When you agree to watch a film called SLAUGHTERED VOMIT DOLLS, you should abandon all pretense of this being a pleasant and disposable horror film. No, it is obvious that director Lucifer Valentine (subtle) is hellbent on upsetting our psyches as well as our stomachs.
So color me happy when the film started and I was immediately immersed in this Stygian landscape of violence and suffering. A frankly adorable little girl sings a song on an old home video, her whole life in front of her. This is intercut with tragic images of the junkie whore she will become – someone so attuned to darkness that she gives her soul up to Satan as well as an off-screen admirer. The film then offers us graphic images of torture and murder. Oh, and vomit, lots of vomit.
Yet this isn’t just some film where Valentine sets up the camera and has amateur strippers squeal as some masked killer shoots stage blood all over them. He does some very inventive things with filters and editing. Time is slowed so that everyone’s speech sounds demonic or at the least as if it’s making its way through a haze.
At this point, I was totally on board with SLAUGHTERED VOMIT DOLLS. What a surprise. This makes for an excellent pre-credits sequence. But after ten minutes, I started to realize the awful truth. This wasn’t a pre-credits sequence. This was the film. For the next 70 minutes, this was all it had to offer.
Hence, the rest of the film purposely disposes of traditional narrative and creates what is essentially a glimpse into one woman’s moral and psychological decay. The techniques Valentine had been employing only increase as the film becomes more and more punishing. It’s all gleefully experimental. And to be fair, my eventual disappointment with the film may have as much to do with my expectations as the film’s execution.
In short, this is a film that is not meant to be watched from beginning to end with the audience’s attention glued to the screen. If you ever do watch it in such a setting…. well, I don’t want to suggest anything that will get me locked up. But there are certain types of mushrooms that would probably make SLAUGHTERED VOMIT DOLLS seem like a classic of avant garde cinema. I’m not being funny. Otherwise, it’s a film that would make for excellent background fodder, maybe as ambiance for a particularly kinky Halloween party.
Valentine is a talented director. His documentary BLACK METAL VEINS is a must see. SLAUGHTERED VOMIT DOLLS offers something interesting. I just wish it had offered something more. Disappointing.
ABOUT 31 DAYS OF HORROR
For the month of October, I and a number of other people are taking part in the 31 Days of Horror Challenge. Each day in October, we watch one horror film and share our opinions through social media. Because my reviews tend to run longer than what they’re supposed to, and because I never know when to stop myself, I’ll also be posting my reviews here as part of Moviocrity.com’s revitalization efforts.
RATING SYSTEM AND CRITERIA
- What was the film trying to accomplish and how well did it meet those goals?
- In addition to (or sometimes despite) that, how does the film hold up on sheer entertainment value?
The Best – Reserved for the absolute cream of the crop.
Highly Recommended – Very good. Far better than your typical film and one that I will remember for some time.
Recommended – Just what it says. This is a good film and earns a recommendation. Don’t think that because it’s not one of the top two categories that these films aren’t worth your time. The “recommended” tag is a winner and nothing to sneer at.
Barely Recommended – The middle of the road. Those films where I didn’t feel it was a complete waste of time, but it didn’t set my world on fire either. Not bad, but leaves me feeling bored and/or apathetic.
Disappointing – Close but no cigar. Does a few things right but is ultimately a whole lot of wasted potential. Not recommended.
Awful – A bad movie. Pure and simple. Not worth your time.
The Worst – The Britta Perry of ratings, though not as entertaining. The bottom of the barrel.