|Film Reviews: Slow Torture Puke Chamber (2009) - By Cary Conley
Posted on Saturday, October 02, 2010 @ 08:12:12 Mountain Daylight Time by Duane
Many years ago my wife dragged me to a country music concert by an extremely famous and popular singer. I don't like country music, I didn't want to go, and what made it worse was that when we arrived at the venue, the artist announced that he was recording the show for a live album and that he would not only be playing an extended set list but that he was going to throw in "everything but the kitchen sink." Well, I think that with Slow Torture Puke Chamber, director Lucifer Valentine wanted to do something extra special with the third installment of his vomit gore trilogy and, similar to the country music artist, he has thrown in everything up to--and possibly including--the kitchen sink with this film.
In Slaughteredvomitdolls, we followed Angela Aberdeen, the teen runaway stripper-turned-pornstar-turned hooker as her life devolved into a living hell. SVD ended with Angela committing suicide. The second film in the trilogy, ReGOREgitated Sacrifice, followed the first few moments of Angela's soul as it departed her body, flashing back to bits and pieces of her life. As an aside, Valentine is a Kurt Cobain aficionado, so with RS, Angela's life, death, and memories closely paralleled Cobain's own turbulent life and death. Now with STPC, Angela's soul has been sent back from Hell to kill one last person before the two souls merge and travel back to Hell to be with Satan himself. Not that I got any of that from watching the film--rather from someone else's description that the director read himself on one of the extra features.
The director wanted STPC to be his crowning achievement in the vomit gore trilogy and a defining moment in the vomit gore genre he created, so what follows is his own masturbatory fantasy that catalogs many disgusting and niche sexual fetishes. Emphasis on masturbatory. And masturbation. A lot of it. I'm not sure I want to actually list the heinous acts committed to celluloid here, but suffice to say that maybe what Mr. Valentine really created was the vomit gore and URINE genre of film. He truly threw in the "kitchen sink" here. And because the director is also an avowed Satanist, he also felt the need to throw in some truly controversial material involving sex and a crucifix, which was only hinted at in the first two films. Add to that some extreme gore which includes a pregnant woman being disemboweled and her fetus being ripped out before it is dismembered and eaten and what you have is an astonishingly offensive and twisted film.
But please don't misinterpret my words to be judgmental. I think Mr. Valentine would agree with me that all of his films are twisted, depraved and controversial, which is why they come with director warnings. I am not judging Mr. Valentine or his films on artistic merit because that is a foolish argument to get into. One's man's art is another man's garbage.... So while I personally don't have the particular fetishes peculiar to Mr. Valentine, I don't want to be too harsh about the content of the film. After all, one doesn't expect light comedy when one watches films with titles like these.
Filmed using the same visual style as the first two movies, STPC is filled with rapid cut editing, extreme close-ups, and some shaky camera work, all quite intentional. This is a highlight of all three films as the director is attempting to communicate the chaos surrounding Angela in her myriad forms. This style not only effectively communicates Angela's chaotic life and death, but it isn't nearly annoying as it may sound. I quite liked it. The soundtrack for each movie is also effective. Populated with mechanical/industrial and animalistic sounds, the overall effect is eerie and supports the images contained within each film. The visuals are certainly striking, if more than a little disgusting to the average filmgoer.
Where the films break down are in the storyline. There really is no coherent storyline in any of the three films. As mentioned in reviews of the first two films, I watched the special features first which helped explain both the plot elements of the film as well as the director's intentions for certain visuals, sounds, and dialogue. The problem is that while this may all be meaningful to the director, the information is so obscure that it renders the images meaningless to the average filmgoer. What results is just a mishmash of extreme imagery that is described as "Satanic" and "evil" by many viewers because they don't understand what's going on with the story. A good case in point is the second film ReGOREgitated Sacrifice. Lucifer Valentine clearly had a well-thought out plan when he made the movie, as evidenced by the special features section. His intention was to use Angela Aberdeen's life as a metaphor for Kurt Cobain. To this end, the film is chock full of Cobain/Nirvana homages and hints. However, for any but the most hardcore Cobain/Nirvana fans these clues will be lost while viewing the film. Maybe some Nirvana fans will catch that Angela dies on Cobain's death date and maybe some will catch the actual graffiti at the Cobain Death House used in the film. But for the most part, regular viewers will miss all the parallels if not because they may be just passing fans of Cobain's then for the overwhelming visuals contained within the film.
The same can be said of Slow Torture Puke Chamber. If it weren't for the director's summary of the film in the special features, I would have had no idea what was going on. For the average viewer (if such a thing can be said of fans of these types of films), this movie may just end up being a collection of surreal, controversial and offensive images. When a filmgoer can make no sense of what they are seeing, then the images are just an assault on their senses instead of a meaningful explanation of certain events. I'm sure they had particular meaning to the filmmaker, but I'm not so sure they do for the viewer. As it stands, my advice for anyone curious about seeing this or any other of the films that make up the vomit gore trilogy remains to watch the special features first.
Many of the scenes in all three films, but especially STPC, are repetitive in nature. So even though the scenes can be extremely offensive, after awhile the images become monotonous. I did find myself hitting the fast-forward button on this one, although I did not with the first two. Fortunately, they are all relatively short, with STPC having the longest running time at 77 minutes.
Ultimately, these films may be worth seeing if you are interested in films of an extreme sexual or violent nature. But be warned that this is very rough stuff, so unless you are a seasoned viewer of extreme titles, you may want to stay away from the Vomit Gore Trilogy. All three films have been released in one special package by Unearthed Films and distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures.
Saturday, October 02, 2010 @ 08:12:12 Mountain Daylight Time Film Reviews |