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Critic Reviews for Clean
Audience Reviews for Clean
Crane (Calliari) is a serial killer who believes its his goal to purge the world of those undeserving of life. When he is invited to join a "serial killer club" at their their once-a-year, face-to-face gathering, he realizes he has been given the opportunity to make his life truly worthwhile. Like the rest of them, he's there for the beer and brutal slayings... but the victims he has in mind are his fellow "hobbyists." There are two version of "Clean" currently available in the marketplace, both of them from Brain Damage Films. One is the feature-length version that is the subject of review, while the other is one of two shorts included in writer/director/producer Alexandre Michaud's anthology picture "Goregoyles 2: Return to the Flesh" from last year. Unlike most instances where there are two different versions of a film floating around ("widescreen [or standard] edition" and "unrated director's cut too intense for theaters!" are the usual) where the differences amount to a few minutes of film here and a few seconds there--differences most viewers won't even notice--the differences between the long and short versions are significant. When I reviewed the version of "Clean" that was in "Goregoyles", the moment where Crane started killing his fellow serial killers was startling and completely surprising. As his motivations were explained, it gave the film a dimension that put it in a whole new league in my mind... it turned it into a commentary on the "torture porn" stripe of movies and I loved it! With the long version of "Clean", we get to know Crane and why he does what he does (well, I don't think even Crane fully understands why he does what he does, but we're aware of who he is and why he murders people), so when he starts killing the serial killers, it's not quite as shocking and impactful. Although we have even more evidence that Crane is a demented murderer by the time the action in the theatre unfolds--we see him beat his pregnant wife to death with a baseball bat--we're also fully prepared for what he starts doing. With a better understanding of Crane, he is also more clearly our "hero" as the film unfolds, something that was a little less obvious in the short version. [center] [img]http://www.geocities.com/nuelow/movcleancover.jpg[/img] [i]"Clean" is [URL=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014567KC?ie=UTF8&tag=stevemillesdo-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0014567KC]available now from Amazon.com[/URL][/i] [/center] So, which version of the film is best? Personally, I prefer the short version that was included in "Goregoyles 2" ([URL=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/journal_view.php?journalid=245672&entryid=434785&view=public]review here[/URL]), because it's more shocking and intense because of the way the viewer is thrown into the middle of a situaition without knowing the players or understanding what motivates them and where it's all heading. On the other hand, the feature length version added new dimensions to the film by giving us a chance to know Crane and the demons that drive him a little better. In fact, as the new beginning of the film was unfolding, I kept thinking how good it was and how different it seemed from some of Michaud's other work I've watched and enjoyed. I also felt it added a great deal to the movie as it had existed in "Goregoyles 2", but then when the other serial killers arrived in the story, I realized that the lead-up, as good as it was, took away much of the shock-factor to their appearance and Crane's ultimate treatment of them. As for gore, either version will satisfy those who hunger for that stuff equally. You'll particularly want to watch for the scene where serial-killer club spokesman Joe (portayed with perfect repulsiveness by Sebastien Croteau)) is trying to shove his guts back into his stomach after Crane has sliced him open and pulled them out! (I don't usually go for gory stuff like that--which is why a friend has commented she finds it odd I like Michaud's films... but, what can I do? the guy has a style that I like--but it's a scene that really appeals to me. Particularly after the extended sequence where Joe slices a bound-and-gagged girl with a razorblade and then pours salt and hot sauce into her wounds.) So, while I prefer the shorter version, I think the long one has much to recommend it as well. It also contains my favorite scene in the whole movie... the one where Crane is fishing on the dock and musing about the uselessness of the world. What he does with the fish he catches really makes that scene for me. It's a great bit of filmmaking, well-filmed and perfectly edited. I actually think the perfect version of "Clean" would be the "Goregoyles 2" version with the fishing scene (and some other snippets) as its opening. I say get both versions! (With "Goregoyles, you'll also get the kick-ass thriller "The Walkers".) I say it's worth supporting a talented independent filmmaker like Alexandre Michaud by spending scratch on both versions of a very well-made film. If you have a taste for low-budget horror flicks, a tolerance for gore, and would love to see a film that treats "torture porn" as it should be treated, then you MUST check out "Clean". Clean Starring: Marco Calliari and Sebastien Croteau Director: Alexandre Michaud -- Note: I kept calling the just-released long version of "Clean" new. However, sharp-eyed readers (or those who decide to look up "Clean" and/or "Goregoyles 2" on IMDB) will notice that the feature-length version of "Clean" (which received its first wide release on DVD on June 3, 2008) is listed as a 2005 movie, while "Goregoyles 2" is listed as a 2006 movie. What am I, stupid? I asked Alexandre Michaud about the history of "Clean", and he was kind enough to enlighten me. "'Clean' was completed in late 2005 and that's when we sent out the first screeners out," Michaud said. "I created the long and short versions at the same time." He further added that Brain Damage Films secured distribution rights to both "Goregoyles 2" and the feature-length cut of "Clean" in the summer of 2006. The quirkiness of the movie business is what accounts for the apparent date confusion, not me!
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