Title: Black Past

Also known as:

Year: 1989

Genre: Horror / Splatter / Gore / Independent

Language: German

Runtime: 85 min

Director: Olaf Ittenbach

Writer: Olaf Ittenbach

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0163554/

When Thommy and his family movie into a new place, Thommy finds a weird box in the attic. When the family members assure him they don't know what it is he decides to open it up. He finds a journal and a mirror. The journal speaks of demonic forces that will be brought out of the mirror, and that it has to be destroyed. Thommy puts it up on his wall.

Our thoughts:
"Black Past" is the debut feature by German gore-favorite Olaf Ittenbach, made back in the late 80's. I bought this movie a few years ago with the belief that what I was buying was uncut. I didn't really like the movie, didn't feel like the Ittenbach I liked at all. The cheese and bad story was there, just not the gore. Well, turns out it wasn't uncut. No, it certainly wasn't, with a 15 minutes shorter runtime. Yeah, all the good bits were cut out. But when I found out I wasn't really up for buying another copy of it, so it has really just been on my "To Buy"-list for the past couple of years. So it was with great joy that I opened the package from Njutafilms containing their new releases - Olaf Ittenbach's first three movies, "Black Past", "The Burning Moon" and "Premutos".

Thommy and his family move in to a new place and Thommy finds a box in the attic. When he opens it, it basicly turns into "Evil Dead" - he finds a book that speaks of dark forces. Instead of being brought out by a recording, they're brought out by a mirror. Whoever stares into the movie will turn you into a murdering monster. That marks the beginning and end of the plot - you can figure out what to expect from this film after that, can't you? Gore, gore, gore, gore, gore, cheesy acting, stupidity, gore, gore, gore. That's pretty much what this movie is. And it's fun!

I much prefer Ittenbach's older splatter films. The newer ones are fine, sure. The gore is certainly more well-made now. But they lack a certain enthusiasm and craziness that his older films had plenty of. I guess there's something special in your first movies. It's true in this case that your first movie show what you want to do - 22 years later and Ittenbach is still making splatter movies of the same kind. Nothing wrong with that, if you ask me. Some people, like Ittenbach, Brian Paulin ("Bone Sickness", "Fetus") and the likes of them, don't need to stray away from the path they've chosen, if you ask me. Sure, "Black Past" and his later movies all share the lack of a good story, but in all honesty it's fine. He's not looking to change and I won't be the one to tell him to.

"Black Past" is probably the goriest debut film a director has ever made. Don't take my word on it, but I honestly can't think of any others than those two. At least none that does it so well, 'cause there are effects in "Black Past" that would still look good in a movie today. If you wanna watch Germans and blood for 80 minutes, here's a good way to start!

"Black Past" is really a good first effort. The amount of gore is impressive, so who cares if the plot is unoriginal and the rest of the movie is boring? Olaf Ittenbach is especially fun to watch as the lead, Thommy, as he walks around in his mullet and white underwear. Recommended for gore fans who believe that gore is more important than anything else!

Positive things:
- Gore!
- A good first effort.
- Shows what's to come from this German gore-fiend!
Negative things:
- Wouldn't be able to call it a good movie in other senses outside of gore and violence.

Gore: 4/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 1.5/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 2/5

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