Review: Grotesque


Once again the good intentions of the BBFC fall on their arse, although I guess what else could they do? With a lot of publicity surrounding the intention to outlaw so called 'torture porn', what other choice did they have, other than to flat out refuse certification, effectively banning a movie whose plot is nothing more than a killer torturing and sexually assaulting a young couple with no motive except to get his jollies from it.

And that is that, here I would normally outline the plot, but above I have already given all there is! What I will say instead is that, simply put,  this is exactly why the BBFC banned it, it is purely emotionless and completely gratuitous, and because of its banned status, something we all want to see!

Forbidden fruit you see...

As we were watching J stated something quite profound, 'this is the sickest thing we have ever seen'; and with some of the fucked up shit we have watched that is certainly saying something. Is he right? well technically yes, I don't think we have watched anything so motiveless, and technically, rather than a story this is essentially simulated torture.

We are treated to a three stage offensive barrage:

  1. The sexy stuff. Now the killer insists that the couple must 'stimulate him sexually with their will to live' so to begin with quizzing them about their sex lives, then proceeds to finger the shit out of the bound woman. Once she has squirted all over the place he moves over to the bloke, and, taking cock in hand,  begins to give the second captor what was probably the worst wank of his life
  2. The torture. Seemingly aroused he moves to the second round of the proceedings where he systematically taunts and dismembers the two, non-fatally of course to pre long the ordeal. Here we see the main body of gore in the movie, including impalement of genitals and the removal of fingers by chainsaw
  3. The final game. Well I won't ruin this for you, but basically think 'Saw' style of 'game', notch the sickness up to 11 and you've got it!

So... amazing movie? Has it left me deranged? Should I be the poster boy for the BBFC's righteous cause?

Actually, it didn't make much of an impact at all, and believe me this isn't an attempt for me to quell the controversy or some sort of bragging right, as I am often affected, in fact in some sadistic way I want to be, by a lot of the more grimy movies. However some elements of the movie don't do it the justice it deserved.

The camera work is too polished. I'm not talking super quality, but it has no grain or many static shots which are usually used to give the 'Snuff' effect. A lot of the generic gore is shown, but when it came down to it, a lot of the more hardcore stuff obscured from the camera's view. The effects are OK but again, camera cuts don't really make much of an impact. The same is true of the porn, you see tits and muff, but nothing more, no vag' or cock which seemed a little prudish when you consider the offensive nature of the scene.  Finally the sound, or more specifically the post production effects used, which are so over the top that they really destroy any idea that this movie is snuff in anyway; I mean, does a pierced scrotum really make that many squelchy noises?

The final, and real atmosphere killer, is the ending, which by a bizarre twist truly undermines any realism which may have been conceived through the rest of the film; I genuinely don't know what it had intended to portray, but it thoroughly destroyed the integrity of the movie.

Overall my final summary is going to seem a little contradictory. It is a sick movie, no doubt about it, and if you are easily unsettled and/or new to the genre then it most likely will offend, however, for me the production choice to remove any doubt of it being a snuff movie removed that brutal edge which would have made the movie infinitely more impacting. The gore is good, but not excessive, and the porn element, sure, is pretty hardcore in terms of insinuation, but not in terms of what is shown. Some will argue it is enough, and I'm not so sick that I need more, I'm just saying, there are worst movies out there than this. I've got to say, if it hadn't been banned I don't think I would have been amazed that it wasn't. If you are a fan the 'Guinea Pig' or 'August Underground' movies 'Grotesque' adds nicely to the niche genre and you won't be disappointed.

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