It’s kind of shocking that something this strong and experimental could come from someplace like Canada, but it did. I first heard about this omnibus film from the documentary In The Belly Of The Beast, which I saw when it came included in the DVD release of The Manson Family. Here we see Mitch Davis and Karim Hussein running their Fantasia film festival. It was from this documentary that I first heard of Dust Devil, A Gun For Jennifer, and Aftermath. But more of them at another time.
Being an omnibus film, this film deals with different stories as part of it’s plot. The opening deals with a woman being cut open and having an eyeball come out of her stomach. It’s a pretty strong image, probably the strongest in the film. Then comes the second part, and the longest story, dealing with a man who has incestuous sex with his sister, and is pregnant with their baby. He decides to create the ‘ultimate mockery of human reproduction’ by killing the baby when it’s born. This to me is the weakest part of the film. It’s too long and the constant voice-over is dragging. The lack of sound effects at the birth/butchery scene took away much of it’s potential reaction, leaving me with a ‘meh’ feeling.
Next we see a group of naked men and women eating grass, dirt, shit and blood that comes from the ground, ending with a man giving a blowjob to a knife. I don’t know what the hell this is supposed to be about, but I liked it. I found it very erotic and it reminded me of Jodorowsky a lot. I don’t know if that was Hussain’s intention, but hey what can I say I’m just a viewer. Then comes my favorite part of the story, dealing with a guy who seems to be a Bogart impersonator who is obsessed with porn. This sequence leads to a room where Christ is being raped, defiled, torn apart and eaten by a group of nymphomaniac women. Good job Mr. Hussain, you gave me a hard on.
Joking aside, this movie is very impressive in most points, but there is something that can’t be shaken. I respect Mr. Hussain for being a self-indulgent filmmaker in a world lacking them. Being self-indulgent is not a dirty word, it means you’re an artist and not a product peddler. But in this personal film, Mr. Hussain seems to have forgotten that there’s more needed in this kind of film to shock and eviscerate. It seems that it’s whole interest lies in just that, and while something like, say, Blood Feast, has some entertainment value in it’s bloodshed, this lacks it as well. This could have been the best experimental film of all time, but it sadly falls short of that. Still, even with these negative comments, I liked this film a lot.
It’s most interesting aspects however, is how dated it is. This is the kind of movie that could have only come out during the 90’s. Not just for it’s great soundtrack, but also it’s attitudes. It’s bleak and depressive, and at times I feel like I’m in some sort of Skinny Puppy/Psychic TV music video. Hussain shows his influences with stride, with not only hints of Jodorowsky, but also Luis Bunuel, Richard Kern, the No-Wave cinema and Dusan Makavejev. There’s also a lot of gore and nudity, and that’s always a plus in my book. If you want something different, take a look!