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Review: American Virus/Oni-Gokko/Guerrilla



Review

Let it not be said that running your own movie review site doesn’t have certain perks. Indeed, today was one such day, that after a hard day’s work, I was treated to a somewhat more satisfying email ‘ping’ than usual. Shane Ryan of ‘Mad Sin Cinema’ had dropped three cult inspired shorts for us to review. Oni-Gokko, a dark slice of Asian extreme cinema, the gruesomely entertaining ‘American Virus’ and the 80s throwback action adventure ‘Guerrilla’.

Before we start, allow me to introduce Shane Ryan to Beyond the Gore:

“Ryan's films have been shot on as little as ten dollar budgets, in tight and speedy shooting conditions with less than a day to conceive and shoot the entire production while other times taking four years to shoot a film for experimental purposes. He's tackled controversial film subjects such as rape, incest and paedophilia, abandoned and murdered children, serial killers, as well as LGBT stories, 1980's throwbacks and more.”

Sound good? You can find more information here.

Without further ado, read on to find out our thoughts about the diverse trilogy of titles.

Kick starting our brief foray into the eclectic mind of Mr Ryan is ‘American Virus’ a quirky POV zombie short which, whilst I would be lying when I say I 100% got the story, is an interesting fast paced insight into the backfiring plans of an unnamed bio-terrorist group. Hoping to infect the wicked west with the virus things don’t quite go to plan with the short cumulating in a deliciously gruesome end. Nicely shot, and even more so on the editing, the film moves at quite a clip. Whilst 5 minutes isn’t quite enough for in-depth development of characters I particularly enjoyed the spattering of quite excellent gore effects towards the end of the movie.

If ‘American Virus’ was more shock than awe, ‘Oni-Gokko’ (TAG) secures the package. Slower paced but ultimately more tense, the Asian extreme influenced short sees a young girl tormented by the spirit of her sister, forcing her to come to terms with her own guilt and reconciliation. It deals a heavy blow of emotion within the film’s 8-minute (uncut) runtime, as well as providing some beautifully grotesque scenes of self-harm, without sacrificing either its style or atmosphere. Whilst there is an open-ended ambiguity of the story it is no less satisfying. The essence of J-Horror with western eye for detail and style – yes please.

After taking a little bit of time off to regroup ‘Guerrilla’ rounds off our indie-trio with a (welcome) light hearted jaunt back to the 80s. Experience the sights and sounds of an 80s dystopia as a we follow a young lad ‘fighting’ for survival - armed with a Nintendo power glove no less. Nothing more to say (as the film is more of a retro-montage than a narrative) other than it captures everything that made the 80s, well, the 80s! Look out for some nice blood spatter towards the end, and a bloopers reel which was almost as entertaining as the main segment.

Overall Ryan has debunked the ‘Jack of all trades’ idiom with the samples of cinema he chose to share with us; I urge you to make an effort to see them for yourself. You can see his shorts as parts of anthologies and as extras on his feature releases – again I direct you to MadSinCinema.com for more detail. ‘Red Oedipal’ is currently in production, set for a 2018 release, be certain of our coverage!

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