The Violent Shit: Five Film Collection (DVD)

You have to give it to Synapse films. With the decline of physical media, more studios are open to delivering movie buffs the classics, and the obscure titles. Let’s face it, until now, no other major label would have ever made the “Violent Shit” collection available for mass consumption. At the end of the day, this five movie collection of shot on video horror gore films from Germany are strictly a niche release, but they’re at least there for everyone to view. While the “Violent Shit” movies, in fact, complete shit, they are also important cinematic relics. Back in the eighties, when Germany enacted heavy censorship on all film releases, including horror movies, that were cut for mass consumption, a bunch of indie filmmakers got together and made their own gory, graphic, and obscenely splatterific horror movies.

Yes, these movies are unwatchable dreck, but they are at least a fine statement about the importance of art, and how they can inspire folks to challenge the idea of censorship and free speech. Fans expecting HD transfers with widescreen format will be stunningly disappointed, as the films are restored but keep their primary shot on video luster. Right down to the canned special effects, the silly Wilhelm screams, and fuzzy establishing shots. “Violent Shit” from 1989 is directed by Andreas Schnaas follows the legendary K. The Butcher Shitter,” a demented killer who escapes police and wreaks gore soaked havoc across the country. The plot is paper thin, but the gore is plentiful with a ton of sever limbs, mutilated corpses, and random people being hacked to pieces in the woods.

“Violent Shit II: Mother Hold My Hand” from 1992 finds the legacy of Karl the Butcher fulfilled by his son who, after being given a machete as a gift from his mother, transforms in to a maniacal killer and begins stalking the German countryside hacking, slashing, shooting, and disemboweling random individuals and victims. Karl dons the medieval mask that looks eerily similar to Jason Voorhees once again, and he murders martial arts fighters, gangsters, and is being trained by his mom as a killer, once again drawing allusions to Jason Voorhees. People are introduced merely to die in horrendously violent and gory methods, and it’s all the same thing for over an hour. “Violent Shit III” from 1999 is also known as “Zombie Doom” and is an interpretation of the famous short story “The Most Dangerous Game.”

This one finds a group of friends lost on a remote island after getting lost at sea. There they’re captured by, who else? Karl the Butcher Jr. and his dad, both of whom subject the characters to a game of survival by battling an army of rotting zombies, and metal masked murders brandishing machetes. There’s a ton of action, survival in the jungle, and martial arts battles against the walking dead, and some hi-8 film mixed in to make it extra distracting. “Violent Shit 4.0: Infantry of Doom” is from 2010 and is a glossier follow up this time around, set in the year 2023 where the world is a wasteland run by street gangs. Karl the Butcher Jr. comes back from hell, and is on a mission to destroy new mass murderer Axe.

Filmed with a dark grainy digital video, this sequel is tough to watch and reaches its peak of awfulness with a non-existent plot, uneven pacing, and Karl the Butcher Jr. becoming an anti-hero because—lack of ideas? It’s still filled with gory and exploitation, so you can’t complain too much. Fans are given a bonus movie with “Zombie ’90: Extreme Pestilence” which is, you guessed it, a zombie movie! Filmed between Violent Shits 1 & 2, and with a $2000 budget, it follows two doctors who investigate a zombie outbreak, and the a military plane crash that unleashed chemicals that caused the dead to rise. As they investigate they work toward stopping the impending zombie apocalypse on the German Countryside. If you love bad dubbing, and an extra gory stock zombie movie made on apparent spare time, “Zombie ‘90” is up your alley.

The extras within the new set garner Liner Notes from Ted Geoghegan, writer and director for the acclaimed “We Are Still Here.” The bonus DVD features “Zombie ’90,” along with original trailers, behind the scenes footage, and premiere footage.