The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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'the spectacle of sadism' that so bothers the BBFC seems to be, at least in part, a cinematic metaphor for the twists and turns of a couple's journey from bodily lust to enduring love.
AMAZING, So brutally graphic, twisted and entertaining as hell. Sequel Please!
Two words: Holy Sh!t. A very brutal and graphic film about torture. It has no plot whatsoever it's just an hour and a half of sick torture. It's sicker than any other torture porn film but the story is just - disappointing. I got to give it to them though, for making me squirm and vomit in disgust.
"Grotesque". Seldom has a film been given such an appropriate name. Judging by that name alone, the viewer is able to determine what they will see, what they will get, and what they will remember. They might even be able to predict what the "film" will be about. The film couldn't have been named anything else. Or maybe it could have; who knows, and who cares?
This is a sick, nasty, depraved, relentless horror film that I regret ever having rented or seen. I had been warned of its graphic nature, but I was open-minded, curious; willing to explore. Never have I been as sorry as I am now. I have no respect for films that exist only to provide what is the complete opposite of entertainment. Often are the misogynistic, violent, sadistic, and even racist; but rarely are they smart or watchable in any sense of the word. In fact, I had a hard time watching "Grotesque" even if it has the sort of shock value that should keep my eyes glued to the screen. Sometimes, sleaze can become guilty entertainment, and sometimes, it can just go beyond its original definition and become something far nastier and joyless. This is a film that should have been disowned, burned, and unreleased. Why it wasn't is beyond me. Perhaps some people get off to this sick shit. But I do not.
What's worse than a film that goes beyond depraved and becomes something far more intellectually insulting and sensory assaulting? A film with all those qualities that makes no attempts to develop its heroes and villains whatsoever. "Grotesque" gets right to the point; we see the couple - who are at the center of the madness soon to unfold - walking down the street, entering dark areas, and then they are presumably knocked-out and snatched by a seen-yet-unseen assailant. He drives them over to his place, which, unlike the villainous character, is just plain unseen. It is there that he proceeds to torture, humiliate, and mutilate these two innocents; and all for the pleasure of his own selfless, inhuman being. He's a real, genuine psychopath; and this movie has the same state-of-mind and thought process as he does. It gets to the meat and sticks to the meat; its mind is ALWAYS on the meat.
And as far as exposing the meat and its sacred bits goes, "Grotesque" can be called effective and disturbingly good at what it does. The filmmaker knew what he wanted to make and who he wanted to make it for; he was nihilistic as far as what the detractors and critics thought of his monster. The film has one purpose, and one purpose only; to show what it shows. The couple suffers many brutal torture exercises meant to excite the antagonist both sexually and mentally. He operates as those who enjoy this film do. They might even identify with who he is and what he does. I could care less about "relevance". I'm going to skip through the substance, just as this film does, and get straight to the point; "Grotesque" sucks. It was boring, it was unwatchable, it was sick, and it's attitude of apathy is anything but appealing. I will never watch it again.
Yet, to make horror such as this authentic and affective, a director must exercise craft; and the director of the film, Koji Shiraishi, certainly does. The atmosphere is moody. The cinematography actually isn't all that bad. And finally, the acting makes the horror feel realistic and even all-the-more brutal. It's hard to take, and while it may indeed be genre filmmaking with a message, it does not have morals and it does not have any redeeming factors. And if it does have these messages that I speak of, then it just makes the film all the more pretentious. As of now, I'm wondering why I keep calling this "thing" a "film". It doesn't deserve to be called this. It does not have the necessarily amount of substance or meaning to be art; since film, as we know, is an art. "Grotesque" is pornography at its glossiest, and horror at its most ultimately unbearable. I loathed the experience of sitting through this crap so much that I decided to skip through most scenes; only stopping to view the infamous ones, in an attempt to "feel something". Oh, I felt something alright. And it was vomit, sweat, a headache; all ready to raise hell upon my body. At that moment I decided; "Grotesque" lives up to its name and will please those who like to feel this way. But whether it works or not, for what it is, was not of my concern. It deserves not a score, not a few stars, and not a rating. It cannot be criticized by numbers or by the usual "figures". A review should be enough.
You know, at first I was expecting this movie to be sort of like a Human Centipede. A movie where you just watch more as an experience and less like a movie with a coherent story. Which is what Human Centipede was. It had no story whatsoever, it was just this weird doctor and his experiment. For the most part that's what this movie is too. It has no plot, it's just basically this killer guy torturing this couple for no reason whatsoever. And for the most part it's fine, it's about as visceral as a low budget Japanese horror movie can be. And that's the strength of the movie really. But at the end of the day, I absolutely hated this movie. First of all the movie's visceral, so the violence feels slightly more disturbing than it would have been otherwise. Not realistic, but more visceral. This is undone by the completely absurd sound effects. You've never HEARD such ridiculous sound effects. There's this scene where the bad guy starts licking the girl's body. I don't know if you've noticed, but when you put your tongue against your skin...it doesn't ACTUALLY make a sound. So, with that in mind, the sound had to be the most over-the-top squishy noise you've ever seen. Then the bad guy fingers the chick...and even THEN it's also WAY too squishy sounding to be believable. With a movie such as this, you'd have expected the sound effects to be more subdued and not so fucking campy. It made me laugh, but it was completely ridiculous. Then there's the ENDING. So get this, bad guy chops off girl's head with an ax after she berates him verbally. The girl's head goes FLYING up into the air. For some reason, as her head is detached from her body she's still conscious. She looks at the bad guy with a menacing stare as she's falling to the floor. Then she bites the bad guy's jugular off. I could have never CONCEIVED of such an ending. It seriously had to be one of the stupidest thing I've seen in a horror movie in YEARS. Hell, it's the stupidest thing I've seen in ANY movie in years, let alone the horror genre. Just completely ruined the movie for me, not that it was great to begin with. Combine that with the fact that the sound effects were out of place, the absolutely HORRENDOUS ending and the fact that the movie is just not that good, then you have one fucking horrendous movie that you should never see...even if you like gore.
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