A boxer loses the match that his future depended on and he can't take it. The loss leads him straight into fetishistic madness. His anger will be taken out on innocent women and on the boxer he lost against.
Are you dreaming? Am I dreaming? Are we finally here? Yes, we are. It has been a good 4 years of waiting for "Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness". You might remember it from our "Up and Coming" article in 2009, and it had been known since before then as well. It's hard when you have been waiting for a movie for such a long time - it's rare for them to live up to the expectations. The movie punctured the veins of the internet with its gruesome trailer, and essentially everyone who saw it wanted this Chilean movie in their lives. Has the wait affected it, and does it live up to the trailer?
The synopsis that was released back then was "A Gore Bondage Film". Yes, that's the SYNOPSIS they gave us! What can you expect from a movie after that? Gore and bondage, of course! The movie does have more to offer than that, even if the plot is your average "character falls into madness" plot. We jump back and forth in time following a boxer who lost his most important match. After the match ended, his manager was through with him and his dream of winning the champion gloves was over. He falls into an abusive life of alcohol-fuled pain and sorrow, and he is visited by a female figure that is forcing him to kill. Several innocent women fall victim to his bondage torture, but the main target remains - the boxer he lost against.
The movie promises a whole lot of torture and violence, and that's basically what you are getting. There are a number of unsettling scenes, some which could disturb those with weaker stomachs. I think the creativity in the bondage is quite fascinating, and the way the ropes were used made the movie memorable on its own. The kind of violence we're talking about is stuff like the following: stabbing out the heart through someone's back, impalement through two bodies and a bed (possibly my favorite kill), human punching bags, being tied mouth-to-mouth to someone who is slowly rotting, and skullfucking. This is the kind of stuff you can expect, and there is more of it than that.
My problem with "Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness" is mainly in some of the effects and the editing of the violent scenes. While the effects aren't always the best, some are still great. A movie can be effective even if the effects aren't the best (some of my favorite movies have cheesy effects). The effects are often made worse by the editing, though. Certain scenes are too short, which makes them hard to believe: it should take a little while and some struggling to cut through a back to reach the heart. It shouldn't just take a few seconds. This is a re-occuring problem in the movie. Once you look past that, if you can, then you're basically good to go. "Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness" says it all in the title - that's what you're getting. In the end, a movie like "Schramm" has reached notoriety even though it's rather silly in certain moments - I'm a fan myself - and that should be proof that low-budget can get away with things once in a while.
It's not all just shock and torture, as I must say this is probably one of the better flicks I have watched from Chile. I mean, the movie's goal is shock and torture, but still has some sweet cinematic candy to hand out. There are several parts of the movie where you can feel influences from filmmakers like Gaspar Noé. The movie is pretty raw, but you still get several visually interesting scenes and some great setups (usually the ones involving bondage). Not to mention the great credits, which I think is safe to say is in the veins of Noé.
"Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness" is a low-budget movie, made in a country that has just recently started making horror, and you can tell. There are some weak spots here and there, but the movie is both entertaining and often brutal. You can prepare for a lot of blood, boobs and bondage, and even when the movie goes over-the-top I was entertained. The acting works for the most part. For a movie like this it could be detrimental if the actors playing the victims weren't believable, but in this one they might even be the best actors.
It's a joy to finally see the movie. Could it be better? Sure it could. It could be more disturbing too, no doubt. Still, the movie manages to be more brutal, creative and... visceral (heh), then the majority of torture/extreme films out there. I definitely recommend "Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness" to you readers, just don't let the 4 years of anticipation ruin it for you. They have made a solid shock-for-shock indie debut, and I am excited for their future.
Note: To make a few things clear... We've discussed me helping them in return for a credit (something that may or may not happen - it's in the air), but I am in no way part of the actual production.