Synapse Films has released a three-disc DVD set, what they’re labeling a shitition, of the German low-budget gorefest Violent Shit – including the trilogy of films along with the unofficial fourth movie and a special presentation of Zombie ’90: Extreme Pestilence. Below, find reviews of all of the films included in this Synapse collection; discussion of quality and extras will occur in the film reviews themselves.
The first film in Andreas Schnaas’ trilogy of gore-riddled films is also the roughest, a tour de force of horrible Video-8 effects and bloody but quite obviously rudimentary special effects. Violent Shit hit during a time of great censorship in Germany, one of the first wave of horror films that attempted to defy censorship and go the extra mile. Schnaas’ inspiration – and youth – ultimately led to a series of films that generated a lot of controversy, but his initial foray into horror filmmaking is anything but memorable.
Historically, Violent Shit has an interesting appeal, but actually watching the film leaves a lot to be desired. Schnaas’ low budget and amateurism is obvious, and it’s also clear that storyline was far less important to him than creating a film that got as offensive as possible. Violent Shit does not have a linear plot; in fact, it is nearly nothing more than a series of murders committed by an insane man named K. the Butcher Shitter (played by Schnaas) as he wanders around German countrysides committing the most senseless atrocities that country has seen. There’s very little dialogue and almost no pretext; the only thing clueing the viewer in to what’s going on are a couple of flashback scenes showing K. the Butcher Shitter’s childhood, and even those are esoteric to say the least.
But the lack of plot is the least of Violent Shit‘s issues. Its most annoying feature is the Video-8 footage, with scenes shot in disorienting slow motion with whatever camera effects were available. Blocky over-pixelated messes are generally what the murder scenes devolve into, and the film’s 73 minutes are made even longer because of Schnaas’ fascination with slow motion and endless scenes of characters driving.
The murder scenes are somewhat entertaining, though, simply because of their excessiveness. Schnaas gets about as offensive as possible: there are severed penises, there are chopped-off breasts, there’s a woman who is stabbed through the vagina in explicit detail (“explicit” in this case meaning pixelated and choppy) while her entrails are pulled through the opening. And throughout, there are gallons of squirted blood, over-the-top moments that actually take away from the film’s attempts to be edgy because they’re so unrealistic.
Violent Shit may be the worst movie I’ve ever seen. Its importance in the German horror scene is obviously significant, but for contemporary viewers watching the film for content alone, there’s almost nothing within the film to recommend. Instead, read Ted Geoghegan’s essay about the film included in this collection; it is much more interesting.
Synapse Films states that Violent Shit received a remaster by the film’s original producer for this collection, but that’s hard to imagine considering how awful the film looks. While that was clearly the intention, it’s difficult to specifically pinpoint how much “better” this looks on DVD. Still, it gets a nice 2.0 audio track that admittedly emphasizes the synth soundtrack.
Click next for the Violent Shit II: Mother Hold My Hand review.