Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Naked Massacre/Born For Hell

Round two for Mill Creek Entertainment's "Chilling Classics" megapack. This installment's title is the fun family-minded film Naked Massacre, also known under the title Born For Hell.

It seems I read a short review of this film many years ago, and it called it a rather nasty film. I filed this comment away in my mind (knocking loose memories of my siblings' birthdays in the process). Figured I'd never see this thing. Then came this DVD set, and the title kept nagging at me. So I watched it.

Ever seen Last House On The Left? Liked that? Wished you could see something similar? Welcome home. Oh, I'm not saying that it has the same raw power that Last House has. But it is like its pale cousin. Oh, yeah, definitely from the same internal place full of rage.

We are in Belfast. The IRA and British troops are turning the streets into slaughterhouses. Just like the Americans are doing in Vietnam. Not my opinion. This film won't let you forget its historical setting, bombarding you (poor choice of words there, sorry) with images from the television. Into this violent nightmare comes our main character, a vet who wants to go home to America but has decided to spend some time in Belfast. It wouldn't have been tops on my list of vacation spots back in the early 70s. Our focal point character becomes fixated on a group of young beautiful nurses all living together. He acts stranger and stranger. Then he finds himself sneaking into the place where the nurses live. Knives get involved. Lives are ruined. Lesbian love is mocked. Yes, truly, bad things happen.

Not a happy movie. You have the filmmaker's attempt to dazzle you with a stab at "Art". You know, the whole bit with "All the violence in the world, with all these global atrocities, how can we, in good conscience, mourn a smaller display of violence?" Or maybe they were asking which bit of violence is more despicable? Hell, maybe they were just padding the running time. And then you have the pointless violence on the screen, simple wanton violence thrown about with a pace that will give you time to consider the fact these women are just tools for the killer.

But is it worth watching? Eeh. As long as you don't mind showering with a wire scrub brush when it's over, go for it. DO NOT expect a girlfriend to sit with you while you watch this. If she does and she LIKES this film, be very afraid of her.

Seriously, it is well made. The performances range from iffy to unnerving. The violence is off-putting, but then, it should be, right? Torturing innocent women should turn you off. And sitting through 90 minutes of this stuff to get to an end that practically slaps you across the face for even watching, well, you knew what you were getting into the minute the main character makes an old hooker dance at knife point. If you stay beyond that scene, you give up your right to complain.

The copy on the set is complete as far as I can tell. It looks pretty good for a film that has probably been rotting on a shelf. Not a horror film, in spite of its inclusion in this set. Just an exercise in violence filmed in drab color and light.

No comments: