Violent Shit: The Movie (2015)


Italy/Germany. 2015.


Director/Photography – Luigi Pastore, Screenplay – Emanuele Barbera, Lucio Massa & Luigi Pastore, Music – Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin, Special Effects – David Bracci, Makeup Effects – Alessandro Catalano, Francesca Ferrario & Ilaria Lamedica, Production Design – Giulio Ciancameria. Production Company – Reel Gore Productions/LPLM Produktion


Giovanni Lombardo Radice (Professor Vassago), Vincenzo Pezzopane (Detective Aristide D’Amato), Steve Aquilina (Detective Hans Ebert), Simone Destrero (Karl the Butcher), Leonardo Pace (Lanza), Erika Kamese (Liliana), Enzo G. Castellari (Chief Inspector Castellari), Luigi Cozzi (Dr Cozzi), Lilli Carati (The Occultist), Matteo Pastore (Young Karl), Stefania Visconti (Karl’s Mother), Andreas Schnaas (Hamburg Informant)


In Rome, police detective Aristide D’Amato investigates a case where a body has been found murdered with its limbs hacked off. He is joined by Hans Ebert, a detective from Hamburg who notes that the m.o. is identical to the infamous Karl the Butcher killings in Germany 25 years ago. The two of them team up to investigate as further bodies start to appear. The mystery leads to a trail of occult symbols and they learn how the killer wears a mask that may embody the spirit of Attila the Hun’s brother.

Violent Shit (1989) was a micro-budgeted film from Hamburg-born director Andreas Schnaas who was only twenty-one at the time he shot the film while also appearing as Karl the Butcher. The film, which concerns a series of murders conducted by Karl the Butcher, is virtually plotless and every commentator points out the excruciating production values but it became a cult word-of-mouth hit due to Schnaas’s enthusiasm for violence. Schnaas went on to make Violent Shit II (1992) and Violent Shit III: Infantry of Doom (1999), the budgets gradually improving with each.

Violent Shit: The Movie is a revival of the series from Italian director Luigi Pastore. This is Pastore’s second film, following the giallo homage Symphony in Blood Red (2010). Pastore has changed the nature of the series somewhat, abandoning any real connection to Karl the Butcher and focusing on a series of murders driven by an eventual ritual sacrifice explanation that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Indeed, an introductory scene with Lilli Carati as an occultist seems to take it closer to the area of one of Dario Argento’s occult horror films – Suspiria (1977) and Inferno (1980).

The actual meat of the film is about an Italian and German detective (Vincenzo Pezzopane and Steve Aquilina) teaming up to find the killer. Alas, while nominally adopting the police procedural aspect, Luigi Pastore does nothing whatsoever to make the trail interesting. Occasionally, he cuts away to the killer conducting more murders but there is nothing to make any of these interesting either. In fact, the skill Pastore demonstrates as a director is on the decidedly slipshod side. The film perks up mildly when it comes to the orgy climax during which Giovanni Lombardo Radice brings out the bodies of the two detectives for the participants to devour, before killing all of them too.

The film comes very much steeped in homage. Pastore gets in cameos from Enzo G. Castellari and Luigi Cozzi as respectively a chief inspector and a forensicologist who are credited as by their own names. Both were directors during the heyday of Italian exploitation cinema in the 1970s and 80s – Castellari made efforts such as 1990: The Bronx Warriors (1990) and The New Barbarians (1983) and is most remembered for the original Inglorious Bastards (1978), while Cozzi is known for Star Crash (1978) and Cannon Films’ Hercules (1983), among others. The score comes from Argento favourites Goblin. Elsewhere the occult bookseller is played by Giovanni Lombardo Radice (aka John Morghen) one of the most famous names of the 1970s Italian exploitation cycle, having appeared in the likes of Cannibal Holocaust (1979) and Cannibal Ferox (1981). There is also a cameo from Andreas Schnaas as an informant back in Hamburg.

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