Posts Tagged ‘ Taxidermia ’

Birdemic: Shock and Terror

Birdemic: Shock and Terror is the crowning achievement in human failure.

Them’s just the facts. I am assuredly not alone in this opinion, but perhaps it requires some qualification, that you might better understand why I would make such a strong assertion right out the gate. You might think I’m being hyperbolic. You may even still believe there is good left in the hearts of men. If this is the case, let me assure you: you are mistaken.

If you’ve read some of the other movie reviews that Jon’s posted on this site, you may be tempted to lump in Birdemic with some of the other “terrible movies”. What you have to understand, though, is that Birdemic is not like any of those movies. The Human Centipede is a terrible movie because you don’t want to be seeing something so depraved and unnatural. Taxidermia could be called terrible because it’s so damn uncomfortable and disgusting. As I understand it, Singapore Sling is somewhere between the other two.

But these pale in comparison to Birdemic. Everything is wrong with Birdemic, and Birdemic is what’s wrong with everything else once you’ve watched it. The acting is atrocious, the plot is a sham, audio editing is apparently a foreign concept to the crew, the audience is patronizingly hit over the head with the movie’s message…the list goes on. Before we proceed, I need you to watch the trailer. I’ll wait.

Birdemic Trailer

The general reaction is either speechlessness or uncontrollable laughter. It’s obvious that this cannot be a good movie. The birds appear to be animated GIFs, for chrissakes. Just Googling “Birdemic” brings up page after page denouncing the movie as the cinematic antichrist. You have to really be trying to make a movie this bad. But with all the hype and an awesome/terrible theme song like that [SPOILERS: Not in the movie at all. I WAS SO UPSET!], how could I not watch it? Clearly, this was something I needed to put into my eyeballs.

Oh, the hubris of youth!

As you might have guessed from the trailer, the first part is boring as fuck. The opening credits roll over a monotonous car-driving scene reminiscent of the opening scenes of Rock and Roll Nightmare or Manos: The Hands of Fate, and things only get worse from there. You see, director James Nguyen, self-proclaimed “Master of the Romantic Thriller”, apparently decided that having an interesting blend of two genres (as is usually done in romantic comedies, dramadies, dramatic thrillers, etc.) was for pussies. So he did things his way. He filmed two different movies, one a (terrible) romance and one a (terrible) thriller, and jarringly stitched the two together into a single abomination. The leading half establishes the main characters, Rod and Nathalie, and goes through the boring slice-of-life relationship-building bullshit that any romantic movie goes through. This would be bad enough by itself, but wait, there’s more! Since you’re too bored to focus on things like plot or character details (both are sparse), you get to focus even more intensely on how patently abhorrent the acting is.

You start hating Rod immediately, and get the impression that Alan Bagh, the actor portraying him, may actually be mentally handicapped. All of his lines are delivered as though remembering them and speaking them at the same time requires the use off all of his cognitive functions, leaving no neurons free to control his facial expressions, his voice modulation, or, presumably, his bowels. The choice of this actor alone makes it clear that Nguyen’s intent was to make the worst movie possible.

Nathalie’s actress, Whitney Moore, fares only marginally better. She at least doesn’t seem to be in danger of choking on her own tongue, but her facial expressions and speech are so painfully forced that any shot with her in it instantly becomes awkward. She’s not bad to look at, though, so it comes as no surprise that IMDB lists a “sex comedy” student video as the only other movie she’s ever been in. Presumably porn is the next step. I’m sure your mother’s very proud, Ms. Moore, but if I were in her position, I’d be more angry that you costarred in the worst movie ever made.

The “plot” plods on, subjecting us to scene after scene of uninteresting, poorly portrayed, and poorly filmed drivel. It’s often difficult, if not impossible, to tell what’s being said purely due to the background noise in the audio recording for the scene. Some vague hints at the impending disaster to come are dropped here and there, but the main focus is on who’s dating who and how great Rod is. If you didn’t have the promise of the “thriller” section to hang on to, it would be all too easy to give up and stop watching. But soldiering on through the initial crap, including some heavy-handed “save the environment” propaganda, grants you an implied sex scene and access to the movie you paid would never pay to see.

I’ll admit that I somewhat enjoyed the movie once it reached this point. When the birds first attacked, I laughed ’til I cried. More than anything, though, I loved hating this movie. Nothing anyone does makes any sense. In one scene, the group’s driving away from killer birds, but they have to stop to pick up food and water so they can survive life on the run. In the very next scene, they stop to have a picnic. They’re promptly joined by a convenient scientist to tell them, in completely unsubtle terms, that man is the real monster.  The entire movie is an excuse to shove environmentalist propaganda down your throat, and it does so in the most stupid and inane ways possible. By the end, I was so full of pure loathing for this movie that I wanted to vomit just to feel like I’d purged its toxic influence on me.

I really don’t want to ruin relive the rest of the movie, so if you’re still curious for some reason you’ll have to watch it yourself. I will leave you with one more little morsel, however. It’s a little picture I like to call “The Rise and Fall of Being Excited About Birdemic”. Enjoy.

No, you may not friend me on Facebook.

The Human Centipede

The Human Centipede

Is a movie.

That will fuck you up.

You could stop reading now really. That might be all you need to know. If you don’t like you’re movies painful stop now. If you like happiness anywhere in your life, stop now.

Ok so you’re still a little curious? Yeah, it’s understandable, You’ve seen all sorts of crazy movies. You saw Martyrs, and while draining on an emotional and almost a physical level, you survived. You’ve seen Ichi The Killer, and even laughed at parts. You appreciate Taxidermia for the social commentary, and you even think that Cannibal Holocaust might be a masterpiece.

Cause really only the sort of person who’s seen those sorts of films can even say they’re remotely prepared for The Human Centipede.

It’s a horror movie from Europe with the tagline 100% Medically Accurate.

If that doesn’t tell you if you’re the sort of person who should watch this, then I don’t know what would.

The Human Centipede is the story of a deranged German Doctor. He surgically attaches three innocent people together.

In a line.

Ass To Mouth.

Think about it.

His goal is to form a three person digestive track, with food going into the mouth of the first person, and coming out the anus of the third.

Think about it.

He cuts the tendons in their knees so that the have to crawl together, so that the three people have to move as one.

It might be the most horrible thing I’ve seen on film in years.

It is pure human suffering, body horror at its most deranged and grotesque. It is disturbing.

I’ve said that there are two types of movies. Those that entertain, and those that punish.

The Human Centipede is in the later category. It is made to hurt you as a viewer.

It’s an understanding that you need to have before even considering the film. If that’s something you can’t accept as a concept, then of course you shouldn’t watch it.

Sometimes we watch bad things happen to good people, because there’s suspense, thrills, and excitement. We watch Hostel because we know that it’s about some people who go to Europe, and end up getting tortured. Sure it’s horrible, but we know that they’ll escape by the end, and someone will probably get their just rewards. It’s grotesque, but it still aims to entertain, by giving the audience what they want to see.

But The Human Centipede is the sort of movie that knows the difference between what you think you want to see, and what you really want to see. Funny Games is pretty much a whole movie about that difference. You think you want to see a gross movie about an evil doctor who performs a really fucked up surgery on some people.

The thing is, the entertainment part of the movie never happens. The plot is threadbare to say the least. Two girls are in Europe, they get a flat tire, wind up at the house of Crazy German Doctor, bad stuff proceeds to happen.

The surgery itself is handled with much more restraint than you’d expect. Its pretty much a genius move of the part of the filmmakers to handle it the way they do, because by denying the viewer a sort of gory, surgical centerpiece, all they have to latch of too is the atrocities in the later portions of the film. There’s nothing to counterbalance their discomfort, and nothing to lessen the impact of what happens.

It’s just as things get worse and worse, there’s no release for you as a viewer. Because these people are in a situation where death is a preferable to their continued existence.

It’s a tragedy plain and simple.

Once you as a viewer realize that there’s no hope, the movie just gets worse. Never does catharsis occur.

Until the end credits roll.

Leaving you drained and damaged as person, wondering why you would put yourself through anything like watching what you just saw,  and wishing you could un-see it.

And sometimes that’s the whole point of a movie.

The Human Centipede is a horrible, brilliant film.

Taxidermia Is Pretty Fucked Up

(Spoilers ahead)

Uncomfortable.

That’s how you feel watching 90% of Taxidermia.

You’ll laugh every once in a while, you’ll cringe more often, and for a good portion of the run time, you’ll wonder why you decided to watch the movie in the first place.

It’s one of those creepy, dirty, fucked up movies that comes from Europe. Like Ex Drummer. It’s like if you mixed Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and David Cronenberg into a nasty Hungarian concoction.

The movie is three vignettes set in different time periods in Hungary, following three generations of a fucked up family line.

The movie starts with a guy and a candle, it seems kinda arty. It’s flickering, the guy is playing with the fire, you wonder why he seems so entranced by it, and then he ejaculates a stream of fire out of his penis. Which you can see in the European poster for the movie to the right.

It’s pretty much right there that you have to decide to either continue watching or to go back to the Netflix menu, cause it’s pretty much all downhill from there.

This dude is our main character for the first 20 minutes or so. He’s got a harelip, is dumb, constantly being a perv, and seems to be the only soldier at an army post. He has a commander who spends all day giving him shit, but you don’t really feel bad for him cause he’s a gross creeper sort of guy. He spends about half his screen time being creepy and ‘batin. At one point he gets his dick pecked by a rooster, which is amusing, and at another point after having creepy/weird fantasies about a younger girl he ejaculates so hard that his seemen flies into space and becomes stars.

Yeah you read that right, he ejaculates into space. WTF?

His sequence ends soon enough, cause after his commander fiends him engaging in some hardcore pig carcass action he gets shot in the head. YAY he’s dead! Unfortunately if you’re still watching at this point, you’ve just had to see a guy have hallucinatory sex with a pig carcass. Ewwww.

And so the second portion of the movie begins. It’s disturbing in totally different ways than the first part! It’s about the son of the guy from part 1 growing up to be a competitive speed eater, coached by the commander from earlier. He’s on the Hungarian speed eating team, and he’s trying to be a world champ. So you get a whole bunch of morbidly obese guys eating a whole lot of food really fast, and then they hold strategy talks over their vomit troughs.

They encourage use of the cross over swallow, it helps for faster food intake.

There’s a love story of sorts involving the new morbidly obese main character falling in love with a large, morbidly obese lady. There’s a happy times montage, and then some betrayal, and then more gross scenes of fat people eating. I haven’t been as grossed out by eating in a movie since I saw Singapore Sling.

Things go on until the fats folks have a kid kid, who in turn end up being quite skinny, creepy looking, and the main character of the third part of the story. He’s like DJ Qualls, If DJ Qualls was more sketchy and evil. They guy loves him some taxidermy. He’s got his own taxidermy shop, full of dead animals and stuff.

His father, the fat dude, has turned into a monstrous, fat, abomination; similar to the fat vampire in the first Blade. He is so big he’s stuck in his apartment, unable to move, where he raises giant cats that eat margarine. Like these a big ass cats. He’s trying to train them to be championship eaters too. He’s brought cady bars by his creepy skinny son who loathes his existence, and eventually gets fed up and lets him die.

His son who is pretty much insane, stuffs his father, stuffs his father’s freaky, huge cats and then performs self taxidermy on himself. In what is probably the most sickening scene in the film, he puts himself into a self-embalming device, removes his own vital organs, leaving his body preserved. Almost the whole sequence is done in close-up, so you’re never quite sure what’s being cut, or how the process is actually being done, but it’s really gross none the less.

What follows next is just one of those ending that stays with you. The final scene is one I shall not ruin. It’s creepy, and wrong, and you just kinda don’t understand the sort of people who could have made such a movie, but it’s borderline brilliant in how wrong it is.

Taxidermia isn’t a movie I can really recommend. Cause most people wouldn’t ever watch something like this. It’s a strange Eastern European social commentary of some sort. I know it’s got some sort of meaning, I’m just not sure what most of it is. Watch Taxidermia if you’re in a bad mood, or if you hate things that are nice, or if you just want to feel a slow retch build in the pit of your stomach.

Uncomfortable. Yup, pretty much sums things up.

Taxidermia is available now for free on Netflix Watch Instantly, just in case you feel like letting your morbid curiosity get the best of you.