After being part of the horror community for so many years, you start to hear rumblings of the next film that you “just have to see.” These films generally push the envelope, taking things like gore and gratuitous nudity to the next level. Years ago, they were traded on VHS tapes as a type of underground barter system among diehard horror enthusiasts. In 2018, however, films like this are more readily available, while still causing tons of controversy. One series that I’ve never personally braved is the Japanese collective of the Guinea Pig films. After six film releases spanning the 80s and 90s and another three or four in an American Guinea Pig series, I’ve finally had my first glimpse into this extreme world of horror with Stephen Biro’s The Song of Solomon.
A man commits suicide in front of his daughter who is exhibiting signs of some sort of demonic possession. The traumatic events only make matters worse, as Mary (Jessica Cameron, To Jennifer, Mania) is submerged deeper into the grips of this evil force. As priest after priest is sent to perform an exorcism, the true motives of the Catholic Church become apparent — in order for Jesus Christ to truly return, the Anti-Christ must first rule the earth for seven years. Now is the time for his rule to begin…
Having never seen any films in the Guinea Pig or American Guinea Pig series myself, I only know what I’ve heard over the years. The films are said to be extreme beyond imagination and, from the little research I have done, lack any real type of plot ; They are gore films for gore’s sake. That seems to be the case once again with Stephen Biro’s entry, The Song of Solomon. Now, I am not saying that as a knock of any kind. I honestly was really looking forward to watching this one, as I’ve been seeing social media posts about it for quite some time now. I needed to finally see one of these movies for myself and boy, I was not disappointed!
The Song of Solomon is as every bit grotesque as you may have already heard. There is tons of explicit gore, more than I think I’ve ever seen in the 20+ years that I’ve been watching this kind of stuff. Scene after scene managed to top the last with insane amounts of blood, gouged out eyeballs, ripped up flesh, the breaking of bones, and even more that I don’t want to spoil for you here. They were all executed with practical effects, to boot.
Stephen Biro did not pull any punches with this. Anything that the writer/producer/director could think of to make stomachs turn was thrown into this film. He has created a horror film that has true intentions of instilling fear and making you turn away from the screen. For that, he is a true genius.
Creating a film about demonic possession on an independent budget is no easy task. There are a bunch of great entries into the sub-genre, but all of the ones that I have seen over the years have been pretty large productions. To make a film that could quite possibly be compared to the great The Exorcist is an extremely ambitious move, one that Biro doesn’t seem to have shied away from for one second. He was going to make the film he wanted to make, quite possibly becoming the king of underground gore flicks in the process.
I’d be remiss to not acknowledge the amazing job that actress Jessica Cameron did throughout the film’s 87 minute runtime. I’m not going to sit here and tell you guys that any of the performances seen in The Song of Solomon are groundbreaking, but Cameron still managed to put on one Hell of a performance nonetheless. Any time you see her post about the film, she is ecstatic to talk about it, showing true pride in how the film turned out. You would never guess that watching this film, however. I can only imagine what it was like to film some of this stuff. Without giving away the best scene of the movie, I can’t say any more than that.
If you are a fan of deep storytelling and complicated character progression, The Song of Solomon is not for you. If you are looking for something grotesque and gross and beautiful all at the same time, then look no further. It will make you squirm in your seat on more than one occasion and it may even make you question why you enjoy horror films in the first place, but it will certainly entertain the most depraved of you out there. From what I’ve gathered, this is the first film in the series that doesn’t have any kind of callback or connection to previous films in the Japanese or American series. In turn, just like it was for me, this may be the perfect jumping on point for you to take in your journey to this next level of horror cinema.
I give The Song of Solomon a repulsive rating of 4 dead priests out of 5.