Title: The Tourist

Also known as:
Andrey Iskanov's The Tourist

Year: 2009

Genre: Surrealism / Extreme / Horror

Language: Russian / English

Runtime: 156 min

Director: Andrey Iskanov

Writer: Andrey Iskanov

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1323962/

When a man finds out that his girlfriend has left him for another man, he doesn't know what to do with his life. To get the control back he tries to find someone who can sell him drugs. He remembers a drug dealer that he then visits, but who tells him to visit "The Alchemist", a man who makes his own drugs and sells specifically to people with his issues. He takes the drug and his life turns into the most horrible nightmare imaginable. "The Tourist" is inside of him.

Our thoughts:
This movie really comes from Russia with love to the fans of Andrey Iskanov's previous movies. This is the third part in the "HalluCinoGeNnN series" by the Russian director, the previous entries being "Nails" and "Visions of Suffering". After his experimental masterpiece of a documentary that was "Philosophy of a Knife", he went back to the series that he started up with his debut "Nails", and I think he learned a thing or two with "Philosophy of a Knife" and I can honestly say that the small break did alot of good. Andrey Iskanov sent me this to review, as it already premiered at the BUT Film Festival, and the cut I saw was the same as the one that was shown there. The only difference to the official release I think Andrey said was some of the sound towards the end.

"The Tourist" is about Alex, a man who has just gotten dumped (Svyatoslav Iliyasov) by his girlfriend Lucy (Manoush). Victor, the man she left him for is played by no other than Andrey Iskanov himself. This love drama makes Alex's mind flip and he becomes desperate to find something to take his mind away from all of this. He is introduced to "The Alchemist", who sells him a drug not far from the green glow-y syringe-one from "Re-Animator". Except that this doesn't wake the dead, instead it injects your body with "The Tourist". His mind and soul is now in an unearthly place as he meets all of these surreal creatures and his thirst for revenge on the man who stole his girlfriend is only getting bigger.

It's impossible to take a film by Andrey Iskanov and describe it in great detail, but I was pleased that this film was alot easier to follow than let's say "Visions of Suffering". The plot made more sense and it was alot more stable as a story overall so you get hooked from the beginning. This was a big plus for a movie with a long runtime like this. I know I thought "Visions of Suffering" could've been a bit shorter because of this reason, but "The Tourist" actually survives all through the almost 3 hour long run time. Much like with "Philosophy of a Knife", Andrey has managed to keep me interested for hours with his camera-work, colors, effects and mastermind.

There are alot of scenes that are worth mentioning in this film and when this film is finally out (God knows when) I know I will be first in line to debate about the movie. It has a very long but intense chase scene where Alex is chased by a group of (what I assume is) building jumpers, and what made this scene so good wasn't just the impressive jumps and stunts this group does while chasing him, but the quick cuts and the editing of the scene lifted it up to an entirely different level. Further into the movie we have a fight scene between Alex and a woman and this was also something that impressed me. It's no secret that independent films often have pretty bad fighting scenes that just feel awkward, but by the use of great sound effects and yet again, cutting, this fight becomes more alive than one would expect. The fighting ends up in a pretty gory scene of several stabs, cuts and whatnot. Yay! Above everything in this film, the scene that stood out the most is the "family slaughter" towards the end. Gone is the weird colors and surrealistic imagery, instead it's all in brown/yellow-ish old-looking colors, with old music to go with it. A man and his family (wife and two kids) are spending a calm evening at home when they're interupted by someone who's at the door, equipped with guns and wearing a mask. This was actually a pretty shocking scene, as it not only involves killing an entire family, kids included, but it does it pretty graphically.

I'm not gonna lie, the movie didn't NEED to be 156 minutes long, yet it worked great. There was alot of surrealistic stuff for any fan of his other films to be pleased, even the fans of "Philosophy of a Knife" will get some sweet gore. But if you're the typical movie-goer then you won't last for long. It's a great film though, and is up there with "Philosophy of a Knife". Since I liked that one alot, it's hard for me to let "The Tourist" take the place of the best Andrey Iskanov film, but it's just as good, but in a different way. People won't really be prepared for this film I think, as I believe it was alot better done than his other "HalluCinoGeNnN" movies, and also has a better and easier story to follow. Prepare for one hell of a ride. Few films has affected me as some parts of this film, and one scene in particular was one of the most sadistic scenes I've seen since "August Underground's Mordum".

Positive things:
- Pretty damn epic for being a surrealistic nightmare ride.
- Most of the acting is great.
- Graphic movie. Gotta love that.
- Nice gore and interesting effects overall.
- Weeeeeiiiird!
Negative things:
- I said most of the acting is great, but the acting that isn't as good kinda stands out.
- Wouldn't have hurt it to be a little bit shorter, even if only to get more people to sit down and watch it all in one take.
- Subtitles were in the video files, so they will also be on the screenshots.

Gore: 3/5
Nudity: 4/5
Story: 3.5/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 0.5/5

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