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Little Deaths est une étude fascinante des manipulations émotionnelles et des différentes formes d'addiction, de la drogue à la dépendance affective. Mélange artistique d'idées transgressives et de visuels minimaux et réalistes des films indépendants britanniques, chaque segment est une assertion esthétique unique qui se nourrit et s'abreuve cependant de sa cohorte, pour former un tout d'une impressionnante cohésion. Le captivant "House and Home" de Hogan ouvre le film avec éclat, racontant l'histoire d'un couple de la haute classe britannique qui leurre des gens dans leur domicile afin de les humilier et de les abuser. Dans le segment d'Andrew Parkinson "Mutant Tool", les expérimentations déviantes d'un médecin recueillant le sperme d'un homme au sexe démesuré enchaîné dans sa cave pour en faire des pilules de drogue. L'héroïne, une ancienne prostituée tentant de combattre son addiction à la coke, fera les frais du traitement expérimental du fameux docteur. Dans "Bitch" de Simon Rumley, une administratrice de bureau exploitée règle ses problèmes en abusant son partenaire émotionnellement à travers une routine sexuelle dégradante.
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HOUSE AND HOME: The first vignette is about a well-off couple that has a strange way of getting their rocks off that involves a third party. Everyone involved has a secret, and the twist lies in who's secret has got sharper teeth. Although the story isn't anything special (you can probably guess the ending in less than three tries), the acting and filming are excellent, and it moves fast enough to avoid losing interest. Four stars.
THE TOOL OF THE MUTANT: The second vignette is about an ex-working girl who is put on some strange medication by a doctor who also happens to employ her boyfriend (and former pimp). Needless to say, the medicine has unusual effects that culminate in a bad time for (nearly) all. Easily the grossest of the three shorts, this one also makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, and it appears to have been written and filmed solely for shock value. The most shocking thing about it, though, is that anyone thought cheap gore would be a decent substitute for a total lack of logic and reason. Also features the worst acting of the whole group in the form of our lead. One star.
FEMALE DOG (to avoid angering Amazon's censors): The final vignette is about a young couple with a strange role-playing addiction that is taken a bit too far. The male of the couple has the best acting chops out of anyone associated with this whole film, and the complex relationship he's involved in is actually pretty interesting for the first half of the clip. However, by the time the relationship starts to unravel, the story slows to an annoying crawl. What should be a vicious and disturbing climax becomes, quite literally, a tiresomely long music video. The ending here isn't as senseless as Part Two, but it does still have quite a few holes, and these are made even more glaring by the director's weak attempt at irony (the last five minutes or so -- perhaps more -- are a montage set to cheery-sounding music). Two and a half stars.
Interesting idea for a film with mostly decent talent in front of the lens, but the writing and directing feel like a clumsy first timer's attempt at foreplay.
Other reviewers have done a good job of describing the content of the three stories presented in "Little Deaths" so I will not reiterate them again....over-all I enjoyed the entire show and found that the ideas, acting, and direction (by the 3 seperate film-makers) were of consistently high quality and, generally, very engaging. All 3 of the stories contained a strong dose of black humor within their twisted little plots but also presented 'endings' that were truly demented and hinted at unrelenting & unending karmic retribution... recalling some of the writing of previous horror masters such as Robert Bloch and Harlan Ellison.
Personally I would enjoy seeing more of this type of erotic-horror blend make its way to 'the screen' and I'd recommend "Little Deaths" to open minded individuals who enjoy a little ero-weirdness in their horror film viewing.
The French word for orgasm translates into "little death," clearly the etymology of this title.
This British anthology is about the most perverted I've seen. Not for gore, torture or murderous means, but such from the darkest and most sexually depraved recesses of the fragmented mind. These tales feature rape, masturbation, psychological abuse and BDSM...and images of full frontal nudity (male and female), urination, mutant genitals, vaginal bleeding, ejaculation and semen, with many of these themes and elements present in more than one of the shorts. The "horror" themes seem minor; rarely supernatural and serving more to "end" the short stories instead or drive them. This is clearly an inappropriate film which should not be taken lightly, not be presented to minors (or even most adults), or really recommended at all lest you be someone with cinematic tastes favoring shocking extremes.
Unlike more thoughtful anthologies, the three short films of this movie are not linked by an over-arching concept or storyteller. They are simply presented one after another, each of them with shock-value-driven themes and lousy endings. Below, I present a synopsis and critique of each short film.
House and Home-- Richard and Victoria Gull are an upper-middle class British couple that appear equal parts caring and cold. Posing as religious do-gooders they lure homeless people into their homes for a kind meal, a bath and a night in a warm bed. After luring a young woman (intriguingly named Sorrow) to their home for dinner, they drug her and take turns doing, ummmm, things to her. MY CALL: Sure, it opens and endures with a solid, sick but well-done, shock-schlock cinema appeal. But it's ending degenerates into something overly simplistic as if the writers, or perhaps the director, got lazy and dumped some gaudy scene on us that relied on gore as a crutch rather than a cinematic device. [B-/C+]
Mutant Tool-- Jen is an ex-prostitute, a drug dealer and an addict looking to kick her bad habits--all of them. She seeks medical assistance from a shady doctor who prescribes a new, very promising drug that has its share of side effects including hallucinations and increased "sexuality." However, the doctor is more concerned with experimenting on his patients than helping them. MY CALL: After a quick, cheap opening shock, this story really doesn't go anywhere until the very end, when an inanely ridiculous twist ending is shoved in our face. Depending on your taste, you might even get a laugh out of it. [C-]
B!+@#--Pete and Claire share an interesting relationship. Claire is a psychologically abusive domme who weaponizes her sexuality against Pete. Claire also has an irrational fear of dogs even though she has Pete behave, live and "dress" as a dog for her domination pleasure. MY CALL: The ending is quite sick and was likely intended to represent some manner of poetic justice. I would suggest that, outside of a little shock value, this venture failed while still being the best ending of the anthology's shorts. However, a fine job was done setting a depressed mood (from Pete's perspective) using blue-tone soft lighting and gritty film. Their relationship was depicted very effectively and, beyond the aim of this film, told an interesting story on its own. [C+]
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