Victoria is a woman who has suffered throughout her entire life. She was tortured as child by her parents, and then as an adult, she is abducted and tortured. This new horror that has befallen on Victoria will change her in ways she couldn’t imagine.
I know Film Bizarro is a bit late with reviewing “Madness of Many” since it’s two years old, has been available for some time, and is part of the underground horror curriculum these days. I’ve owned the DVD release awhile myself but I never found the time to watch it until recently. I guess, as they say, better late than never. Although after watching “Madness of Many”, I wish it would have been never.
I am not sure why I bothered with a plot description since there isn’t actually a plot to “Madness of Many”. It’s the exact same structure that’s been used time and time again in underground horror and shock movies for the past couple of years. It’s graphic sequences produced under the guise of pseudo philosophic intellectualism that’s hung on a framework that means absolutely nothing in the movie.
If it’s not obvious, I did not like “Madness of Many”. Not one bit. I do feel I should say that the movie isn’t terrible — it’s not unwatchable — even though I didn’t like it. “Madness of Many” is decent enough for what the movie is and what its purpose is. And of course the movie’s target audience will be satisfied with it since it has everything that they would want: gore, torture, naked women covered in blood, imagery, etc. By that standard, “Madness of Many” succeeds.
However, it’s because of those reasons is why I disliked it and was annoyed watching it the entire time. It also doesn’t help that the film calls upon the style of other underground filmmakers, like Lucifer Valentine, which did the film no favors. It fetishizes blood and vomit and that holds no interest to me.
I am not exaggerating when I say that there is no plot to the movie. “Madness of Many” is about a woman discovering herself through torture — she was tortured, physically and sexually, by her parents all of her life and then runs away only to be abducted and tortured again. Since there is no plot, the movie revolves around graphic sequences of things such as blood, vomiting, and degradation, all the while the main character, Victoria (Ellen Abrahamson), delivers line after line of laughably bad — and basically childish — nihilistic philosophies about life, death, pain, and whatnot. That’s all the movie is. It’s this formula repeated through chapters that are suppose to represent the life and spiritual cycle of the Victoria character.
Again, I’ll try to be fair, and say that the special-effects are good and visually it looked good — like I said, it’s not a bad movie. The reason I was annoyed with the movie is that this is becoming the standard for underground horror movies — mindless graphic sequences pretending to be meaningful and substantial. With “Madness of Many”, all of the attempts at trying to deliver this deep meaningful concept of torture being a transcending experience is ridiculous because it comes across as childish. There’s nothing interesting or thoughtful being said and often sounds like the writing of a juvenile goth. I don’t like having to write something like that since it feels like I’m being needlessly insulting, but I don’t know how else to describe how terrible the writing was. I could have looked past that had the movie offered something else, but it doesn’t. It’s just scenes of torture, one after the other, with mind-numbing narration.
What makes it worse is that this movie feels like this is what the underground horror genre has become. Of course underground horror has always had movies that featured graphic content, but the reason those kind of movies are, or rather, were interesting, was because they were trying to do something different. This is the same thing we’ve seen before dozens of times. “Madness of Many” feels like a movie that could have come from the likes of Lucifer Valentine or Marian Dora. If that doesn’t sound like a bad thing to you, then you’ll probably enjoy “Madness of Many” quite a bit. Regardless of how I feel about it, “Madness of Many” will deliver what it is that underground fans want out of a movie like this, and again, it’s not a bad movie depending on how you look at it. I thought the movie was bad because it’s comes across as effortless; it’s juvenile in its writing and concept and rides on simplistic formula that’s meant to appeal to the lowest common denominator.