Maggot House
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Brooklyn’s lo-fi punk MAGGOT HOUSE picks 6 unsung horror films worth a check

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If John Waters somehow got his hands on a synthesizer and a microphone, draped them in gory VHS aesthetics, and took them to a trash-strewn Brooklyn alley, you’d have something akin to Maggot House. Orchestrated by the whiskey-loving, horror film-addicted Broose Young, this D.I.Y. synth/punk outfit offers a visceral journey through the underbelly of both cinema and sound.

In a nod to the cultish allure of exploitation films, Maggot House reignites interest in the 1987 splatter b-film ‘Street Trash’ with their forthcoming lowbrow punk release.

Considering their track record, this feels like a natural evolution. Their debut 4-song EP ‘Creeps Unite,’ released last October on the auspicious Friday the 13th, included the lead single ‘Creepnite’ accompanied by a gloriously messy 80s high school-themed music video. It’s not the first time the project delves into cinematic grotesquery; a track from their 2022 debut EP titled ‘Subterranean Scum‘ drew its lifeblood from ‘C.H.U.D.’—the 1984 sci-fi horror film featuring Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.

Maggot House have a new horror-inspired, mutant-themed album out Friday, October 13th called ‘How to Talk to Extraterrestrials‘. 10 new tracks including ‘California Greys’ that digs into UAPs and abductions. ‘I Am The Night’, a 40-second homage to hardcore punk with lyrics about the uncontrollable urges of a teen werewolf. ‘Toxic Treats’, inspired by the Deer Park, TX father who killed his boy for $10,000 in insurance in 1974. And ‘Mutant Pub’. The last line of ‘Mutant Pub’ is a play on a quote from the 1988 film ‘Night of the Demons’: “Eat a bowl of fuck I’m here to party.”

While mainstream horror classics like ‘Evil Dead’ and ‘Return of The Living Dead’ feature as regular fixtures in Broose Young’s film rotation, he’s eager to share some lesser-known treasures for those hungering for something off the beaten path. With Halloween on the horizon, a follow-up October 2023 EP in the works, Maggot House has thoughtfully curated six underground horror flicks worth your time. The list offers a peek into the peculiar cinematic universe that feeds this unique musical endeavor. Check it out below!

Gargoyles (1972)

First saw this made-for-tv movie on ‘Superhost’. A Cleveland area, Saturday afternoon show hosted by a Clown/Superhero in a cape and baggy pants who played tons of monster movies and told bad jokes. In the film, and in true 70s fashion, a biker gang helps rescue a paleontologist’s daughter who is kidnapped by gang of gargoyles her father uncovers in the desert. As an 8yo, these creatures were super-creepy and the voice effects amazing. There is an eerie clanging sound whenever the creeps are near that always raised the hairs on my arms. I still have a copy of this on DVD. One of my faves.

The Ritual (2014)

A more recent movie that stands out is The Ritual. I had no idea what this movie was about when I watched and I almost don’t want to tell you a damned thing about it, but try watching it with no context it gets fucking weird. I will say, if you are a fan of folklore and creepy ass shit, this is well worth the watch. I would put this on par with 2015’s The Witch or 2018’s Hereditary. I have been looking for another film this freaky ever since, but can not find one. Send me your suggestions, please.

The Barn (2016)

“Trouble arises when the two pals … take a detour.” You get the picture. Campy Horror Schlock. I love it. I fill most of my evenings watching tacky movies. ‘The Barn’ came out in 2016 but has an awesome 80s horror look & feel. Pulling out all the old-school special effects, and includes tasty hard rock riffs along the way. This film even has actor Linnea Quigley who played “Trash” in “Return of The Living Dead”. What else you could ask for? Did I mention this takes place on Halloween night? The sequel “The Barn Part II” is okay, but not as good as the first movie. Although Lloyd Kaufman of Troma Studios fame plays a pretty great mayor in it.

Willie’s Wonderland (2021)

Ever get wasted, pass out at Chucky Cheese & wake up after dark? Well this might be up your alley. ‘Willy’s Wonderland’ has pizza, video games, a theme song, weird-o animatronic mascots and Nick Cage with an appetite for destroying robots. This movie kicks ass. This might be the finest cinematic experience you’ll ever find. And you can quote me on that.

The Video Dead (1987)

I watched this based on the movie poster alone and it was awesome. When I was a kid, I used to think in the future we would have a microwaves that could teleport food from nearby restaurants to your home. That’s pretty close to the storyline here, except in this movie it’s a television set that teleports brain-craving zombies into your living room. The fake horror movie played on the TV is rad too. Classic zombie/monster make-up effects are perfect. I think I’m in love with this concept move than the movie – but this film definitely deserves more fanfare than it received.

Hobo With A Shotgun (2011)

This movie is terribly awesome. The title of this movie alone screams “WATCH ME”. Grindhouse violence, sleazy humor and some of the most ridiculous shit I’ve ever seen. I think Rutger Hauer has been in every movie that matters. Bladerunner, The Hitcher, Blind Fury, Ladyhawke, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Wanted: Dead or Alive (with Gene Simmons. This has the best grenade scene ever made.) I’m gonna leave some key words right here. Crime. Pedophile. Scumbag. Vigilante. Lawnmower. This movie is fucked up. Watch it.

Llamageddon (2015)

Throwing this in as a bonus. A killer Llama from outer space … Need I go on? It’s a fun flick. Check it out.

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

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