Friday, March 14, 2014

ROT is Punk Rock Gore to the Max

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Director: Marcus Koch

Cast: Billy Scam, Tiffany Stinky, Joel D. Wynkoop

Cult Movie Mania / Unrated / Region 1 / 4:3 fullscreen / Mono / 80 minutes

Extras: New Behind the Scenes Video / Original Behind the Scenes Video / New Audio Commentary w/ Marcus Koch and Joel D. Wynkoop / Original Audio Commentary with Marcus Koch and Billly $cam / Marcus Koch: The Herb Kowalski Interview / The Goriest Minute: ROT Episode / Trailers

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In 1997 at the ripe old age of 18 punk rock kid Marcus Koch (pronounced "Cook" to you nicht-Deutsch-lautsprecher) set out with his buds to make a horror flick. He wanted to do something shocking. Something totally fucking punk rawk. So he picked up his video recorder and did just that, but what sort of appalling, unseemly movie did he want to make? About 10 years earlier German underground filmmaker Jorg Buttgereit made a terribly shocking movie about corpse fucking and that seems to be where Koch started, and he spun that premise into something an 18-year-old kid would know about; sexually transmitted diseases. I guess I should probably explain that, huh? Fine, let's start a review said Maggie one day...

Sarah takes pictures of dead bodies as a hobby and one day she decides, "Hey, this corpse is well hung. I think I'll fuck it!" Afterwards she runs home and the first thing she wants to do (even before showering!) is get some booty from her boyfriend Muzzy. It isn't until after they have been making out for a while that she mentions that Muzzy is getting sloppy seconds from Peter Stiffington (not the corpse's real name). Of course the Muz reacts badly and before long, they both realize that she contracted a rotting disease from the dead body and they decide to go on a "oh well, we're dying anyway" spree of destruction and crime. Little do they know what this disease was a biological weapon created by the mad Dr. Robert Olsen conveniently called the "Robert Olson Transmutation" virus, or ROT.

Aside from that, all that's left is a no-budget, shot-on-video horror shocker made by a teenage gutter punk and his discordant friends. The first half of the ROT is some necrophilia and a "getting to know you" period where we get to know the kids as well as the good doctor. The second half is unbridled mayhem including an awesome scene that reminded me a lot of Poltergeist after the ghost geek eats the chicken leg and rips his own face off in the mirror... only more graphic! A head is also punched off and put back on, vomiting in someone else's mouth and a noggin gets run over by a car. Lots of head trauma! Speaking of head trauma, Joel D. Wynkoop as the doctor is fucking riotously over the top and he kung-fu fights a gang of rotting punk rockers, for shit's sake!

Cult Movie Mania's new DVD release not only resurrected it from a sure death from obscurity, but they jam-packed the disk with lots of fun extras. The behind-the-scenes covers outages, deleted scenes, the pains of taking off the special effects make-up and even some extended gore in there for good measure. I think my favorite behind the scenes moment was the cast and crew being confronted by a group of Christian assholes when they were shooting some footage at a church. And you simply MUST watch the interview portion, it's fucking hilarious. The guy interviewing Marcus is in character and says to him, "So, I noticed you have a mohawk... and you're 36 [years old]." and it only got more uncomfortable after that. If you're into punk rock (it has a fantastic soundtrack!) and know what to expect with '80s and '90s very low-budget horror (the video and audio looks like a VHS would back in the day, etc.), you will fucking love ROT.

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