Friday, January 23, 2009
Red Spirit Lake (1993)
Red Spirit Lake is a no-budget shot-on-video horror film that is guaranteed to offend and mystify. Anyone looking to see what the world of SOV gore-fests has to offer should consider this essential viewing. The film is an artistic, surreal, supernatural tale of witchcraft and demons.
The film begins with three thugs torturing a woman to death because she won’t sell them the property on Red Spirit Lake. Her sister inherits the property and goes to spend a little time at her dead sister’s house. There she encounters some mentally deranged locals (the more psychotic of the two is played by director Charles Pinion) who tell her the lake is a dwelling for demons and the angels that fight to keep them locked away. The same thugs who killed her sister show up, as do some of her friends looking for a party. The stage is set for demonic possession, rape, mutilation, torture, and horrific and creative deaths as people are killed by the evil spirits and by each other.
Here’s a quick sampling of what happens at Red Spirit Lake: a woman is tied up for some kinky sex, then burned with a lit joint, and gets her throat slashed. Her ghost comes back to haunt her attacker and kills him by shoving her fist up his ass. A man is cooked alive inside a haunted sauna. All the while there are numerous stabbings, beatings, shootings, and hammerings, sometimes happening to the same person all at once.
This is a great example of surreal SOV filmmaking at its finest. The director makes great use of the dismal winter setting, and the acting is pretty good for this type of film. The film walks a fine line between not taking itself too seriously and having some of the usual horror movie in-jokes without making the film a mockery of itself, something very few SOV films do. It is a moody, atmospheric and creative film, with an almost psychedelic tone. With a runtime of about one hour, it is well paced and compact. Some entertaining trailers for other films by the director follow the film. If you can locate a copy of this film, it is highly recommended. Originally put out by Something Weird Video. I learned about this film in the "Films on the Fringe" section of Critical Condition Online (http://www.critcononline.com), the most comprehensive source of shot-on-video horror film info on the net.