THE WORLDWIDE CELLULOID MASSACREAn encyclopedia and film-diary of extreme, surreal and bizarre movies
Contact: movies at thelastexit dot net
Last updated: 1st Apr, 2023
These pages contain a collection of concise reviews for movies and film-makers that are extreme in various ways. The reviews cover surreal, bizarre, fringe, extreme, twisted, offbeat, splatter and shock cinema, including freaky art-house, intense cult/midnight movies, and works by Dadaists and Surrealists. This site is basically an obsessive hobby that was shared with the public. It is a film-diary organized as an encyclopedia. In other words, the reviews contain both short descriptive summaries and very subjective opinions, but the collection is organized and comprehensive enough to be used as a reference. In terms of scope, this site strives to be a complete encyclopedia for movies up to 2016. For movies released after 2017, the reviews are more selective (reasons/rant).
While the term 'extreme' is a relative one and could be applied to any aspect of a movie (e.g. 'extremely slow' or 'extremely funny'), this is a cinema site with a focused goal and a defined scope. Rather than succumb to a vague, subjective and meaningless classification, this site makes use of the following dictionary definitions as starting points: 'Of a character farthest removed from the ordinary', and 'exceeding the bounds of moderation'. It focuses on movies with extraordinary content that is not dominated by the left-brain, accepted morals, balanced moderation, and sanity. Therefore, as opposed to a populist viewpoint that assumes extreme cinema means only shock, gore and filth, this site covers also bizarre, freaky and surreal cinema. For a personal manifesto on extreme movies and why I watch them, try this essay.
Straightforward horror, art-house or creepy movies are not included, nor are formalist/structural movies that merely experiment with structure, light, camera and sound while showing ordinary content. The movies should make one feel unusually disturbed, right-brain challenged, or confused. Many movies nowadays have disturbing, bleak, perverse or violent content, but this site is only concerned with the ones that take it to an extreme and use such content in gratuitous, warped, bizarre, or over-the-top ways. Correspondingly, although many horror movies have gore, what counts as far as this site is concerned is that the movie revels in it and gives it top billing. Movies that were extreme for their time, or milestones in extreme cinema may be included as well. In some cases, you may feel that the director/writer may be a lunatic or on drugs, and many of these movies are very unique and memorable. They are not recommended to the faint of heart, the prude, the morally righteous or the Hollywood aficionado.
Taking the above into account, pages on film-makers provide only a description of the types of films they make, their general approaches and trademarks, and reviews for all of their more extreme creations, rather than presenting full biographies and complete filmographies. Extreme short movies and short-film-makers are usually not listed unless they are especially notable or classic.
I don't use rating systems because there are too many aspects to a movie to allow a summary with a single number. I simply classify a movie as either recommended, of some interest (worth seeing at least once despite its flaws), or worthless. The reviews are deliberately concise; For more information and reviews, click on the IMDB links.
All reviews and criticisms are subjective and personal. I don't make any attempts at objectivity, and there are bound to be many strong disagreements, especially when it comes to cult movies. If you want to know how big a grain of salt to take my reviews with, this is my taste in general: I generally favor either thought-provoking movies, or witty twisted entertainment, or fascinatingly bizarre and psychologically gripping & disturbing experiences. Gratuitously sick movies with nothing else going for them are worthless to me, as is exploitation trash, and I am not a fan of the so-bad-it's-good genre although I do enjoy the occasional campy b-movie. Classics receive the same level of criticism and are not given special treatment just because they are revered by film schools or by hordes of cult film fans. Do not expect my opinions to coincide with underground movie trends just because I watch underground movies. Low budgets are fine but not if the writing and acting are lacking. I have very high standards for the 'Recommended' listings.
What this means is that if you enjoy experiments, z-movies, exploitation, pointless sickness, or watching outrageous movies in order to poke fun at them with buddies, by all means use the 'worthless' lists as a shopping list. My likes and criticisms are pretty consistent and therefore could be used as either a reverse or positive compass, as you wish.
If a movie isn't listed here it's usually either because I haven't gotten my hands on it yet or because I didn't find it to be extreme, or because it was released after 2017 and did not interest me. Also see the Honorable Mention section for names just beyond the scope of this site. Feel free to e-mail me with feedback.
This site was the first of its kind created in the 90s and first published in 1999. As mentioned above, it is a personal hobby that just happens to be shared with the public.
Reviews may be improved and edited over time and the site is always growing. It has no commercial aspirations, as is evident by the lack of advertising. It has no goals to
attract as many readers as it can, or in allowing the public to add and express their opinions through comments. This is an old-school web site from the 90s. It is what it is.
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