Thursday, June 28, 2012
Little Deaths (2011)
I rarely skip the chance to experience a new anthology movie and when the food folks at Njuta Films suggested I should give Little Deaths a chance I decided to do just that. I'm very easily impressionable, like a little boy in a slingshot factory. And what better is a anthology movie built around three of my favourite themes: British social-realism, sex and violence. All in one! Little Deaths is a witty title, a direct translation of the French saying "La petite mort", a slightly macabre alternative name on the orgasm, the ejaculation. And it's a brilliant title on a movie that deals with deaths and orgasms. I wish I could have come up with that idea myself...
First out is House and Home. A rich couple is entertaining themselves by kidnapping and drugging homeless people and use them as sex toys. The second one is Mutant Tool, which deals with a special kind of mutant that produces sperm as a drug! The third one is Bitch, about a young couples very special and controversial relationship. I don't want to say so much about the stories, because all three of them are original and gruesome and is best experienced by watching the actually movie.
It's hard to say which of them I consider is the best one, because they have a similar quality but also very different. House and Home looks stunning and feature the best acting in the whole project. The interaction between Luke de Lacey, Holly Lucas and Siubhan Harrison is extremely good. Siubhan being the coldest bitch I've seen in any recent movies. The ending, a good one, still feels a bit rushed - and I really wanted to see more. Mutant Tool is extreme and mixes the traditional social realism of British cinema with Japanese perversions - and even if the budget is a bit low for the effects being used it's still a very successful concept with some neat twisted ideas. It also seems to be a sequel to Andrew Parkinson's 2001 feature Dead Creatures. Haven't seen that one for years, but I'll change that soon. Bitch, the last story, is probably the most low-key and even more realistic in terms of the visuals and acting and it feels like a slightly nastier and "sexier" Roald Dahl story (even if he for one could be very sexual in his work). It's the cheapest-looking (which necessary is not a bad thing) of the bunch, but still holds its own high quality and unique style.
Bad anthology movies can be the most boring movies made, because with several crappy stories in one movie it's extra painful to watch. Little Deaths is a damn fine indie-production, gory and graphic with impressive actors. None of the stories is perfect and could have used maybe yet another rewrite or more money to achieve their goals. On the other hand, I prefer movies with beauty marks - they're less calculated and reveals an even greater passion for storytelling and filmmaking than "perfect movies" (I'm looking at you, Mr Kubrick).
It's rare to see an anthology movie that dares to be darker and nastier, that refuses to fall in the trap to copy a masterpiece like Creepshow or the works of Amicus. It's kinda boring after a while to see yet another filmed comic strip, with ironic nudges and tongue-in-cheeks. That's why Little Deaths is even more needed in a film industry that rather makes fake-Grindhouse flicks than serious attempts at horror and other kinds of genre cinema.
The DVD from Njuta Films looks excellent - really, it feels like BD, and worth both a rent and a buy. Watch out for lots of bodily fluids, both red, white and... no, not blue. Just blood and sperm, like life itself.