Holy Shit!  Another year has come and gone and now its time to see which films rose above the rest.  This year’s list includes all of the blood, guts and nudity that you would expect. But don’t worry, I included a few “classier” flicks for all you college grads out there. 

15.  The Duke of Burgundy (Directed by Peter Strickland)

A cold and confounding movie about a woman obsessed with moths who tests the limits of her relationship with her lover.  An exercise in obsession and repetition, that is worth enduring.



14. Tantrum (Directed by James Bell)

There are a lot of words that can be used to describe Mr Bell’s most recent film, but there is one that I keep using: indescribable. Not narrowly fitting into any real genre of horror or scene. It blurs the line between avant garde film experiment and performance art in a masterful way.

13. Girlhood (Directed by Céline Sciamma)

On top of covering the usual coming of age drama, there is a naturalness that feels so real and universal. From the boring technical side it is nearly perfect. Camerawork  is impeccable and its pace is perfectly meandering. The film may suffer from an unfortunate title, but hopefully people will see it without the looming Boyhood comparison.

12. Death-Scort Service (Directed by Sean Donohue)

A fun throwback to blood, guts and boobs.  The sleaziest film of 2015 and should not be missed.






11. Circus Of The Dead (Directed by Billy Pon)

Great sense of direction and great acting by Bill Oberst Jr and company. Also, some of the most enjoyable gore gags in years. When it finally gets a release, it is worth a look.



10. R100 (Directed by Hitoshi Matsumoto)

Like a blend of Quentin Dupieux and Sion Sono, with a little Bunuel on the side. I can’t decide if anything or everything matters (in this film) but there is something so unique and appealing about this film that really sticks with you.


9. Headless (Directed by Arthur Cullipher)

Found was one of my favorite movies of last year and this “lost slasher” is a excellent companion piece.  Great effects, fun acting and some of the nastiest kills in the history of cinema.




8. Der Samurai (Directed by Till Kleinert)

A spectacularly violent and mysterious film that feels both existential and playful throughout its run time. This is the kind of movie that requires multiple viewings to truly grasp.


7. Flowers (Directed by Phil Stevens)

This is the kind of film that is missing from underground horror lately. A grotesque, but beautifully shot film that mutely tells the story of 6 women and their murderer.




6. Androgynym (Directed by Nick Iway)

 This is a brave movie that does not gloss over things like addiction, loss and self identity.  In fact, it barrels itself directly at it.  There are scenes of extreme and shocking violence, but I hope they do not overshadow the beautiful experience that is Androgynym

5. The Interior (Directed by Trevor Juras)

There is very little when it comes to plot or story and instead focuses on the existential horror of being a young man who may not live long enough to figure out what he wants in life. That is much scarier to me than monsters or masked killers and there is no place better to experience this than deep inside of nature.



4. Turbo Kid (Directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell)

In the year 1997…

This is the movie that captures nostalgia without coming off as pandering.



3. Spring (Directed by Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson)

A beautifully shot genre bending project from the guys who brought us Resolution.






2. Bone Tomahawk (Directed by S. Craig Zahler)

If there was any justice in this world this film would sweep the Oscars. From best screenplay to best supporting actor, this film would win it all. This first time effort is everything that a fan of cinema could ask for.






1. The Tribe (Directed by Miroslav Slaboshpitsky)

“Don’t tell me, show me!” That is my battle cry when watching movies and this film couldn’t tell you if it wanted to. If you do not already know, this movie is told entirely through Ukrainian sign language with no subtitles or voiceover.  It is an unsettling, unique experience that cannot be compared to anything else.  A great example of how a film can transcend genre and language to stands on its own.

Some honorable mentions: Metalhead, The World Of Kanako, Mad Max: Fury Road and Under The Rainbow

Thanks for checking out my list!  Now let us know some of your picks in the comments below!

Blaine McLaren

Lead Writer for Mondo McLaren

The World Of Kanako (2015)


The good folks at Drafthouse Films seem to have an eye for interesting foreign and domestic films.  Last year I fell in love with multiple titles (Nothing Bad Can Happen and Why Don’t You Play In Hell) and this year is no different. The World Of Kanako is a brutal, yet stylish tale of revenge that does not follow any paint by numbers structure.  Violence is at the epicenter of the film and everyone suffers throughout its 118 minute runtime.  Blood sprays, people are terrorized and no one escapes unscathed.  As violent as it is, this film is also very playful and sprinkles in quite a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor that can be a relief, but (at times) can also kill the pace of the movie.

The film follows an ex-detective by the name Akikuzu who is investigating the disappearance of his daughter, the titular Kanako.  As he digs deeper and deeper into her private life he uncovers a story of brutality, drugs and sex that only feeds into the rage of our wayward hero.   From this point we embark on a tour de force of murder and mayhem.  As Akikuzu descends further into her private life, he loses more and more of his humanity until he no longer wants to save his daughter…but to kill Kanako himself.

The World of Kanako is a grim flick that relies heavily on its style.  The truth is, without the style and camerawork it would be exhausting to watch this kind of intense abuse and hate.  Every twist and turn is darker than the last and it walks the line of absurdity that could fall apart at any moment.  The greatest downfall of the film are these drastic shifts in tone.  One moment a man is beating his wife and the next he is doing a slapstick routine.  In the end, it really doesn’t matter.  The filmmaker is confident in his craft and tricks its viewer to accept the strangest of explanations and scenarios.  But lets be honest, isn’t this why we love the extreme films of Japan in the first place?  The World Of Kanako is currently available on all VOD platforms.

3.5/5 STARS