The first collection DVD from Cinéma Abattoir, featuring eleven surreal and erotic short films that has previously only been shown on screenings.
Directly after seeing Cinéma Abattoir's second DVD "Incarnation", I knew that I had to get their first one too. Especially since I had seen a trailer of it earlier on, and I always thought it looked way better than "Incarnation". Well, if you read my review for that one, you know that I thought it was a brilliant DVD collection, so it was a hard one to top. "L'Èrotisme" did it with it's hands tied to it's back. And like with "Incarnation" I choose to do a review of the entire DVD, which is something that we usually don't do here at Film Bizarro, but these collections are carefully put together and all the shorts become as one, and that's how they should be reviewed.
The DVD starts out with it's weakest short, "Ritualis". It's pretty much a Satanic ritual being held by a couple of guys and girls, all dressed in your typical goth / black metal outfits. Mix this with red and yellow colors, grainy and crispy filtering and some other decent after effects. The highlight of this one is when we see them pierce a girl's vag. Not too gruesome, and I think the reason why I liked this part of it the most, is because it's the only time I felt that something actually happened. The thing about this film that puts it below the rest is that it feels too fresh, and almost cheesy at times. It has your usual modern day independent movie look (except for the filtering and such), unlike the other films on here that could easily trick the viewer that they were made in the 40's or 70's.
Skipping the second short (which I will do a shorter review of further down), and going to the third one, "Ass". "Ass" was directed by the guy who made "Convulsion Expulsion", one of my favorite shorts on the other Cinéma Abattoir DVD, so I had high expectations for this one. I can say that it wasn't as bizarre and surreal as his other short, but it takes one hell of an artist to make a 9 minute film with a girl fingering her ass as interesting as Usama Alshaibi made this one. The entire film is literally just that, except that it jumps between two angles of the girl. One is a close-up of her face, and the second one is filming from behind and above her so that we see the actual fingering. It flickers fast between these shots. Sometimes it flickers slower, and sometimes it flickers faster. This makes it hard for the eyes to adjust. We're always trying to focus on one of the two angles, and when we're adjusted to seeing one of them, the flickering changes and we need to shake our heads again. It's interesting to see how the director can make this as mindblowing as he does.
Doing yet another jump forward on the DVD, to the fifth film, "La Fin de Notre Amour". This one is more violent than the previous on the disc, and also the most surreal. It's made entirely through images, in a stop motion kind of way it makes it looks like if it was filmed. The film is about an artist who gets visited by an anonymous woman without a face, all dressed in black leather. The girl terrorizes him, one way being by cutting him open, after which she digs into his wound. The whole bizarre trip ends with him blowing his brains out onto the table. Although we did see shots of his brain already from the beginning, we didn't know why until the end. What the meaning of this film is, I don't know, but I keep thinking the same thing I've heard other people thought; that it's about an artists struggle with himself. At times you almost forget that it was made using images, even though they are shown slow and with obvious time holes between the picture, and that's something that impressed me alot with this one. The film is the absolute definition of artistic cinema, because everything is artistic about it. Being made out of pictures, the different colors and lights, the sound. Everything.
The following film is "Extase de Chair Brisée", and it's directed by the creators of this DVD, Pierre-Luc Vaillancourt and Frédérick Maheux. I could sum up my feelings for this film in one sentence, and it would be something like "a violent post apocalyptic exploitation masterpiece with a surreal touch", but that wouldn't do it justice. The film starts out with a girl who walks next to the train tracks, and two goons in metal masks attack her. They beat her, kick her, and eventually undress and sexually assault her. Along comes a girl all wrapped in bandages, and she has another metal masked goon on a leash. The bandage girl has a blow torch that she uses to burn the poor woman, and then they all leave her for dead. But in the veins of "I Spit On Your Grave", she isn't exactly dead. Dressed in black clothes, white skirt and a gas mask, the woman is back for revenge. After this, you know the drill. And I couldn't have said it better, because she literally uses a drill for her revenge, except for the final revenge; the bandage girl. She has something extra for her. More specifically, a knife strap-on. The entire film is black and white, and most violence is out of focus so we can't really see it, but it all adds up to the artistic side of the film. This films stands out alot because it has a obvious plot, and it feels like a mix of your typical rape-revenge film and the underground film "PIG". That can't turn out bad.
The final film (yes, I did some more skipping) is "Paranoid", and any Black Sabbath fan would immediately think of their song with the same name, and they would not be far from the truth with it. This short is the most erotic film in the collection, as it has a girl with a camcorder in a room with mirror walls. To the Black Sabbath song "Paranoid", she films herself messing around in the room, pleasuring herself and such. It's basicly the perfect short for a perverted hard rock fan. This is the music video that bands doesn't dare to have, but wish they had. Anne Hanavan runs this one (wo)man show, and as simple and pointless this film is, it still managed to fascinate me in more than one way. It was the perfect final film for a DVD with the title "L'Èrotisme", that's for sure.
The other films on the DVD are; "Maldoror: A Pact With Prostitution", a film about a man who falls for the girl Prostitution, and who's haunted by a glow worm with a vagina mouth who tells him to kill her. It's surreal and actually pretty damn interesting, but I really can't make a longer review of it. Then we have "Ki", which is pretty much just a porno, except that it has a very washed out/old reel look, and it's impossible to see most of the film, which makes the glimpse you do see much better. "Baby Doll" has a toy baby doll hanging in tape in a S&M-ish position, while a man spanks and fingers it. What makes this even more disturbing is that a vagina has been cut out of a porno magazine, and glued to the doll. The doll also has an asshole. It's just wrong on so many levels. "The Lonelist Little Boy In The World" has a girl rubbing herself against a pig head and the pole on which it stands. It has a nightmare-ish feel to it, and I'm sure it has a deeper meaning but all I see is boobies, vagina, and pig head. Still pretty good.
The DVD also has two bonus feature films, and the first one is "D'Yeux", a 13 minute collage of art by Monk Boucher. It has some really bizarre stuff made out of cut out pictures that has been added together with way too weird things. There's a vagina-dildo-bottle, if that makes sense. It's all presented with classical music in the background (although I think I heard a "Star Wars" song there, and to my surprise; a song from the Disney film "Fantasia"). It gets boring after a while, but it's just a bonus feature after all. Second bonus is "Imperatrix Cornicula", which I didn't like too much at all. It starts out fine with a woman out in the woods rubbing black feathers all over herself, but after a while it only films the sky. However, it does have a creepy soundtrack that I liked alot.
With that, I will try to end this review of this amazing piece of art. It's definitely a film for perverted fans of art house movies, but there is much more than erotica going on in this film so anyone with a deeper interest in film could enjoy it. This was alot better than their other DVD "Incarnation", which I also loved, so that's saying alot. If you enjoy fucking your mind up completely, than you don't need to look around much more, 'cause this is what you need.