Nov 17, 2012

Extreme Flick Week: Snuff 102 - 2007

A translation of a review I wrote a few years in Swedish.

Snuff 102
Director: Mariano Peralta

A Young reporter gets interested in extreme violence and starts to explore the myths of snuff. She didn’t expect to get into the middle of things when her investigations began but now she’s in a world of torture, rape and domination, you can also add a little humiliation to it. Come to think of it, it’s not such a small amount of humiliation either. After all, the tormenter and/or the buyer of the taped deeds should get what they pay for – in full!

The definition of snuff that is used here are quite far from my personal opinion of it. It’s quite enough that someone gets killed on camera, the commercial business and the thesis that snuff must contain some sort of storyline where the killings are a natural part are not present at all. Hence this film is about making a film with murder and torture with no real plot. It’s mostly in black and white and from Argentina. I think it look pretty authentic.

The quality of the picture is quite bad though, I expect it to be that if it were a real snuff film so I guess that’s realistic! It’s pretty hard to see anything though, to see if it’s faked or not. Obviously this is not the real deal, you don’t have to be a genius to figure that out and there are moments when even the poor quality can’t hide the bad faked effects. At some point the perpetrator hits the female victim several times in the face with his fist and each time he’s supposed to hit her, the picture goes black for an instant. And it’s obvious that the punches don’t hit her at all! But there are also really grim and rough scenes that looks truly genuine. At some point the tormentor cuts off all the fingers of his victim with some kind of gardening scissors which looks pretty gruesome and realistic!

There is also a scene with a pregnant woman lying on the floor on her back and the perpetrator stomps her stomach time after time. This might very well be the roughest scene in the entire movie by the way! And the cruelties should be endless really. The imagination of a sexually deviated tormenter should be about limitless. But that is not necessarily the case here. As a whole, this is pretty stale after all. That doesn’t mean that those who aren’t used to extreme violence in movies won’t get shocked, because I think that’s just what’s going to happen! It wasn’t so strong of an experience for me though and those who have seen a few extreme flicks probably won’t get very excited over this, but that’s just what I think.

But this is not a movie with just loads of torture in it after all. There are also some moral to the story, a deeper sense if you wish. I don’t think it’s obvious and I don’t think it’s really effective either. But as I see it there’s also a story about why you choose to see such a film about death. The film asks questions about how the organization to such a distribution would look like. There´s also the matter of if the possible buyer of this kind of material gets turned on by the fact that it’s for real or buy the torture which causes the death of the victims. Is a violent death more arousing than a less tormented one? If the latter is the truth I see these as a failure, the quality of the violent deaths are so poor that you hardly can make out what’s happening. If I were into this hit I would pay extra money so that I actually could see what was going on prior to the victims’ death, if that’s what I was after. And what is the main purpose, to hurt other in a painful manner or to humiliate and degrade them? I realize that this might be almost the same thing at times of course, and that both deviances can exist without the other. It’s just a thought.

There is a comment in the movie which kind of speaks for itself. It is claimed that a video with a child being tormented, rapes and finally murdered in front of the cameras are more expensive for the buyer than it is to actually purchase the child on the market. I’m really not surprised and the reality of this is such a shocking thought that it’s almost impossible to comprehend.

I hoped that the torture in this movie would be very strong and really shock me but that wasn’t the case. There are scenes where the tormentor’s own body is in the way, so that you can’t see anything. An easy way to fake thing perhaps but not very realistic (who what’s to buy a death tape where you can’t see what’s going on?)! There’s also very little real connection to the victims and I think about something that was stated in a film called King of the Kickboxers. You need to get to know the victim to some extent to feel sorry for him/her.

I had a hard time with the annoying camera work, the annoying music and the dimly lit events. It’s the technical aspect of the movie that’s most painful to watch and what makes it pretty boring to watch. I think that it shouldn’t have to be this way in a  movie of this kind but on the other hand the creators may have been forced to do it depending on money problems. As good as it gets compared to the budget in other words!

And finally I feel like I have to defend the movie a bit. After all, I’ve been pretty harsh to it. It’s quite intelligent and it aims at being more than just a torture flick. There’s some thought put into it that perhaps the budget wouldn’t allow to get executed and there are some points in it. But I don’t think I’ll ever bring myself to watch it again anyway.

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