Shocking Cinema

Article by James
Over the weekend I watched 2011’s The Woman on DVD; directed by Lucky McKee (2002’s May). Loz put me onto this very interesting Director with his first feature May a few months ago, and I have to say he truly is a beacon in the rather dull landscape of Western horror at the moment. Now while I probably am being a wee bit harsh re the dull, as often I find even the most cliché of horror flicks “fun”, delivering the goods when it comes to shock is uncommon. And yes, shock is neither horror’s domain alone nor something horror always claims to deliver.

While it is easy to believe every word has been said, every idea explored, and re horror, every possible way to dismember a body been done, truth is….. not always. While I am not a huge fan of Japanese horror, check out 1999’s Audition (again via Loz), and you may find Japan can have a truly sick imagination that continues to defy cliché today. But re the Western world, it is surprising to see a handful of flicks consistently making the top 10 lists re shocking cinema, despite the fact they were released in the 70’s and 80’s. Because the US continues to deliver what it thinks will sell. And it doesn’t usually like to take risks.

Which is why Mr McKee is unique. But he does now – after his own first two films – have a supremely profitable ally on hand. Jack Ketchum. For those that don’t know this name, Ketchum is a very successful American Novelist who’s film adaptations are many but most notoriously known for 2007’s The Girl Next Door. If you are a fan of shocking cinema, find this film. It kept popping back into my head for weeks, and left a definitive mark on me. Not truly horror, but thoroughly shocking none-the-less. Ketchum co-wrote the screenplay for horror flick The Woman with McKee based on his book, and McKee has also produced the 2006 film adaptation of Ketchum’s book The Lost. McKee’s 2008 co-direction of Red was also a Ketchum novel adaptation. Seems this collaboration is something that will continue for the benefit of us all, well, those who are looking for envelopes to be pushed. Flawed as The Woman is, it is a unique piece of shocking cinema that does make movies likes 2009’s The Human Centipede look ridiculous in comparison. Though the second HC did make me gag. Thank gawd it was in black and white. Did I hear the third instalment of HC – out 2013 – has something like fifty people joined? Let us know if you’ve heard.

Anyway, look out for Lucky McKee. What he does next is sure to be cool.

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