Year Released: 2000
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 38 minutes
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An eager guy with a leather jacket and a rebelliously greasy, shemp-like mop saunters into an underground S&M club and starts flashing ‘tude. Almost immediately, he gets the attention of a dark haired hussy who approaches him cleavage and tongue first. Licking and dancing ensues. Back in the man’s apartment he sheds his shirt and pants and in the throes of foreplay, finds himself on the bed, handcuffed to the headboard. He becomes a little concerned when the nameless vixen begins teasing him with a big Ginsu. Fortunately she means him no harm, merely plunging the knife into her own throat. Having gutted herself like a fish, the mysterious girl expires on top of him. The cleanup, which involves an electric circular saw and a small oozing suitcase, is difficult and costs our hero his sanity. Or so we assume when the girl materializes alive and fully reassembled in his apartment and they begin a strange post-mortem relationship.
The fact that this wordless shadow play relies on a goth/industrial soundtrack rather than dialog is probably for the best. It’s not at all clear from the melodramatic expressions on the faces of the actors that they understand what is going on with their characters any more than the audience does. Maybe dialog or an expanded story would have offered some indication of how the suicidal vamp chose her final lover, or would have explained the significance of the religious imagery that looms all around.
If nothing else, the film does have an interesting visual style. Many low budget film productions seem to make do with natural light (usually too much or too little of it). Here there is an obvious intelligence behind the moody lighting design and it works. The DP knows how to accent a composition with lighting to give a scene some extra punch.
The ending is the only real let-down. The story is resolved in the same way as a hundred other supernatural cop-outs, with the object of our hero’s obsession slipping through his fingers without explanation, as if something he didn’t deserve was dangled and then yanked away by a capricious deity.
Perhaps this ambiguity is permittable, but I wanted to know who’s passion or magic or madness it was that brought the girl back to life. Without this information, it becomes impossible to speculate on her disappearance. The film is a nice piece of surreal fantasy, but as a theme, “easy come, easy go” hardly seems satisfactory.
Posted on September 14, 2000 in Reviews by James Sweeney
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