Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Week of "P" Movies: Pelts

Fuck you, Dario Argento. Fuck you and your GD genius of gore. Don't get me wrong, I love you and all, but fucking Pelts fucking traumatized me for life. Thanks.

No, sincerely... thanks. I mean, Pelts has got some of the best gore I've seen in a long time, but still. Is it possible that this is maybe too much gore?

I never thought I would say that.

In Pelts, Meat Loaf plays a sleazy fur trader obsessed with a lesbian stripper named Shanna (I must admit, she has a very nice ass), who wants nothing to do with him (I mean, it's Meat Loaf, hello!). When John Saxon, one of those dudes who catches and skins animals for furs, captures a slew of raccoons with apparently gorgeous pelts (I didn't know raccoons were that awesome), Meat Loaf really wants them to make a fur coat for Shanna so he can finally have her (and by have her, yes, I mean have sex with her). Ah, but these are no ordinary pelts. For some reason that is never explained, the pelts make those around them go insanely cuckoo and also makes them mutilate themselves in the grossest ways ever. Let the gore commence.

If loving Argento is wrong,
I don't want to be right.
Now, I'm going to admit that I really hated Argento's first Masters of Horror episode, Jenifer. It was just, like, I don't know... weird. So I was thinking that this next one had to be better. I was never warned that Pelts was perhaps the goriest thing produced by Masters of Horror yet (well, except maybe Takashi Miike's Imprint, which never aired, which I still haven't watched yet for some reason), but the element of surprise was worth the experience of watching Pelts for the first time.

Let's just talk about the gore for this movie, okay? Yeah, I could talk about the acting and the subtext about obsessions and passions or whatever, but who cares. My first gore review, whoopie! Let's go scene by scene.

1. John Saxon's head bashed in with a baseball bat. You see his head cave in on the very first strike. Not as inventive a kill as it could have been, but very brutal.

2. Kid putting his face into an animal trap. The scene that traumatized me for life. This and that jaw rip death from Mirrors have freaked me out more than anything else I have seen. After beating the shit out of John Saxon's head, this kid goes down to the basement, lovingly strokes the raccoon pelts, puts an animal trap onto a table, opens it, smiles, and then PUTS HIS FUCKING FACE INTO IT. And this is Argento, so we don't cut away at all. Noooo, we have to see the whole GD thing, up close and personal. Excellent makeup effects, but FUCK. Was that disturbing.

Even worse: When Meat Loaf and this other dude discover the body, Meat Loaf sort of smiles and looks at it like it's the most beautiful thing in the world. Creeeeeeeepyyyyy.

3. Man eviscerates himself. After being berated by Meat Loaf for cutting the pelts wrong, one of his workers pulls out some scissors while sitting in his car. He cuts into himself from belly to throat, rips his skin apart, and starts pulling out his guts. The makeup, and sound effects especially, were a little too good in this scene and I almost horked on my shoes. 

4. Woman sews her face shut. A little lame and a little too obviously CG. One of Meat Loaf's stereotypical Chinese female workers stays late one night to finish the fur coat and instead decides to sew her nose, mouth, and eyes shut. Kind of boring. I wasn't impressed.

5. Meat Loaf makes Shanna a skin tank top. The penultimate event of the episode. Meat Loaf takes the fur coat to Shanna's apartment, bangs her, and then goes into the bathroom, saying that he "needs something sharp." Uh oh. He finds a knife in the kitchen and starts to slice along his body, and you're wondering, Well, hm. What's he doing there? Then again, we have a full on effects and gore shot that doesn't cut away of Meat Loaf pulling his skin off, over his head like a t-shirt. Ew, ew, ew, ew, EW.

6. Shanna rips her hand off in the elevator doors. In the same scene, Meat Loaf chases Shanna to the elevator of her apartment building. Trying to get away from him, she gets her hand caught in the elevator doors as they are closing. Somehow (I'm thinking this is not very possible) she just rips her hand off, leaving behind the bloodiest crime scene ever. The CSI team is in for a long night.

So there you have it, the gore highlights of Pelts, on my list as one of the best gorefests (at least, from what I've seen so far) out there.

Did you notice how everybody's death has got something to do with what they do to the raccoons? The baseball bat to bash their skulls and kill them; the trap to catch them; the scissors to cut the pelts once they're dried; and the needle and thread to sew the coat together. Meat Loaf skinning himself is obviously with how they skin the newly killed animals and Shanna getting her hand caught in the elevator and ripping it off is reminiscent of animals chewing off their own limbs to get out of a trap. Clever, screenwriters. Clever. I like it.

Side note: Haven't seen all of the Masters of Horror episodes yet, but so far my top three are Pelts, Incident On and Off a Mountain Road, and Cigarette Burns


  1. yay for Pelts, one helluva gorefest-episode!

    btw, I've seen all MOH-episodes yet.
    My favorites:
    Cigarette Burns, Imprint, Family, Jenifer & Right To Die

  2. A lot of I thought were really retarded. Sick Girl, Pick Me Up, Chocolate, Deer Woman, Dreams in the Witch-House... didn't like any of them. Pick Me Up was the one I thought had the most potential but just turned out really lame, with bad acting.

  3. Awww, I liked PICK ME UP, sorry that one wasn't your cup o' tea... but I really do like PELTS, too. :) Also THE DAMNED THING is loads of fun, THE BLACK CAT is vintage Jeffrey Combs (and has an amazing "hatchet to the face" kill) and DREAM CRUISE is decent.

  4. Cigarette Burns is my favorite. I loved Pelts, Valerie on the Stairs, The Screwfly Solution,Sounds Like and Family. Did not like We all Scream for Ice Cream or Dreams in the Witch's House.
    Dreaded Dreams
    Petunia Scareum

  5. Yeah, Pick Me Up is really, really lame. One of the worst episodes from MOH


    This write-up cracked me up:

    "Now, I'm going to admit that I really hated Argento's first Masters of Horror episode, Jenifer. It was just, like, I don't know... weird." ...YUP, NO SHIT!!! I liked it, though I felt like I needed a shower afterwards.

    I really liked Sick Girl too, I'm very fond of Lucky McKee. I'll take any Gordon HPL adaptations so Dreams was ok with me too. Cigarette Burns, Black Cat, Imprint, Deer Woman, Screwfly Solution - I liked all those. I miss this series.

  7. ehhh I have seen more gore in my day haha

    I personally enjoyed Pelts. I really liked Jenifer to though. I love any horror movie that leaves you thinking WTF!!

    Thats what a good horror movie is all about!