Dec 27, 2007

The Redsin Tower (Second Opinion)

Toe Tag Pictures has obtained a loyal following over the past couple of years. This following was in response to their debut August Underground and later sequels. These “videos” provide the viewer with homemade style snuff fun. It is obvious that creator Fred Vogel figured an easy way to get around having a large budget and effort put into his film would be to go for cheap brutality and realistic looking torture. Mr. Vogel has been praised for his efforts and creating “original” terror. I don’t think I agree with that when taking into account the countless other films using the same mock reality technique. Cannibal Holocaust and The Blair Witch Project are two earlier films that provide the viewer with a more intimate look at fear.

Aside from the three August Underground films, Toe Tag Pictures has also managed to produce the feature The Redsin Tower. Going into the film I didn’t know what to expect. The August Underground films give no insight into the artistic capabilities and creativity that Toe Tag Pictures might have (aside from special effects). I was entertained by their pseudo snuff films but that kind of stuff gets old fairly fast. With The Redsin Tower I could finally make up my mind on Toe Tag Pictures and their future in “underground” horror.

The Toe Tag Pictures team makes an introduction before The Redsin Tower mentioning how they had many distributors offering the team a DVD release. I can assume that was probably only Brain Damage Films as The Redsin Tower is an even weaker effort than most the films they distribute. The Redsin Tower was a group effort by the Toe Tag Pictures team which has given me zero faith in any further project they produce. I still think that their best contribution to film was the special effects they did for Murder-Set-Pieces. Many Toe Tag fans have responded negatively to Murder-Set-Pieces as they have probably realized that Toe Tag Pictures should stick to special effects and give up on “filmmaking.”

The Redsin Tower is not an easily digested film. This is not because the film is deep or contains various subtexts that require further viewings to appreciate. It’s because it’s a dragging, banal, horribly written, and amateurishly directed shit-fest. Fred Vogel’s character in the film is a metaphor for the whole film. He plays a fat, loser stoner rasta that looks like he should have been at a sublime concert in 1993. I doubt Mr. Vogel would ever overdose on heroin. After he takes a bong hit he’s too busy with his Taco Bell and Snowballs.

The Redsin Tower’s cover art looks like it was directly lifted from Dario Argento’s Suspiria. This is no doubt theft on the part of Toe Tag Pictures. It is also no surprise. They also “borrow” heavily from Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead when one of the many forgettable actresses becomes possessed and becomes “ghoulish.” Raimi did it much better 25 years ago. Keep in mind that this entire scene near the end of The Redsin Tower is by far the most interesting part of the film.

Fred Vogel must be a huge Dario Argento fan

The Redsin Tower plot seemed like it came out of the lyrics of a My Chemical Romance song. Is the Toe Tag Pictures a group of hopeless dark natured romantics? I assume they just wish they were. Toe Tag Pictures offers their fans cheap nudity and gore just as their mainstream Hollywood counterparts do. The only difference is that Hollywood horror films offer a more polished look with more silicone. I am against Toe Tag pictures representing the “underground.” They couldn’t lick the blood off of directors like Jörg Buttgereit, Jim Van Bebber, or Shinya Tsukamoto’s legendary film reels.

-Ty E

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