Over the weekend I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down and interviewing popular Dutch YouTuber and horror fanatic Jeroen Bijl (AKA. Horrible Reviews). Jeroen has been uploading on YouTube for nearly 10 years now, gracing our screens with hilarious down to earth commentary on all things horror. Focusing mainly on the more obscure forms of cinema, the channel sets itself apart through it’s tackling of controversial sub-genres and themes. Jeroen has made a name for himself within the YouTube Community through various reputable series such as ‘the most disturbing movies ever’ and ‘the most controversial movies’. If you haven’t already, I would recommend subscribing to the Horrible Reviews YouTube channel here.
Wicked Horror: So let’s begin with a fun question, If you could be one horror character who would you be?
Horrible Reviews: Let me think… There’s obviously a lot of characters in horror movies for which it all doesn’t end too well, haha, don’t want that of course. I actually just now went through my movie collection to see if I could come up with one because off the top of my head I’d have no idea, but I think I found one: Edward, from the Swedish horror-comedy Evil Ed. He’s a film editor that is ordered to cut out all the graphic/violent/gory stuff from a horror film series called “Loose Limbs”. In the movie, of course, he eventually goes on a rampage due to all the violence he’s been exposed to, but how cool would that be? Haha I mean, I’d be working with film all day, graphic ones no less, and I’d be really curious how much it would take for me to actually go insane. Sure, it doesn’t end all too well for this character either, but at least he goes through a pretty satisfying journey!
WH: You’re known for taking on quite a few projects, any upcoming series you could unveil to wicked horror?
HR: The other day I posted on Facebook (my Horrible Reviews page) that I’m interested in doing more videos on specific franchises, and that I was looking for suggestions. The most often “requested” franchise was Hellraiser, which seemed like a great idea, especially with the upcoming release of Hellraiser: Judgment, the 10th instalment. So that’s something I’m working on right now. Besides that, I’m somewhat actively working my way through the Section 3 Video Nasties list, which I’m having a lot of fun with.
There’s another series that I’d really like to bring back, I just have to get myself down to it, and that’s the “A History of Horror” series. So far I’ve only done one part/video, but I still think it’s an interesting idea. I’m just personally not the biggest fan of the old (horror) movies, but I’ll have to get through those first before I can get to the good stuff, haha.
Finally, there’s one new-ish series that I’m considering, and that would involve me talking about different exploitation subgenres. So, for example, one video about so-called nunsploitation movies, then one about exploitation movies from Indonesia, one about cannibal movies, etc. etc. I’m actually quite excited about that idea.
WH: What inspired you to start your channel?
HR: I’ve always had a moderate interest in movies/cinema, but it wasn’t until 2007, when during a class on “scenario” the teacher/professor showed some lesser known cult-ish movies, that I really got into it. I grew a huge interest in low-budget horror movies, initially specifically from the 80s, and I just wanted to know everything about it. So at one point, I started telling my friends about all this random trivia about somewhat obscure movies, and they just didn’t really care, haha… That’s when I decided to just write down all the stuff I wanted to say about these movies. And since I had a bit of a background in video editing, I figured that I could just make these little “scripts” into videos. YouTube wasn’t as big back then, but it was the perfect platform. Because I could just make the videos, share ‘em with friends, and they could decide for themselves whether or not they’d watch ‘em. Style-wise, in the early days, I was very much inspired by what James Rolfe was doing over at Cinemassacre, most notably his Angry Video Game Nerd videos.
WH: Films you are most looking forward to in 2018?
HR: In all honesty, lately I haven’t been too focussed on upcoming movies, so it’s kind of a hard question haha. Definitely Heredarity. I’m already a little scared that it’s going to be overhyped, but as of right now I’m avoiding any trailer or written piece about it so that I can kinda go in blind whenever it comes out here. And then, of course, Wes Anderson’s new movie, Isle of Dogs. I’m a huge Wes Anderson fan, and even though I’d prefer his latest movie to be live action, this does look pretty good! Besides those two, I honestly don’t really know…
WH: What was the last film you watched?
HR: Hellraiser: Inferno, haha, the fifth Hellraiser movie. Like I said earlier, I’m in the middle of working on a two-part franchise video about the Hellraiser movies. I had actually only seen the first two before, so I’m working my way through the rest now. Part 5 was actually surprisingly OK. It had very little to do with what you’d expect from a Hellraiser movie (Pinhead is in it for maybe 5 minutes max.), but it was a great mystery/thriller.
WH: Favourite Horror sub-genre?
HR: Difficult to answer! Mostly because it often varies, and kinda depends on what I’m into at the moment. Somewhat “timeless” answers would always be zombie movies or (80s) slashers. But lately, for example, I’ve also been very much into nunsploitation movies, Japanese “pink eiga” movies, and somewhat obscure far-eastern exploitation movies like Seeding of a Ghost and The Boxer’s Omen from Hong Kong, or The Queen of Black Magic and Mystics in Bali from Indonesia.
WH: Your most popular series ‘most disturbing movies’ has racked up millions of views, but the question is what is the most disturbing movie?
HR: That’s a question that I, believe it or not, get asked quite often, haha. It’s always hard to answer… Some people consider gore and torture and rape disturbing, others “prefer” more psychologically disturbing stuff. If someone asks me a recommendation for a truly disturbing movie, I usually go with Cannibal Holocaust. It might not be as depraved as for example Salo or A Serbian Film, but besides it being disturbing, I also just think it’s a really good movie. Its storytelling device was an innovation, it took the gruesomeness to a new level, it created this whole “legacy”, if you will, there’s just so much to say about it. Is it as taboo-breaking as the aforementioned Salo and A Serbian Film? Probably not. But I’d watch Cannibal Holocaust over either of those two any day.
It’s obviously hard to answer, so this is really just a biased, personal answer. I mean, it says a lot that I’ve made 20 parts so far, haha, there’s a lot of “disturbing movies” out there.
WH: What was the first horror movie you ever saw?
HR: I’ve probably seen horror movies before this one, but the one I usually bring with whenever this question comes around, the first horror movie I remember that had made a huge impact on me, was Scream. And the first time I “saw” it, I didn’t get passed the infamous Drew Barrymore opening scene!
My parents rented it when it just came out, so I must’ve been 10-11. I was on my way to my room/bed when my parents put it on, so I caught the opening scene. And it scared the shit out of me! It wasn’t until later that I actually sat through the whole movie, and ever since it’s become one of my all-time favourite (horror) movies.
WH: You’re on a first date, what’s your go-to movie?
HR: Hmmm, I sometimes make jokes on my channel that people should watch stuff like Nekromantik or Sweet Movie on a first date. In reality, I actually do not really advice people to do this haha. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is one of those movies I can always watch, a movie I think is quite likeable. Even though I recently found out there are quite some people out there disliking that one quite a bit. Napoleon Dynamite or It Follows are also movies I can just watch over and over, but again, movies that very much divide audiences. I think I’d go for What We Do In The Shadows. It’s definitely one of my favourite movies from recent years, plus I’ve also not really heard anyone speak badly about this one. Which would mean that I’d kinda play it safe, but hey!
WH: What do you think has caused the fans to respond so well to the channel?
HR: I think, or maybe, I’d like to think, it has to do with my somewhat down-to-earth personality/approach. I sometimes get comments from people saying that they’d love to just sit down with me, have a beer and watch a movie. I mean, that is also kinda the “persona” I’m trying to convey on my channel! Which is, I think, very close to how I actually am. I always say I’m no film critic. I mean, I have no history in film education, I’m just a guy that likes movies. Just like you or the people reading this Wicked Horror website/blog. I just like to talk about it, and while I’m at it, help people discover new interesting movies. And that works both ways because I’ve also learned about a lot of interesting movies because of the people that follow my channel. But like I said, I’d like to think it’s because of that, haha, maybe it’s just because they’re looking for a list of “disturbing movies” to watch, and had to sit through all of my talking just to get to the titles. In reality, it’s probably a combination of the two!