D. Raul Heimrich Yvonne Wunschell
This shocker from Kosovo has been sitting on my shelf for the better part of 8 years. For whatever reason I have never gotten around to watching it until now. There is not much plot to it, a couple are wandering around video taping suicides for their death website. At first just through word of mouth, then as news of the site grows they get more and more people asking them to come witness their death. The more self inflicted killing they see the more tempted they become to lend a helping hand for the sake of good footage. Leading to a final death that is truly shocking because it is so fucking difficult to see where the special effects are.
The movie is basically a voyeuristic journey into death and hinges on which vignette is the most effective. It opens with a man walking up a long flight of stairs explaining to the camera the dozens of ways you could kill yourself and why he wont do any of those. He finally is about to jump off the ledge but can't bring himself to do it, running away. And slipping and falling out of a hole in the floor and severing his head on the way down. But it is his nonchalant discussion of suicide that is the creepiest part of the scene. A later scene with two girls in their 20's overdosing on pills is extremely harrowing and grim. The blonde girl keeps swigging vodka and taking more pills only to vomit them up (for real) immediately) while her girlfriend does not get sick, only sleepy and then finally dies. There is a guy who eats a shotgun but they cut away before impact thus blowing the whole feeling and making it too easy to see it is an effect. The guy who injects an air bubble into his vein is quite nasty too. And that one is all just acting. The movie gets all the details right; the ritualistic way each person takes off their wedding rings and watches, the difficulty in getting certain suicides to work, how each person panics at the end when they realize the true fatality of the situation. It is grim stuff folks.
Overall this is really just a freak show, but it is undeniable how effective of a freak show it is. It reminded me of the 70's experimental film TEENAGE WASTELAND in which a realistic car crash aftermath is presented as totally real. The same thing is happening here. Certainly not for all tastes, hell even most tastes for that matter. But the movie achieves what it has set out to do.
Review © Andrew Copp