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2003 / Horror
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Directed by Olaf Ittenbach
Written by Thomas Reitmair and Olaf Ittenbach
Starring Natacza Boon, James Matthews-Pyecka, Daryl Jackson and Bela B. Felsenheimer

A woman whose family was brutally murdered when she was little is instructed by her family's ghosts to bring the killers to them so their souls can rest in peace.

The following tags are associated with this movie: gore, ghosts, hippie, clown
Garden of Love (2003)
Review by Bradley Frohloff

7 / 10
I first saw this movie back in 2006, and my re-watch of it here in 2018 really hasn't changed my feelings about it. I've seen a few of Olaf Ittenbach's movies, and this is probably the best one that I've seen. He clearly puts a lot of passion into his work, though translating it to the screen is a tough task as he tries to overachieve with the limited budget and acting range at his disposal.

Even though this isn't a slasher movie, it opens up with an intense mass murder sequence with a house full of hippies completely massacred by what seems to be an intruder wearing a clown mask. By the time the opening credits are done, you've witnessed eight people murdered by knife and meat cleaver attacks in over-the-top bloody fashion. For some people, these attacks might even seem to have gone too far but anyone who's used to seeing plenty of gore will be able to handle it well enough.

After the first five minutes, the slasher aspect of the movie is dropped (so I don't even consider it to be a slasher movie) and the remainder turns into a gory ghost movie. The hippie ghosts reminded me a lot of Pinhead and the Cenobites. There are a bunch of scenes where they pop-up on screen to terrorize the lead actress in visions that she is having, and I often enjoyed these few moments. But the part where the movie really shines are the few different scenes in the movie which involve bloody carnage and mayhem. People get ripped apart, faces torn open, limbs torn off... there's a lot of violent deaths in the movie which should win the appreciation of any gorehounds out there.

The movie has a very television or video type of feel to it, which in a sense drops the quality of the overall presentation just a little and the acting ranges between average to mediocre. There are certain scenes that tack on a little too long with some characters over-explaining themselves akin to a Bond villain that has decided to detail their whole plan because they're about to win. I think they had the right idea with the ending (in reference to the television set), but this moment didn't reach its full potential as the acting came across as a little cringey.

Despite the shortcomings mentioned above, Garden of Love is a movie that has been made with a lot of... well, love. It's not exactly for the faint of heart. There's a lot of gory and intensely violent sequences and they even manage to throw in some clown-masked killing which wins points from me as I have a fondness for clown related horror.
Other hippie movies that you may enjoy

I Drink Your Blood (1970)

Mandy (2018)
More releases from 2003 for you to check out

Darkness Falls (2003)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Ghost Rig (2003)

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

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