brutal

Brutal

Brutal

Brutal by Takashi Hirose is one of the latest releases by Unearthed Films and it’s you guessed it… brutal!

Brutal is a beautiful story of love and connection, encased in gore and torture. Imagine searching your whole life to find that special someone who understands you, only to be disappointed again and again. Until one day you find them and it’s a glorious blood-soaked affair.

Chapter 1: The Man
The movie starts with a man, the Japanese version of John Everyman, as basic as he is complex. A sexually frustrated man, choosing chastity and self-denial. He has a room full of kidnapped women and before murdering them he asks each one “do you understand what I’m doing?”. He savagely beats and stabs them to death in a misguided attempt to save them or possibly purify them through suffering.

Chapter 2: The Woman
A beautiful woman uses her sexuality to lure men into her arms before killing them. Her character reminded me of a combination of Aileen Wuornos (notorious serial killer) and Gogo Yubari (Kill Bill) After killing each victim she asks herself if it’s ok, reassuring herself that she has done the right thing.

Chapter 3: Man and Woman
The showdown. The two meet and end up going to his place, she immediately realizes her error and a knife fight ensues. During the fight her clothing is cut off and reveals to the man that she has sewn up her genitalia and removed her nipples. It’s at this point that he knows that she gets it and does understand what he’s been doing and in fact has been doing it herself. The two begin to sob and embrace. While making love they stab each other repeatedly in a cathartic spurt of blood and pain. He apologizes for not being able to ejaculate inside her, but she tells him she can feel it inside her. The next morning only she awakes, finding that he died from his stab wounds in the night. The final scene is her discovering that their love created a life and she is pregnant.

Here’s what I especially liked about this one:
I loved the chapters and how everything overlaps and forms a clear picture at the end. The two characters come across the same people, visit the same places and face the same struggles. It was inevitable that their paths would cross.
I really enjoyed how both of the characters had such a casual reaction to killing and gore, it was commonplace and a necessary evil. Both were comfortable cloaked in the blood of others.
For me the best part of this movie was the love story. I enjoyed the gore and torture, but my favourite type of film is one that shows there is someone out there for everyone no matter how fucked up you are. Love finds a way.

Buy the Blu-ray from Unearthed Films here


Posted by Candace Stone in Categories, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, MOVIE REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
WiHM: The Women of Martyrs (2008) [SPOILERS]

WiHM: The Women of Martyrs (2008) [SPOILERS]

Martyrs (2008)

House of Tortured Souls Salutes the women of Martyrs for WiHM

I wanted to write a piece on the women of Martyrs for Women in Horror Month. It’s my favorite movie, and I thought it would be really easy to write about but as it turns out, it wasn’t, because although I feel all the women deserve recognition there is one who is far more important to me than the others.

I’d like to point out a couple of quick things before we proceed, first of all this is intended for those who have already watched the film so if you haven’t yet (my god! Why the hell not? Please stop what you’re doing and watch it this instant!), this will definitely spoil it for you. Second, this is about Pascal Laugier’s 2008 version not the American abomination that came out in 2016. Last, I’m choosing to focus more on one character, but that is not to say that they all weren’t well acted and worthy of praise. Now, with that out of the way, let us continue.

Martyrs (2008)There are four main women of importance in this film, each with a different story to tell. All their stories are flawlessly woven together and one cannot exist without the other. Where the tendrils of each story latch onto the next, they also snuff out the previous story in succession. As Lucie’s (Mylène Jampanoï) story intersects with Anna’s (Morjana Alaoui), it ultimately leads to the untimely death of Anna. When Anna meets Sarah (Emilie Miskdjian), emaciated with metal bolted into her body, nothing more than a shell, her death too is imminent and it prompts the introduction of the Mademoiselle (Catherine Béginand the death of both Sarah and Anna. Finally, the death of Anna leads to the death of Mademoiselle. A perfect clockwork orange. Though each woman has a role, Mademoiselle is arguably the most important character and the bow that neatly ties it all together. Without her, we have nothing more than the polished Hollywood turd that is the American version. A bland, watered-down, meaningless piece of cinema intended to placate the plebs.

Catherine Bégin as Mademoiselle in Martyrs (2008)

Catherine Bégin as Mademoiselle in Martyrs (2008)Mademoiselle is the key to everything, without her you have a torture porn, with her, the suffering you just endured alongside Anna is given meaning. Her character leaves you questioning your entire existence and makes all the violence beautiful and poignant. Mademoiselle was pivotal to Anna’s transcendence into martyrdom and was privy to whatever it was that Anna whispered. Of course, you should hate Mademoiselle, but I’ll go on record to say that she is my favorite fictional character to ever grace the silver screen. No movie death was more traumatic or terrifying than hers. It was so final, and then we’re left in the dark wondering… what did she say? No monster or serial killer has stripped my life of its values and kept me awake at night wondering why.

So thank you, Catherine Begin, for your portrayal of Mademoiselle. Simply Brilliant. I humbly salute you for your contribution to horror.

Catherine Bégin

Posted by Candace Stone in BRUTAL REALITY, TRIBUTE, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness (2012)

By Travis Love

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Directed by Felipe Eluti and released March 24, 2015 by Unearthed Films, Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness is a descent into depravity as a washed up boxer finds himself at the mercy of an unimaginable evil that lives in his psyche. As his torture escalates at the hands of this female visage, his grip on reality slowly spirals into madness and he seeks out victims to inhumanely torture at the request of his mentor in torture, the nameless female figure. When a man has lost it all, what is left but the raw carnal need to inflict pain on those that he stumbles upon?

Story wise the movie keeps you disoriented by shuffling from past, middle, and present with only head and facial hair as a signifier that any amount of time has passed. One minute you start off in the beginning as The Boxer is furiously training, and then the movie interjects snippets of morbid visions of a bleeding duct taped victim strung from the ceiling. The film definitely keeps you on your toes without allowing you a structured timeline, but with The Boxer losing his grip on sanity, it helps to symbolize his decent into darkness.

The moments between The Boxer and his female tormentor at no point feel like they're just a mental fabrication. They feel unbelievably real and, for that reason, straddle the line of reality and believability. The method by which she tortures him is a twisted, morbid spin on the whole mistress/slave dominatrix BDSM fetishism, and much of the film finds bondage in general via ropes showcased very attentively as The Boxer intricately ties complex knots with great care, binding his victims before mercilessly torturing them.

The torment that the Boxer unleashes on his victims is, at times, anywhere between savagely brutal and mentally cruel. During one scene he binds a female victim to another male victim and after murdering the male victim, leaves him bound to the still alive female to decompose, her face pressed firmly against his corpse. The majority of the torture scenes are sadistic and callous, with eyes being cut out and the open wound being used for sexual gratification in an intense boundary pushing scene that is both disturbing and mesmerizing.

In conclusion, Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness is an absolute exercise in extremes balanced with the morbid beauty of the fetish culture of bondage. For viewers who seek out extreme horror regularly, this film delivers every bit of the gruesome, morally absent violence that you could ever want. This film is the equivalent of a Mexican cartel decapitation video fisting 50 Shades of Grey, and you will never be the same afterwards.

Rating: 7/10

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments