2023 has been quite the year for new releases, from sci-fi thrillers, to splatter horror, to sequels and remakes out the wazoo, the year has seen a wide variety of cinema be released in cinema, DVD and Blu-ray, and on streaming services. However, this year has seen some fantastic extreme cinema released to satiate our love for all things gruesome. Below is a comprehensive list of some of the coverage we have given to this niche genre and some great releases that have come out this year.

List Contents:

Invitation Only (2009) – Unearthed Films

Full of gruesome acts of unembellished torment, Invitation Only will certainly be a change of pace for those finding the film through Incantation, with its depiction of extreme violence and quicker pace strikingly different from the director’s latest film. However, if you are looking for some thrilling, story-driven gore, Invitation Only may just be the ticket you have been waiting for. – Jim

Justine (2022) – TetroVideo

Justine is certainly not an easy watch due to the disturbing and vicious content but can be appreciated for the stylistic cinematography that is not often employed in extreme cinema. – Hannah

Sorgoi Prakov (2013)

An incredibly savage piece of cinema, Sorgio Prakov effortlessly implements the best elements of this style of film, along with a phenomenally extreme nature, to manufacture an astoundingly brutal depiction of naturalism. It successfully creates a sympathetic connection between the audience and this charmingly credulous character, then unexpectedly forces this empathy to extend past the point of no return, gaslighting the audience into an unsettling reflection on their own moral identity as well as their ability to distinguish the same in others. The incredible performance from Cherkaski throughout the entirety of the film is, undoubtedly, the glue that holds this production together, delivering a natural progression into an unfathomable depth of insanity. – Jim

Calamity of Snakes (1983) – Unearthed Films

Despite the abundance of abuse, Calamity of Snakes is an incredibly stylish creature feature that encompasses some of the most beloved elements of CAT III cinema along with some of the worst. Yet, with an incredibly compelling story, distinct cinematography, and surprisingly competent fight choreography, these positives far outweigh the palpable negatives. Additionally, with the cruelty-free cut featured with the latest release from the sensitive souls at Unearthed Films, as well as a percentage of sales being donated to Save the Snakes, the film’s accessibility has never been so unhindered or guiltless. – Jim

The Degenerates (2021) – Vile Video Productions

An incredibly graphic depiction of pseudo snuff, the unflinching nature of The Degenerates results in an incredibly vivid depiction of a true crime case that pushes the boundaries of artistic expression. With its uninhibited inclusion of paraphilia, staggering levels of special effects, and undeniably realistic style; the film can be a tough watch at times, even for those well-versed in extreme cinema. However, the film is an impeccable representation of this niche subdivision of cinema, delivering an astounding, unforgettable experience. – Jim

August Underground (2001) – Unearthed Films

An uncomfortably realistic insight into the everyday lives of sadistic serial killers, August Underground undeniably obtains the intended verisimilitude it desired to create. With an uncomfortable performance delivered by all those involved, incredibly detailed special effects, and gritty aesthetics; the film can be a difficult watch at times. Nevertheless, the film is an exceptionally powerful piece of found footage and deserves the notoriety it has garnered over the years. – Jim

Mas Carnaza (1997) – TetroVideo

Undoubtedly a product of its time, Mas Carnaza is still a competent display of an SOV splatter horror from yesteryear that still holds a level of entertainment to this day. With its discernible attempt at crafting a gore film visually atypical from the norm, noteworthy special effects, and even unintended comedy, the film is certainly worth exploring for gore-hounds out there. – Jim

Tapes of Death Collection – TetroVideo

Tapes of Death Collection

With over 289 minutes of unbridled chaos, the Tapes of Death Collection is an amazing compendium of independent horror shorts that, whilst unrelated, all share a grisly fascination with death in all its forms. Although some entries are noticeably superior when compared to others, every short certainly offers something unique from the previous. However, it should be stated that due to the excessive gore, mutilation, murder, and unflinching exploration of paraphilia, Tapes of Death is only going to be enjoyed by hardened gore-hounds who require their cinema to be more extreme in nature. – Jim

August Underground’s Mordum (2003) – Unearthed Films

The most notorious film in a trilogy considered to be the most extreme cinema ever created, August Underground’s Mordum is a sickening roller coaster of murder and mayhem that both reaches dizzying heights and unthinkable lows to produce some of the most putrid cinema ever conceived. With its nihilistic attitude towards… well, everything, maladroit visual design, and unflinching cruelty, the film certainly set a high bar that many creators have tried to surpass, yet have failed to make a similar impact to the genre as Fred Vogal and his magnum opus. – Jim

Deadgirl (2008) – Unearthed Films

A totally absorbing yet discernibly uncomfortable experience, Deadgirl is an intriguing re-imagining of the zombie genre that avoids nearly every trope in the book to present an anomalous story of paraphilia. With some great performances from the entire cast, an unflinching exploration of sexuality, and atypical soundtrack, the film manages to portray its shocking narrative without an over-reliance on explicit visuals (the uncut version only contains a few more seconds of footage). However, due to the themes examined throughout, the film may not be to everyone’s taste. Despite this, Deadgirl is still a riveting display that’s perfect viewing for the spooky season. – Jim

Crisalida (2023) – TetroVideo

An acquired taste even for extreme cinema fans, Crisalida (2023) is undeniably one of the most vivid films to have been released in recent years. Pushing the limits of experimental creativity, the film produces an incredibly unrestricted depiction of self-violation that will stick with audiences long after the credits have rolled. With its experimental approach, extreme content, and disconcerting score, Crisalida is sure to be a challenging yet rewarding example of splatter horror that will exceed most audiences’ comfort levels. – Jim

Bloody Sin (2011) – TetroVideo

Both visually and ideologically representative of cult classic exploitation from its golden era, Bloody Sin certainly shows due diligence to the films that paved the way for exploitation horror thrillers. With its amazing visuals, beautiful Gothic location, and incredibly unexpected twist ending; the film is an enjoyable romp for those who gravitate towards older horror films. – Jim

Tetromaniac: 61 – Scorecard Killer (2021) – TetroVideo

An inventive reimagining of the crimes of Randy Steven Kraft, Tetromaniac: 61 – Scorecard Killer’s extreme rendition of this final murder committed by the sadistic killer certainly holds nothing back in its portrayal of criminality. With its vivid special effects, excellent cinematography, and innovative vision, the film isn’t scared to delve into uncharted territory in terms of brutality or creativity.

August Underground Penance (2007) – Unearthed Films

An austere ending to one of the most extreme trilogies to exist, August Underground’s Penance certainly doesn’t skimp on the violence and depravity of its predecessors. While the film doesn’t reach the dizzying, kinetic crescendo of Mordum, the film is still an incredibly unrelenting descent into the abyss of human depravity and incredibly tough to watch at multiple points. With a stronger focus on its protagonist’s mentality, increased realism from the practical effects, and an overall darker tone, the film is certainly a fitting bookend to this notorious collection of carnage.

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