Brian Paulin  

Auteur, special-effects and make-up man with a talent for the most inventive, gruesome, extreme splatter that is usually so extremely messy and complicated, it is indescribable. Each of his special-effect centerpieces are guaranteed unique and mind-warpingly gruesome. A big fan of Tom Savini, owner of Morbid Vision Films, acts in his own movies, and has an unpretentious but energetic approach to making extreme and gory horror movies to show off one unique gruesome special effect after another. He started with some amateurish horror movies and shorts, but has since made a name for himself in the underground gore and horror community with a unique imagination and auteur special effects. The acting, similarly, started shakily but is improving, and the low budget isn't a problem, it's mostly his scripts that need work. Though sometimes the incoherency actually adds to the movie to make it a bizarre nightmarish experience of gruesome horror. Thanks to his use of the supernatural and the atmospheric, his extreme films are much more interesting than the releases posing as films made by his peers who usually just delve into sicko gornography for sadism sake, whereas Paulin makes proper horror movies.

Of Some Interest

Bone Sickness  
Mixing the strange atmosphere of a Fulci gore movie and the way-over-the-top German nasty splatter effects, this horror movie could have been a contender for one of the most gruesome movies ever if not for the weak acting and lack of a cohesive plot. A husband with a fatal bone disease and his wife turn to their friend to come up with a cure that involves corpses. After a failed first attempt that causes some nasty maggots and blood to spew out of every body orifice, they try again with a fresher corpse. Things get out of hand as somehow the dead come to life and go on a gory rampage. The climax surpasses even Schnaas with every nasty gore effect imaginable involving crushing, ripping, disemboweling, decapitation, etc. This one is gruesome, atmospheric and features superb special effects and makeup, but is otherwise lacking.

Cryptic Plasm  
Paulin continues to improve his craft, this time delivering a slower-building horror movie by way of the found-footage genre. There is more of a story to sink your teeth into in this one. But don't worry, the found-footage is actually a movie inside the movie, and there is enough horrific and inventive splatter in the last third for several movies. A cryptozoologist (monster hunter) is hired by a shady producer to make an investigative show on the paranormal, sending him to investigate different places with a notorious reputation. He finds evidence of a monster, a town that seems to have shifted to another dimension, causing a rupture in his internal biology, and a strange exorcism gone terribly wrong exposes him to a demonic evil. The last third is typically incoherent for Paulin, but somehow combines everything into a very effective nightmare that is horrifically bizarre to surreal proportions, and extremely gruesome, with splatter effects that only Paulin could think up and create, featuring bodies being mutilated, crushed, melted, torn apart in many different ways by shifting parallel dimensions and hellish creatures all at once. The acting is quite good this time, and the low budget only helps the nightmare. I can only imagine what Paulin could do with a more developed and coherent script. Collaborate on the writing next time?

Fetus (AKA Hard Splasher)  
Paulin continues to find creative and different ways to display his gruesome special effects, but at the expense of coherency. A man loses his wife and baby in a catastrophic birth, grows distraught and insane at home until he decides to try necromancy to raise the dead. Most the movie then consists of increasingly bizarre and gruesome rituals as he gathers some humans as fodder for his magic while his visions and nightmares get worse and the rituals result in unexpected nastiness. Amongst the many gory special effects, a man is decapitated in a unique gory way, a fetus is sliced up, a woman gets ripped apart during a demonic birth, and a man stays alive while his face is ripped open from the inside. Where else would you see a scene that features a supernatural woman stabbing herself in the crotch and eating a decapitated baby's head while a man pulls bugs out of his penis, or a man giving birth through his penis while a mutated creature tries to kill him. For gorehounds.

Reap of Evil  
Paulin's first full-length film has all the elements and ambition of later films, but is a rough, gritty watch in terms of low-budget sound, lighting and picture. He takes on nothing less than a worldwide demon apocalypse for this first home-made film, starting with horrific nightmares as experienced by a group of friends and family, as well as a secretive group of priests that seem to know what is going on. It progresses to random, chaotic very gruesome deaths and demonic appearances, until a final extreme hell on earth. The splatter is extreme, gruesome and imaginative, never repeating the same idea twice, and even the demons are a varied stable of bizarre nasty creatures. Some examples include an impalement and ripping apart of a body over a toilet, a stop-motion creature that shoots acid and melts the face of a guy in a very messy scene with buckets of goo, a needle piercing an eyeball, demon coprophilia, demonic oral castration of a pedophile, a slow autopsy, and much more. Like Fulci, its more about atmosphere and splatter and low on coherency, story and acting chops, but fans of low-budget underground splatter-movies should get something out of it nevertheless.


At Dawn They Sleep  
One of those movies that probably looked and worked a lot better in the director's mind, but the result is a messy amateur-hour. Metalhead drug-dealers in a gang war get converted into vampires by some angels with a plan, but demonic forces have another agenda. The movie twists and turns, trying to do a lot, from energetic gun shootouts, to vampiric feedings, complex supernatural horror, over-the-top Hong Kong style fantasy action, to an atmospheric and incoherent supernatural ending. The acting is poor, and the occasional splatter and special effects aren't as developed as his Paulin's later work, but are varied, with head crushing, flesh tearing and various weak physical transformations, and one scene of a vampire eating a lesbian nun's private parts.

Blood Pigs  
A post-apocalyptic zombie movie with a difference: It's made by Brian Paulin therefore it's all about the visceral and very unique splatter effects. Some scattered survivors meet, fight, share zombie-meat, or talk about their past under a slow-moving and downbeat atmosphere, while blackened, rotten zombies are sliced apart with swords. Since food is scarce, they make do with whatever meat they can find, but the bio-chemical disaster coupled with this new human digestive system and requirements produce unexpected results as intestines acquire a life of their own. Two guys meet and exchange stories of a very bizarre mutation spreading and killing everything in its path in nasty ways. The splatter becomes unhinged in the second half, and it involves a uniquely Paulin-esque approach of crunchy bone, flesh, skeletal abuse, internal body fluids, skulls, and intestines. Unfortunately, the acting is poor, the super-shaky camera work is almost unwatchable, the sound is terrible, and the scenes are often confusing, which is a pity because the splatter almost makes it worth watching anyways.

Dead Girl on Film  
A loser camera-man, his bitch-wife, and his annoyingly perverse, psychotic, jerk of a friend are trying to make a living with S&M porn movies. When they get a generous offer for a snuff film, the camera-man finds himself practically forced into it. Things take a turn to the supernatural as the camera-man is haunted by his guilt, by mysterious stalker video-tapes, a long nightmarish dream-sequence, and a vengeful spirit. In the meantime, the jerk has fun getting his piercings yanked out of his flesh, and leaving syringes in the children's playground. The infrequent splatter goes over the top, featuring various brutal dismemberment and eyeball abuse, but the horror is terribly amateurish.

Morbid Tales  
Three very early rough VHS shorts by Paulin (1990-1991) collected in an anthology with a wraparound short that has three people telling three stories to try to save their lives by entertaining an evil being. I suppose this is as good a way as any to redistribute your own shorts. First is a really short 'Sacrificial Birth', where a demon makes a creature gorily emerge out of a girl who dabbled too much in the occult. Then comes the really incoherent 'The Shifters' about a group of shape-shifters hiding amongst humans, featuring some grisly transformations, creatures and deaths, but it's very early, not so impressive, home-made Paulin attempts at splatter and is rough on the eyes. Then comes 'Final Scream', featuring a man having a nightmare that takes place in a forest full of strange people, some of them having died a gruesome gory death. This one is the most atmospheric also thanks to its murkiness and random imagery, and is a preview of the nightmarish direction some of Paulin's movies would take later on. But it is still very rough, low-budget and unrewarding. The more modern wrapper ends on a sequence of very extreme splattery deaths, each utterly unique, gruesome and bizarre, including one death by a tree that must be seen to be believed. For gorehounds and Paulin completists only.

A husband and wife are so desperate to get pregnant, they resort to the darkest corners of the Dark Web for a solution that involves funding via snuff films for an experimental impregnation procedure involving a dead body and body fluids. To make more money, additional snuff films are made, responding to requests from the most extreme, sick and richest sadists on the planet, delivering the most gruesome snuff films imaginable. As if this weren't enough, Paulin adds random short snuff footage interspersed in the film as witnessed by various characters, and to top it off, one of them involves a very young girl. Of course, since this is a Paulin film, the splatter is the most extreme, bone-crunching, disgusting, gooey, gruesome, don't-eat-before-you-watch, overflowing and exploding splatter you've ever seen. Plus there are unimaginably gruesome medical experiments. Enough said. Frankly, I was very disappointed that Paulin veered into this territory. His past films, as extremely gruesome as they were, used the supernatural to explain its gruesome deaths combined with dark nightmarish (incoherent) atmosphere. But here, it's all about sadistic people, most of them just doing sick things without rhyme or reason, and this is territory best left to the Fred Vogels of the world. The extreme splatter just becomes another boring modern gornography film that tries to outdo everything else in terms of sadism, rather than going for proper horror with a supernatural story. The medical procedure with a mutating monster vagina is classic Paulin though, albeit more transgressive than usual.

Symbolicus Vol 2  
I only watched this terrible anthology for the Brian Paulin short. As with the first, anything goes, and each of the 13 underground film-makers are only given a symbol as a theme. Paulin's short is 'Water' and is nothing new for Paulin, featuring a strange duo of cultist father and mute goth-black-metal chick performing strange rituals on dolls and whatnot when a very Paulin-esque demon-apocalypse breaks out and eats him, with crunchy, gooey, tentacle-y splatter mayhem, except for whoever sits in water. There is one other short worth mentioning called 'Iron' that has a trashy redneck couple interacting in a sitcom with a laugh-track, with gags involving cannibalism, semen, a deformed vet called Creepy Bob, some splattery gun violence and face removal, and Michael Todd Schneider as the creepy grinning instigator of mayhem. The rest are not worth the time and focus on visuals, not stories. From a transgressive gory short called 'Sulphur' by Mulvanerty about female doll mutilation that seems to have taken inspiration from Lucifer Valentine, to an obnoxious Woke attempt at political comedy where a man in a Trump mask tortures a transsexual, to some body piercings and body art, several empty 'video-art' shorts with random visuals that feel like a student's attempt at being avant-garde, one dumb failed attempt at being dark and provocative with with an obnoxious narrative by a computer, one short that feels like a truncated attempt to mimic Svankmajer's Ossuary, etc. The collections ends with two very extreme splatter shorts 'Mercury' and 'Fire', both completely random gornography with extreme penis mutilation gore that are prime examples of why most gore-movies today are a complete waste of time.

1999- by The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre Table of Contents