Eyes Wide Shut

In my late teenage years, I was into obscure, trashy and exploitation movies, and would sit through some real duff video (remember video?!) copies of trash gems like, The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies (brilliant title- terrible film) Thundercrack (an endurance test), Cafe Flesh, Blood Feast, Faster Pussycat Kill Kill and the films of Richard Kern and Nick Zedd. Then there were all the video nasties; I Spit on Your Grave, Driller Killer, Maniac, The Burning and all the other suspects that were on the BBFC 'banned' list.

There was another explotation genre- Mondo Movies, which were documentary style films depicting the bizarre and strange lifestyles, events, rituals from all around the world; films like Faces of Death would depict scenes of animal and human death, some footage faked and some uncomfortably real.

I remember how difficult it was to obtain these films at the time and how video collectors were always paranoid about owning the 'banned' films. The videos were always an nth generation copy, which was like watching TV through a tank of moving dandruff, while wearing a thick nylon stocking over your head!

Nowdays all the underground has spilled overground, anything and everything you want to see is now available, re-mastered, digitally enhanced, surround sound Blu-ray DVD (eg Faces of Death) and some of it even re-made like I Spit on Your Grave, for todays viewing generation

With regard to the internet, I am starting to think that I should switch 'safe search' on, or install 'Net Nanny' for myself; in recent months, I have come across some of the most disturbing and vile things on the internet, and that's just by accident while randomly surfing. Yesterday I watched a video of a beheading and that was on someone's blog- I should've guessed really, as the rest of the blog posts were of really gruesome pics of death and mutilation.

Times certainly have changed- I used to seek out the visually shocking to now- where I'm closing my eyes and wishing I could unsee. It's not always about how shocking or disturbing the imagery is- it's the grim reality of the horror that exists in this world, that's what disturbs me.