SXSW FILM 2011
By Dirk Sonniksen | March 18, 2011
Director(s): Sean Hogan, Andrew Parkinson, Simon Rumley
Writer(s): Sean Hogan, Andrew Parkinson, Simon Rumley
Starring: Luke de Lacey, Siubhan Harrison, Holly Lucas, Daniel Brocklebank, Brendan Gregory, Jodie Jameson, Tom Sawyer, Kate Braithwaite
Thrillers generally aren’t my bag, but once in a while something comes along that is so bizarre and over-the-top, that I can’t help but enjoy it; the side of me that stays well hidden and locked away in the dark recesses of the brain slowly begins to show itself. It’s the area of my cerebral cortex that secretly wants to rob banks and set things on fire. Oh come on, you know you all have it. In addition, it was a midnight showing, and my mind was ripe for something sinister, and Little Deaths was just what the doctor ordered.
Little Deaths: Little Deaths is divided into three shorts, all of which follow the same general theme: sex, blood, and the nasty side of the human condition. Delving into jealousy, sexual fantasy, and dominance, Little Deaths makes for an interesting study that uses its disturbing nature as a platform for exploring the human psyche; it’s also a hell of a lot of fun. Let’s have a look at these three, shall we?
House & Home: House & Home begins with a homeless couple freezing on the street. Cut to Richard (Luke de Lacey) and Victoria (Siubhan Harrison), a couple that would best be described as dysfunctional, although what defines a dysfunctional marriage is up for interpretation. For the most part, Richard is Victoria’s bitch, and Victoria likes it weird. The homeless woman (Holly Lucas) in the scenario soon finds herself a dinner guest of Richard and Victoria. Richard and Victoria are old hands at this sort of thing, so imagine their surprise when things don’t exactly go according to plan. The remainder of the film is mayhem, and I won’t spoil it for you.
Mutant Tool: The name says it all. If you’re into giant-cock films with a mad scientist bent (no pun intended), this one is right up your alley. An experiment with that coveted love juice, semen, turns sinister when scientists begin testing unknowing subjects with a “special” pill, with Jennifer (Jodie Jameson) being our main guinea pig. Meanwhile, a guy hangs suspended with his member pumping out, literally, buckets of goo for said experiment. This one may be a bit hard to follow (it was for me), but I’m assuming its intended effect was to scramble my brain—and it worked. I’ll never look at semen the same way again.
Bitch: Pete and Claire have an interesting relationship; Pete is the dog and Claire is the master—literally. Claire thoroughly enjoys giving Pete what he deserves, whether it is requiring him to crawl on all fours or giving him some anal discipline via a giant black dildo. Yes indeed, Pete truly is a bitch (he even has his own doghouse), but there is only so much a man can take. After Claire crosses the line (trust me, Pete gives this lady a lot of leeway), Pete devises a plan to teach Claire a lesson, which involves delving into some of Claire’s darkest fears. Who’s the bitch now? Go get ‘em Pete.
Hogan, Parkinson, and Rumley created three little beauties in Little Deaths. Their taste for the bizarre is showcased here, and the three films worked very nicely together in this anthology, something that is frequently problematic when combining shorts. In addition, the actors in all three films were on point and quite competent in their roles, another feature typically lacking in the horror genre. Normally, the monotony of horror films have me headed for the lobby or turning off the TV within the first fifteen minutes, but Little Deaths kept my depraved little mind churning. Little Deaths reminds me a lot of the older horror classics I would watch with my brother when I was a kid (only not so much sex), and less like the Saw type garbage being shown in today’s cinemas.
I went into Little Deaths cold: This could have been a film about a litter of lost puppies or one of those period piece love affair things, but I was soon to learn that it was neither. Not being a huge fan of the horror genre, I was at first a bit miffed by Little Deaths, but I eventually settled in and the perverted Dirk began to ooze out of my ears. While Little Deaths is certainly not for those with a weak stomach or a benign view of the sexual experience, it is sort of brilliant, and deserves a place for those of us that can appreciate this kind of thing. I must admit that I don’t normally mark my calendar for the upcoming horror flick, but I might make an exception when it comes to the demented stylings of Hogan, Parkinson, and Rumley.