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DIRECTOR: James Bell
CAST: Mae Bell, James Bell, Rick Hubble, Nathan Rumler.

REVIEW BY: Mario Dominick

James Bell of Very Fine Crap Videos continues to prove himself to be an artist of extraordinary talent in the underground filmmaking scene. He goes above and beyond as an FX artist and has made movies that echo the styles of Harmony Korine, E. Elias Merhige, Nick Zedd, Andreas Schnaas, and others.

Tantrum is one of my favorite works from Bell. It’s an experimental gore film dealing in spiritual themes and adds elements reminiscent of Begotten. Two years after Tantrum’s release, Bell and his small crew of four including himself, his wife Mae Bell, fellow filmmaker Nathan Rumler, and his late friend and collaborator Rick Hubble (who the film is dedicated to) bring us the sequel, Tantrum 2: Phantom of the Demon.

Tantrum 2 is a hard film to describe. Within its short running time of about an hour, it delivers insanely macabre imagery and artistry, outrageous make-up FX including severed penises, gushing wounds, strewn entrails, poofball-looking monster heads, etc., and trippy and intense music.

Based on my interpretations, Tantrum 1 and 2 are films about life and death and the transition from one to the other. Bell’s imaginative take on the subject keeps the viewer glued to the screen no matter how repulsive the FX may be. The artistic nature is what makes the films work. With Tantrum 2, Bell has managed to create a film on a shoestring budget that actually rivals a much bigger production like The Void in creature FX. For that alone, Bell must be commended for his incredible work. It’s time more filmmakers consider him to do their FX.

Tantrum 2: Phantom of the Demon will soon be available to purchase on DVD via Very Fine Crap Videos’ online store at https://www.storenvy.com/stores/538368-very-fine-crap-videos

The limited collector’s editions Bell makes with DVD boxes decorated with latex around the edges are unique items that give his films an art element you don’t get with many other underground releases. I look forward to seeing what he does with the packaging for Tantrum 2.

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