Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Grotesque (100th Review)

Grotesque (2009)
 Dir: Koji Shiraishi (Carved: The Slit Mouthed Woman/Death Tube)

So here it is my 100th Review and after some thought and deliberation on what film should be put to the Chopping block for this event I decided to go with one I knew nothing about other than the fact that it is deemed somewhat of a controversial film. So I decided to tackle a film recently banned in the U.K. and not available here in the states yet due to it's Over the top Violence and depictions of sadism, The uncut version of Grotesque. Let me start off by saying that this film actually lived up to all of the hype in my eyes for once because it is one of the most brutal films I have seen in quite sometime. The film focuses on a young couple on their first date who are attacked and kidnapped while on their way home by a unnamed madman with a pension for torture and humiliation. After the couple are knocked out by hammer blows from behind they wake up in a run down warehouse room made into a makeshift surgery / torture room. From here we learn that the killer is one of the sickest on screen villains seen in awhile and he promises to torture and kill the young couple unless they can do one thing, Turn him on. Seems easy enough , but you have no idea what gets this guy off. The unnamed killer immediately gets down to business by Stabbing the young man Kazuo through a hole in his gag ball with a piercing object right through to the back of his throat and then the gut while he forces Aki to watch, Then he asks if she is willing to die for her boyfriend to be and we have a flashback of moments before they are kidnapped where Kazuo says to Aki that he would indeed die for her if the situation presented itself and the madman aims to put this theory to the test in barbaric fashion. After some chilling conversation from the sicko he begins to molest Aki and finger - Fuck her to forced orgasm while Kazuo is helpless and commanded  to watch ... This scene is done rather graphically as we hear moisture sloshing around from her under parts as she writhes in agony, After that the killer decides to give Kazuo the same treatment and he is given a quick hand job to completion before they are both drugged and put down for the evening. Upon waking up the couple are now laid flat on tables side by side and this is where the situation turns from creepy to gory in no time. Kazuo has his fingers cut off and made into a nice necklace for Aki and she is forced to return the favor  shortly after .

After Amputating Her arm and cutting her nipples off we learn that our killer is a skilled surgeon as he seals all the wounds and stops the bleeding to keep his victims alive for more torture. Then we are treated to a obscenely vivid scene of Kazuo having nails driven into his scrotum and then being castrated. At this point the Psycho Doctor stops the punishment and exclaims that he has decided to free the couple since he has been aroused and after passing out the couple awakes in what appears to be a hospital room and the wounds are nicely bandaged and they have been cleaned up.
The doctor arrives shortly and informs the victims that he will nurse them back to health , Help them with rehabilitation and then release them, He has been moved by there will to live and that is what he was seeking from them in the first place. Everything seems to be on the up and up until they wake up the following morning back in the torture room. Apparently the rush from before was too much for the doctor and he wants one more , So he plans out a game of survival for the young couple as Aki is tied across the room from Kazuo he is told to free her but there is a catch. The doctor plans to remove Kazuo's Rectum and tie his intestine to a hook like a leash , kazuo is to reach a pair of scissors in the room cut his intestine and then free Aki before dying, If he succeeds she will be freed.

 After much struggling Kazuo fails to free Aki and dies before he can cut the last tether , After this the doctor is disappointed and prepares to off Aki with a chainsaw , when she decides to provide the doctor with a story of his mother being a whore she knows from town and their family trait of foul Body odor. After trying her best to humiliate the surgeon he goes berserk and saws her down then goes a step further and cuts her head off in splattery fashion with a Axe. At this point the film gets a bit far fetched as her head has the last laugh on the way down from it's skyrocket of her shoulders and we are left to believe that all three have died. Until the closing scene where we see the doctor sitting once again in his van stalking a victim but this time with deodorant in hand....
Leaving a opening for a sequel. As for story in this film it is pretty thin as we don't really learn much of the characters involved at all, So it is kind of hard to root for either one and the motives of the killer are pretty vague other than he is mad and truly a pervert, But The victims do come off as genuinely scared for their lives and The Mad Doctor does portray his role quite well and is very good as the cold emotionless psycho he is supposed to be. The film comes off as a Hostel rip off and could be considered just another cash in on the "Torture Porn" genre but this one is well shot and the effects are really nicely done. I can see why the U.K. would ban this and where the controversy stemmed from but I found the gore way less disturbing than the whole sexual portion of his torture , Because the scene where the doctor fondles the young couple is truly creepy and leaves the viewer pretty uncomfortable watching it. As far as the Faux snuff style exploitation film genre goes I would actually rank this one higher than Hostel as I found it more interesting but, It could have used a bit more back story and detail into the characters to help the viewer invest in each one. I mean a film with only three actors you would think you would get a pretty clear portrayal of what each one is about and this one doesn't even scratch the surface of any of the leads.I would like to see this film get a U.S. release and with the open end for a sequel I think it would be cool to see them follow up on the Mad doctor because maybe we could learn more about him if the story continues, As from what I saw in this one he has the makings of a truly iconic killer in the genre. Is this film anything new? Not really but what it does accomplish being shocking and it is entertaining. If you are a fan of films like  Saw and Hostel then you will like this one but if scenes of torture are not your cup of tea then skip this one because the shots are graphic and convincingly done , Other than the end kill between the Doctor and Aki, That is when the J-Horror camp kicks in. Good effects , Crazy gore and believable fear make this one a good watch but not for the faint of heart for sure.
Now for my first attempt at the new rating system......
Final Verdict: 7 out of 10

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