Title: À Rebours

Also known as:

Year: 2009

Genre: Collection / Surrealism / Art House

Language: English / More

Runtime: 101 min

Director: Aryan Kaganof, Karl Lemieux, more

Writer: N/A


Twelve short surrealistic, perverse and dirty art house films collected on one solid DVD. All films are taken from Cinéma Abattoir screenings.

Our thoughts:
Being the third DVD that these guys release, I pretty much knew what to expect from short films. They were gonna be weird as hell, very well made, some would be perverse and some would be impossible to understand. Most of all, I knew that I would yet again be amazed by this collection put together by Pierre-Luc Vaillancourt and Cinéma Abattoir.

Just like both "Incarnation" and "L'Èrotisme", the DVD cover is just a texture. This one is all in black and white. Cinéma Abattoir are by far the best distributors when it comes to releasing cool collectable DVDs, that's for sure, because in the veins of how "Incarnation" came in butcher's paper, this DVD cover was stuffed with chicken wire. I mean, not literally stuffed on top of the disc, but they've put in real chicken wire under the plastic on the case. Gives it a really wicked look and it will stand out with all the other DVDs without a doubt.

The DVD starts off with a sexually charged film called "Washing Machine". I can't really get a solid grip on this one (but it's actually the same when it comes to most of these films), but I keep thinking that it has about odd sexualities and rough love. Seeing how the film contains violent sex, shitting and smearing, head shoved down shit-filled water, and so on, I guess "odd sexualities" was obvious, but that is literally the only reason I can find for this one. It's not a bad one though, and it's just as bizarre and well shot as it needs to be to become more than scat porn.

"Man Spricht Deutsch" is a distorted experimental 2 minute film where we just see a man talking in a pay phone, while a weird blinging soundtrack is played. The film is very filtered to look really old, and it has a brown / orange color to it. This was probably one of my least favorites on this disc just for the fact that not much happened.

The third short in line was "Sacre-Coeur De Satan", and this one literally started out with a bang. A heavy soundtrack starts, and a swastika appears. Like "La Fin de Notre Amour" and "Catharsis" from the earlier Cinéma Abattoir releases, this one starts out with being made using still images. Images of a girl with long latex gloves who is messing around with a crucifix, mixed with strange photography of sex and nazism. As the still image technique stops, we see the girl masturbating with the crucifix with an filter effect that resembles the "glowing edges" effect that can be found in programs like Photoshop. The effect, as simple as it is, gives this sacreligious action a very surreal touch and raises the artistic value alot. This film continues in the same way, but towards the end it mostly focuses on demons, Satan, Hitler, Christianity, and the whole film ends with the text "Adolf est ton ami" ("Adolf is your friend"). It's pretty repeative and could've been a few minutes shorter, but I enjoyed it so fuck it.

The next little grainy and distorted film was titled "J", and it's a beautiful little film with a much more soothing soundtrack than the rest. It's hard to tell what we are looking at, but it starts with a person walking down the stairs. We see a man, a girl, some kissing, etc. Some films don't need to show alot to mean alot, and this is a perfect example of it.

"Yellow Fever" is a industrial noise filled film with random images and scenes of Asian women. The way it's done makes it seem like the theme is Asian fetishism. Where all the images of teeth and mouths came into that, I don't know. As the film goes on, we see pictures who slowly rot and developes wounds. A very cool effect. There's not really much more to say about this one.

I probably should've mentioned earlier, but this DVD is split into two parts. I don't know why, but it just is. The menu has a picture of a tunnel in the middle, and on the left and right side you choose part. Anyway, the reason why I tell you this is because the next film I'm gonna talk about is "Passage", and it was the last one on the first part. This film was really more of a straight on drama film and it was exactly what this collection needed. It's the first one with a clear storyline, and as wonderful as the other unexplained and twisted shorts are, they balance eachother nicely. This one has two men and two women in a car doing coke, and they are heading to a motel for one purpose, to screw around with eachother. When they arrive, they all start to fool around, but it doesn't take long before both men are on the same women, and the other woman feels left out. She tries to get some attention but they clearly ignore her. She goes to the bathroom and tries to fix herself up a bit. She lets her hair down for a new look, but her selfesteem terrorizes her so she walks out the bathroom. While the other three are all naked and in the bed, she leaves and takes off running around on an open field. This had some excellent cinematography, and having it in black and white was a wise move. Overall it was a great drama film. Pointless to some degree, but good nevertheless.

The second part of the DVD starts off with a short called "Hymn To Pan" that's basicly just a girl who's dancing in front of a camera man. "Dream Of Samarra" was Usama Alshaibi's contribution to this collection, and as you know, I loved his shorts on the other DVDs. This one is his weakest so far, and it's not as perverse. This one has little people walking around in a big tower. Maybe it's just zoomed out so the people might not be "little people", but for some reason this reminded me of ants in more than one way, so I let that statement stand.

"Satan Bouche Un Coin" is the oldest film on the disc as it was made 1968, and you can tell it's older because even though all the films have an older look, this looks genuine. This one reminded me of a circus, and not just because of the eerie but upbeat soundtrack. It's a very sexual film and there was actually a couple of scenes in here that reminded me of the Z-grade film "Sexandroide". Wether that's a good or bad thing, I don't know.

Next up is the longest one, with a runtime of 25 minutes. "Dead Man II: Return Of The Dead Man" is the title of this strange and filthy film. I think it started out (I say "think" because I wasn't sure if this part was an intro for the film, or if it was just a short thing that was put between this and "Satan Bouche Un Coin") with two gay men who are covered in filth and dressed in latex who are sucking balls and puking on each other. Not exactly something you'd call sexy, and I'm not sure what this has to do with the rest of the short. This gross scene ends with one of the men cumming into a pile of puke. All of the sudden we have an old man who sits down at a bar, and a fat lady approaches him only to show her vagina and say "I'm god" in a down-pitched deep voice. Weird enough for you? Well, it gets weirder. As we move on, we see a few memories of the old man, and we have yet another woman who shows her vagina to him. This woman is standing on top of the bar and is pissing (at the end of the film she's pissing on the old man and it's the first time we see him happy). That's not the weird part; the bar has zombies in it. Burned and slowly moving zombies. They aren't eating people, but I'm pretty sure they are zombies. What is there to say about this one, really? It's just really challenging and bizarre. Somewhat long and at times a little boring, but it's still one of the better shorts on the DVD.

The following film is untitled, and it's just a bunch of images with an abstract look on top of it. Since this was a pretty boring film, I found myself fast-forwarding, and I discovered something cool. This only works if you still hear sound when fast-forwarding, except faster. Well, when I did that, the music becomes really loud with lots of bass. It almost felt like if the film was suppose to be watched that way. I know this is the way I'll watch it atleast. It was almost spooky.

Now to my absolute favorite on this disc, "The Other American Dream". This was pure madness. It's a highly realistic film that's filmed with one camera that stays on the same spot, and all 10 minutes are in one shot (unless I missed some cutting somewhere?). It all takes place in a car where a hooker is talking to the driver. They mention something about her crossing the border for a better life, and eventually they talk drugs. As things move along, he says he'll let her go if she gives him a blowjob. And she does, but when she spits out his cum out the window, he gets pissed off and starts beating her. He cuffs her, and drives away saying he's gonna sell her to some fucked up people who has done all kind of weird shit in the past. This was very realistic, and it's all set in Mexico so it has a very rough feel to it. This is something that'd be perfect for Toetag Pictures' "Murder Collection", and it would probably even there be one of the better ones. Pretty much a really brutal and realistic film. No gore though, so don't expect that.

This was another terrific film compilation by Cinéma Abattoir, even though I'd say it was my least favorite of the three. This one has more solid films than "Incarnation", but the ones in "Incarnation" that I liked, I thought were alot better than all films on this one. Still a solid collection and I'm happy to have all their DVDs so far. There is some seriously messed up things going on in here, but hey, I love smut and surreal shit, so I'll be the first in line to buy whatever DVD they release next.

Positive things:
- By now I'm a huge Cinéma Abattoir fan, so it was cool to have yet another release from them.
- DVD is dressed in chicken wire.
- "The Other American Dream" was just so fucked up.
Negative things:
- Not quite as good as "L'Èrotisme" and "Incarnation".
- I wish Pierre-Luc Vaillancourt would've had a film on this one, like he had on "L'Èrotisme".

Gore: 1.5/5
Nudity: 3/5
Story: 3/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 1/5

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