violent and terrible. It opens with gruesome murders and features beatings and torture but… Ok, for me, a movie has to cross a line even within the narrative to ‘offend’ me or make me want to tap out of it. But this didn’t. Granted, I winced, I was shocked, it was gut-wrenching to watch the ‘chosen’ woman break over time but it wasn’t too much for me. Maybe it was too hyped up in my mind because this is brutal and I made it through.

My bar for tapping out is ‘Serbian Film,’ however. And I’ve seen ‘Salo.’ This movie does not come close to either of those in terms of giving up on it.

I do have one kinda spoilery question… Not that I want these heartless bastards to get away with what they’re doing but if you have a cult of murder torture that you don’t want people to find out about, WHY would you set your torture den in the bunker of a house that you plant a family in THAT WOULD HAVE THEIR SPECIAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS END UP IN A NEWSPAPER!? Wouldn’t you want some people that were super low key and average? Someone that would take a while to notice if they were missing and not star students in the local school who would absolutely attract attention if they suddenly didn’t show up ever again? That just really bothered me as something a super fancy evil cult wouldn’t overlook. Especially when it’s revealed that they had a bunch of old rich people who probably could pull off the “quirky old person who lives alone now” type of person.

Ugh, but that irksome plot point aside, this was a super bloody movie that’s shocking but it didn’t get me so bad that it’s the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen. I’m kinda glad I was able to scratch this off my list. It was well shot and acted. If you can take it and like horror, I’d check it out!

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Finally Watched It: “Hellbound: Hellraiser 2”

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The first Hellraiser was one of my favorite horror movies growing up but I had never really taken notice of the sequels. Either I just assumed they would be terrible or it just passed me by but I finally decided to take a look at the sequel.

To start off I love how this is a DIRECT sequel with a recap in the beginning. It gave just enough backstory to make you excited to see what’s coming next. While I did enjoy this movie overall, there’s something off; like they’re trying so hard to be the first movie but coming off a bit sloppy in the execution. But I gotta give it credit. It’s scary, unique, and Tiffany is a true MVP. We hear about Pinhead all the time but we don’t hear much about how badass Tiffany – as well as Kirsty – is in terms of horror movie female leads.

Eventually, I’ll check out the rest of the series but I hear they get pretty bad after 2. We’ll see.

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Finally Watched It: “House” (1977)

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Having seen this movie mentioned dozens of times on crazy movie lists, I finally had the chance to check it out.

We have our set up of a bunch of high school girls (I have nicknamed them The Sailor Scouts) all go to this old woman’s house and of course, shenanigans ensue. Typical right? Hoooooo boy, ladies and gentlemen, this movie I have to come right out and say is either the scariest funny movie I’ve seen or the funniest scary movie I’ve ever seen. Everything feels otherworldly and off kilter even when things are “normal.”

When it starts, all the main characters are so damn happy and go lucky all you can think is “well, hey there, Cannon Fodder. I’m sure nothing will go wrong here.” But even as old as this movie is, gods is it refreshing to have a cast we actually root for instead of a collection of unlikable assholes you WANT to die. You actually feel for the characters as they go through all this horrific shit; all done with effects that are creepy in some parts, and ‘pause the movie because you’re laughing so hard’ parts. If done with skill, I wouldn’t mind seeing this movie remade with updated effects! As it is, I’m half tempted to watch it a few times just because it was so much fun. This movie BEGS to be watched with a bunch of friends and booze if you got it.

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Finally Watched It: Ringu

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As if this even needs a summary, this is the original Japanese movie about a woman who is investigating a cursed videotape that kills you a week after you’ve watched it.

This movie is damn creepy. It may not have aged very well in some ways but, yikes. There were plenty of moments that freaked me out. And it certainly made me feel old because heck, who has video tapes anymore?

Now that I’ve seen the original, I actually find the remake to be on par with it. They’re both creepy, both have this great tone and lingering uneasiness. I can’t say definitively one is better than the other. I like them both. It’s a shame it took me so long to get to watch this one.

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Finally Watched It: “Jack Frost” (1997)

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I don’t… I don’t know why I had this on my list and felt the need to follow through with it…

A serial killer gets experimented on and when he dies in an accident, he becomes a snowman. At first, I could excuse this movie as mindless fun but then (I don’t give two shits if this is a spoiler) there was a carrot rape scene. I could have lived a nice, long, happy life without seeing that, thanks.

I will give this movie two good points: They did make it more difficult than simply melting him to defeat him and the exchange when the scientist guy says something like “You’re immortal! How does it feel!?” and the guy growls “It feels… COLD!” was kinda cool.

Overall, this is a dumb movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s about a killer snowman; not meant to be Shawshank Redemption. It killed some time and knocked another movie off my list.

I wouldn’t bother to revisit it, though.

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Finally Watched It: “The Amityville Horror” (1979)

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This is one of those classic horror movies that just sorta flew under my radar until I started my little Finally Watched It list. If you don’t know the story, it’s about a newlywed couple who moves into a house that’s haunted.

I wouldn’t call this movie subtle by any means but it is more subtle than the remake. If I had to pick between the two, I would pick the older one because I personally feel the atmosphere is better here; especially with the father character who is slowly being driven mad. Neither version is bad, I just feel the older one had more charm to it. It was more menacing than outright scary and I think horror can do with more of that than jump scares and gore. I’m glad I was able to cross this off my list.

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Finally Watched It: “The Haunting” (1963)

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Dr. John Markway in an attempt to gather research on the paranormal gathers people who have claimed to have supernatural encounters to stay with him in a haunted house and document what happens. Among them are Luke; a skeptical underachiever who hopes to sell the house one day, Theodora; a clairvoyant, and Eleanore; a psychic who becomes attuned to the spirits in the house.

Now, that I’ve seen the original, I can see why the remake was a flop. This version is subtle and unnerving; relying on the slow build of the character’s backstories to prepare you for what’s to come. The people are relatable and I love how it’s shot. This is just wonderfully done.

Rather than rely on jump scares, this movie instead blurs the line between what is supernatural and what is inside Eleanore’s head. I think I prefer a horror movie leaving me unsettled and off balance rather than going out of its way to startle me. There’s also this sadness to it and expects more from the audience.

Smartly done, I’m glad I went back and watched this one!

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