June 9, 2011

Little Deaths (2011)

"Composed of three disturbingly sensual and terrifying short narratives, unified by the twin themes of sex and death."

With each section being respectively written and directed by Sean Hogan, Andrew Parkinson and Simon Rumley (who was also responsible for "Red White & Blue"), this new British horror anthology is an uneven yet still highly entertaining collection of bizarre sexual nastiness.

In the first story, "House and Home", a rich couple who abduct a homeless girl for their own sexual gratification get a lot more than they bargained for. I enjoyed this gory story most of all but it was over far too quickly.

"Mutant Tool", which comes next, is the longest and most excruciatingly dull tale of a prostitute, her boyfriend and an experimental drug. I couldn't get into it and just wanted it to be over. Unfortunately, it dragged on and on with nothing much happening and no great surprise ending. I've got nothing against Andrew Parkinson and enjoyed "Dead Creatures" from ten years ago but this section seemed very out of place and quite confusing. If you make it through (although I recommend using the fast forward button), the final story is worth the wait.

Entitled "Bitch", this is the Simon Rumley section which completes the trio and has a most definite style to it. Flawed as it may be with yet another overpowering piece of background music at the end, at least this involves some poetically twisted piece of justice. I'm not sure if bestiality is more than suggested but there are at least three scenes of sado-masochism which should satisfy most sick puppies (yes, the pun is intended).

Overall, I enjoyed this low-budget anthology but it was very reminiscent of the "Urban Gothic" TV series and just as rushed except, as I've already said, for the middle story which wasn't worth wasting even five minutes on. The acting was good, the actresses were pretty and everything was as sleazy as you'd expect from a piece of gritty British filmmaking.

I know that "Little Deaths" has been doing the festival circuits and hasn't even got a distributor yet but some bright spark has been uploading it to over a dozen different places on the internet where you can watch it for free.

Judging by the quality of the streams, this must have been done by someone with access to a DVD version of the film (which was supposed to have been released in the UK on June 6th) and I wouldn't put it past one of the directors themselves as being responsible for uploading it. If I'm wrong about this and they have actually been ripped-off by a pirate then the three writers/directors should probably take some comfort from the fact that the middle section is so bad that it's doubtful that anyone would give them any money to see their film anyway.

I doubt that any of them are looking for advice from a horror blogger but, constructively, each director needs to go back and re-edit their own (or each other's) stories if they really want "Little Deaths" to be a success.

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