Black Past (1989) Review
This is low budget shot on video German splatter, starring the writer/director/special effect guy, Olaf Ittenbach.
No small amount of this movie originated in The Evil Dead, but rather than look at The Black Past like a typical narrative movie, I'd suggest approaching it like a Halloween haunted house with gory set pieces and an intensely nasty depiction of hell.
Unlike most of his later movies, which push toward bigger ideas (and don't work as well), this is a simple piece that builds to intensely gory happenings. It is a bit too slow and the performances aren't there at all, but when things get surreal and vicious, the experience is a vibrant and charged gore cornucopia that will leave a lasting impression. You'll need to forgive a lot in this film, but like the very different movies of Werner Herzog and John Waters and H.G. Lewis and Harmony Korine, Black Past is an experience and a spectacle more than it is a traditional narrative film and those looking for a dungeon of gore, where "Hell = Creative Torture" may forgive Ittenbach's shortcomings as a traditional filmmaker...something that is less forgivable when he attempts to make traditional films (albeit ones crammed with gore).
((I found Premutos a bit dull after a while, and House of Blood and the Haunting of Rebecca Verlaine, sporadically engaging.))
Ittenbach's other recommendable movie, The Burning Moon, is similarly strong-- and expands upon the man's visual conception of "Hell = Creative Torture," though it is also a bit more bloated. And Brian Paulin's Fetus and Bone Sickness explore this dungeon and are better in most regards.