Trash Corner: Splatter Farm Review (1986). Polonia Brother’s Debut is a real shocker…

newsplatterfarmWhile we always strive to bring some of the trashiest gore to this site some films just really do deserve their own category for being ultra trashy, low-budget and z-grade, not that this is necessarily a bad thing mind you. In order to pay homage to this ‘super trash’ status we will be launching a whole new category ‘TRASH CORNER’, where only the very best or worst of B-Movie heaven belongs. So without further ado Trash Corner Presents it’s very first offering to this extra special section of our gore splattered world, SPLATTER FARM.

One thing that cannot be said about Splatter Farm is it is a movie known for any sort of restraint. The hideous brain child of prolific splatter makers the Polonia brothers, this movie was their debut effort, and it shows. Twin brothers John and Mark Polonia were just 18 when they set about making this nasty little effort in 1986, with the help of their friend Todd Smith, and his Nan, Marion Costly,  in a cast of just four. It is just plain downright awful it its production ‘values’ if you can call them that, crude editing, shot on basic video equipment, no locations to speak of other than a farmhouse set which was obviously borrowed from a friend or family member and some of the shoddiest gore effects seen on-screen since HG Lewis’ Bloodfeast. The straight to video market was a haven for amateur film makers during the 80’s and the Polonia brothers took advantage of this and campaigned, to start with rather unsuccessfully, to get Splatter Farm released which is was a year later by forgettable VHS marketers Donna Michelle Productions.

vlcsnap-2013-07-12-13h46m36s85It never was a massive commercial success understandably but yet 27 years later this movie is still on cult movie fans and gorehounds radar and for that I can only applaud the Polonia brothers’ bare-faced cheek. In a film that plays out like a sick twisted wet dream for potential serial killers you get the idea that putting the camera in the hands of this gruesome twosome allowed them to get a bit carried away.  One can only imagine how the Mary Whitehouse brigade could have had a field day with this ‘look what happens if you let your kids watch horror films!’. Yet despite this by all accounts the Polonia brothers were in reality throughly nice chaps. While both the premise and values of this venture are similarly revolting one thing that shines is the enthusiasm involved in the making of it. They might not have had money, or actors, or any support but John and Mark did it anyway, and it is this love for the genre that is so lacking in the run of the mill mainstream horror that is churned out time and time again nowadays. In a review listed on the Bloody Disgusting site they label it as one of the most extreme DIY efforts ever made. Extreme it certainly is, as Splatter Farm is a  film which plays out like a check list of the most vile actions capable by man.

vlcsnap-2013-07-12-13h47m45s62In a ramshackle cast of just four there is not a lot to say about the ‘acting’ standard in this film. The brothers play Alan and Jospeh who visit their Aunt Lacey’s destitute looking farm for the summer. Complete with rather robust 80’s moustaches (reminscent of the Beastie Boys Sabotage video), their likeness is uncanny. As there is nothing in character development to speak about I found it at sometimes hard to distinguish between the two.  Todd Smith  who plays the creepy farm hand fairs slightly better, but as he has very little dialogue it makes it easier for him, having to  just lurk about, kill people, and do unspeakable things to the corpses which leaves little to the imagination. He does however manage to encapsulate a distinct creepy air about him and he gets stuck into is role with adolescent gusto. The main problem with the flow of the piece is  all the cast deliver their lines as if reading from a teleprompter (although I doubt they could have afforded such technical equipment), this is most apparent with the Aunt character played by Marion Costly real life Grandmother of Todd.  Although her acting skills leave a lot to be desired I have to completely take my hat off to her for getting involved in their project, given the subject matter. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when they approached her with their proposal. Yet she takes it on the chin and just rolls with it, what a woman! ‘I’m so lonely’ she laments to the rotting corpse of her son’s father while considering a foray into necrophilia, only to be disapointed by the fact that the part of him which could be of service to her needs has disintegrated to dust.

vlcsnap-2013-07-12-14h01m54s170So with shoddy acting and the cheap feel of this production what exactly is on offer in Splatter Farm? Well it is one film you will never forget is one thing. Memorable not only for its awfulness but the subject matter concerned. We have incest, cannibalism, necrophilia,  a killer who likes to use his victims heads for fellatio, anal fisting which gives a whole new meaning to shitty effects, a matriarch who likes to drug and rape young men, vomiting, pus licking, axe pounding, plenty of cheesy gore and corpses, oh and some pretty nasty torture too, (where a victim recieves a golden shower in the face before having his own excrement wiped all over him) as the movie probes the entire spectrum of bodily excretions. The list of depravity displayed here is endless and even more shocking that it emerged from the heads of a couple of nerdy boys from Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. I am sure a child psychologist would have had a field day with these two. The effects are pretty crass but for the most part have their desired effect in producing a generous amount of  ewww value. There were a couple of moments in this film when I found myself go into gross out overload, which was brilliantly refreshing. I found this was an absolute delight being both reviling and hilarious all at once.  Pacing is a bit hit and miss, with some scenes having little dialogue as a reference point, others are dreamy and surreal, and some moments are slightly confusing as parts of the script were obviously being developed ad hoc. Yet within all this there is a strong element of dark comedy as you get the feel that the makers were not being completely serious when they made this and that certainly helps with the enjoyment factor of this film.

vlcsnap-2013-07-12-13h50m34s227So overall Splatter Farm for all its grottiness was a fun little romp into the warped minds of some teenage horror fans who became aspiring amateur filmmakers, and thus deserving of a place in our Trash Corner. Do not expect this to be comparable in values to even the worst of the 80s nasties as it is what it is, shot on a camcorder, script made up as it went along. Yet to see such enthusiasm in people so young, who without the social media marketing opportunities of today, carried on until they got this released in the home video market is inspiring. Their tenacity is both admirable and outstanding. For the movie to still pop up all these years later  is somewhat remarkable. Splatter Farm was rereleased on dvd by Camp Motion Pictures in 2007  in a cleaned up format (with some scenes cut) which introduced a whole new generation to the warped minds of John and Mark. With the sad passing of John in 2008 his legacy lives on in this sickening piece of DIY, Z-grade movie heaven.

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Categories: 80's horror, Slasher, Splatter and gore, Trash corner

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