The Horror Zine Review
Cannibal Flesh Riot!
A Film by Gris Grimly
Director: Gris Grimly
Cannibal Flesh Riot!
A Film by Gris Grimly
Review by Jeani Rector
I knew the minute I popped this into the DVD player that Cannibal Flesh Riot! would be a fun film. Cannibal Flesh Riot! begins with filmmaker Gris Grimly seated in a chair in an old-fashioned setting, reminiscent of the Bob Wilkins Saturday Night Creature Feature. And what's in that pipe that Grimly is smoking?
From there, Cannibal Flesh Riot! takes us into a fog-filled graveyard at midnight. This film is made to resemble the old black-and-white Universal Monsters movies of the early 1930s; sort of like Frankenstein with rednecks. It begins with two grave-robbing zombies, Stash and Hub, who have to feed their needs, literally. It is particularly creepy when occasionally, cockroaches scurry over Stash's face and neck.
Stash and Hub begin to dig up a fresh grave. They are very much surprised when something else comes out of the grave. Claymation effects at this part of the film are extraordinarily well-done, not quite Ray Harryhausen, but astonishingly close. In fact, Cannibal Flesh Riot! melds real actors and claymation seamlessly.
Stash is played by David Backhaus, and Hub is played by Dustin Loreque. Both actors are equally competent as redneck zombies and both play their parts very well, displaying spirit and a lot of sass.
The script they were handed delved into condiments too much when there could have been funnier things about cannibalism to offer. Yet as a whole, the film works on an Evil Dead II level: the deadpan delivery of some very unusual stuff.
The humor extends into the music. The score is performed by Hola Ghost, very clever music from those with a very clever name. In fact, were I to describe Cannibal Flesh Riot! in one word all around, that word would be clever.
The Horror Zine does not normally review shorts. On rare occasions, exceptions are made. I was glad to make an exception for Cannibal Flesh Riot!. Watching this film has introduced me to the world as Gris Grimly sees it. The review package included a wonderful book titled Where Madness Reigns that contains artwork by Grimly. The book helped to convince me that Grimly is a rare talent along the lines of Tim Burton.
I would like to see Gris Grimly make feature films with longer run times. If he chooses to do so, I can easily picture his films getting picked up by a distributor to run in theaters as well as film festivals. Gris Grimly creates unique films and artwork. Unique gets attention. Don't be surprised if eventually, a Gris Grimly film plays in a theater near you. If it does, go and see it. I know I will.
See the movie here:
About the Filmmaker
GRIS GRIMLY can be best described as a storyteller. For more than a decade, his distinctive style and wide selection of mediums have captivated a variety of loyal fans worldwide. Originally recognized for his dark yet humorous illustrations for young readers, Grimly has transcended beyond the realm of picture books through writing, gallery art and film.
Ten years since the release of his first book Monster Museum, Grimly’s illustrations can now be appreciated in over a dozen best selling books including his New York Times best selling collaboration with author Neil Gaiman, The Dangerous Alphabet. His own stories have been realized in his personally scribed Little Jordan Ray’s Muddy Spud and the Wicked Nursery Rhymes series. He has been paired with such classic authors as Carlo Colodi on Pinocchio, Washington Irving on The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow, Edgar Allan Poe on both Tales of Mystery and Madness and Tales of Death and Dementia, and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley on the highly anticipated 2012 release of Frankenstein.
Grimly’s work has appeared in the leading arts journal, Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art. He has been honored twice by the Society of Illustrators and has been included in the Society’s 2004 and 2005 exhibits on The Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration. His artwork has been recognized and honored by such prestigious institutions as The Edward Gorey House and The Edgar Allan Poe Museum. His work have been exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Andy Warhol Museum, note worthy galleries in Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo and cities in between.
In 2005, Grimly ventured into moving pictures as Writer/Producer/Director of the demented and humorous independent featurette, Cannibal Flesh Riot! Since its release in the fall of 2006, it has been highly received at film festivals and continues to attract a loyal audience. In 2008 He directed a music video for Texas-based rock band Ghoultown, which starred cult sensation Elvira. In 2010, he was given the opportunity to work with Elvira again when she asked him to direct the opening to her nationwide television syndicate Elvira’s Movie Macabre. He is currently working on his second featurette Wounded Embark of the Lovesick Mind with the anticipated release in 2011 and has signed on to direct the stop motion feature based off his book Pinocchio, produced by Guillermo Del Torro and The Henson Company.
As a storyteller Gris Grimly delivers, without boundaries or apologies, a madhouse of imagination to those who seek to be taken into his world.
He is the one and only MAD CREATOR.
About the Reviewer
While most people go to Disneyland while in Southern California, Jeani Rector went to the Fangoria Weekend of Horror there instead. She grew up watching the Bob Wilkins Creature Feature on television and lived in a house that had the walls covered with framed Universal Monsters posters. It is all in good fun and actually, most people who know Jeani personally are of the opinion that she is a very normal person. She just writes abnormal stories. Doesn’t everybody?
Jeani Rector is the founder and editor of The Horror Zine and has had her stories featured in magazines such as Aphelion, Midnight Street, Strange Weird and Wonderful, Macabre Cadaver, Ax Wound, Horrormasters, Morbid Outlook, Horror in Words, Black Petals, 63Channels, Death Head Grin, Hackwriters, Bewildering Stories, Ultraverse, Story Mania, Lost Souls, All Destiny, and many others. Her novel Around a Dark Corner was released in the USA on Graveyard Press in 2009.