Director – Eric Stanze (Ratline, In Memory Of)
Starring – Emily Haack (Ratline), Tommy Biondo (The Severed Head Network), and Todd Tevlin (Savage Harvest 2: October Blood)
Release Date – 2000
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “True horror is simply what one human being can do to another”
Before I start this review I have to admit that I am not a fan of the extreme horror film movement. These films usually just bore the shit out of me instead of doing what most movies try to do and that is entertain the viewer. Instead, most extreme horror flicks just try to shock and stun the viewer with despicable acts of violence such as “new born porn” and the like. These films have balls but lack substance.
Last year I became acquainted with the works of Eric Stanze. Sadly, I had never heard of Stanze and his body of work. However, after seeing his filmRatline I was instantly a fan. A few months back I received word that Stanze was re-releasing his film Scrapbook and I wanted to check it out. I have to say I was curious how a horror film with a title as tame as Scrapbook played out so I assumed it was an extreme horror flick. Regardless, if it was an extreme horror flick or not I knew it would be awesome coming from the mind of Stanze. He was nice enough to hook me up with a review copy and I thank him greatly for it!
**Spoiler Alert**The story follows serial killer and rapist Leonard (Biondo) who enjoys kidnapping women, torturing them, raping them for weeks on end, and killing them but not before he forces them to make their own page in his scrapbook. He finds his latest victim in Clara (Haack) who he locks up in his home and violently rapes her over and over again.
She tries to escape multiple times and fails only to lead to him punishing her. However, over time she starts to show her abductor signs of affection and eventually she totally succumbs to him. She starts to play by his rules and over time her starts to let her take control during their sexual endeavors giving her the upper hand. During their sexual romp she pulls a knife and butchers him.**Spoiler Alert**
I have been watching horror films for almost a decade and a half and I can only name a few films that really left me feeling uneasy and uncomfortable. Scrapbook is another I can safely add to that list. I have watched several films with the topic of rape in the past but none touched a nerve like this film did. The portrayal of the rape was done in such a ferocious way that it almost feels real. From that point on in the film I was hooked because it was the first horror film that I have seen in my adult life that scared me.
The acting in this film is fucking killer with Emily Haack and Tommy Biondo giving the most intense performance of their careers. The both of them go to great lengths to make the film seem genuine and authentic and they both succeed. If the two did not go to the extremes that they did the film would not have been as hardcore as what we got. They both deserve so much praise for their commitment to the film.
The story for this one is rather simple but very effective. It begins rather slow which really tries the viewer’s patience but if you can just make it through the first 15 or 20 minutes you will see some of the most unnerving pieces of cinema I have seen to date.
Finally, the film does not really have any on screen kills. Instead, it has multiple scenes depicting graphic violence and crude acts to women. The point of this film is to not shower the viewer with blood and gore but to make them uneasy and show how fragile humor life is. Overall, Scrapbook is a vile disgusting piece of cinema that is essential viewing for any horror fan. If you are looking for a horror film that is truly horrifying then look no further than Eric Stanze’s Scrapbook!