Posts Tagged ‘deviant

10
Jan
09

The Poughkeepsie Tapes Review

That's a lot of tapes.  Guy must of had a reward zone card for Best Buy.

That's a lot of tapes. Guy must of had a reward zone card for Best Buy.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes (or simply Tapes, as I will refer to it from here on out) is not a movie.

I’ll let that sink in.

“When hundreds of videotapes showing torture, murder and dismemberment are found in an abandoned house, they reveal a serial killer’s decade-long reign of terror and become the most disturbing collection of evidence homicide detectives have ever seen.” -Tribeca Film Festival Synopsis.

It’s a mockumentary, minus the comedy and satire.  It’s a mockumentary that houses a two-pronged attack of brutally accurate portrayals of torture, murder and dismemberment seamlessly interwoven with expert analysis and the thoughts and memories of those who were affected by the killers rampage, and those who were hunting him down.

In fact, it’s not too far removed from what the Discovery channel and TLC show on a daily basis.  All those shows about FBI profilers and how they catch these seriously deranged serial killers all seemed to be influential to the Dowdle Brothers, who both penned and directed Tapes.

And  writing may actually be Tapes strongest assets, although I’m sure it will get lost amidst all the chatter about the lengthy, suspenseful, and downright shocking film the killer shoots himself that is shown at certain intervals throughout.  The writing leaps off the screen, as the Dowdle brothers concoct a credible, highly intelligent, innovative killer and sets him loose in the “Anywhere, USA” suburbs of Poughkeepsie, New York.  The killer taunts his pursuers and gives cryptic clues for investigators to find, knowing far in advance where exactly the authorities will look to find them.  It’s this depth to a nameless, faceless character that brings us closer to him than is comfortable for most audiences.  Instead of being bogged down with trite, rationalizing back story about how the killer was beaten as a child or not hugged enough as a baby, we instead get an uncompromising and genius killer, who has found a way to elude the authorities all while documenting his spree.

A brief glimpse of the killer's throrough work.

A brief glimpse of the killer's thorough work.

Direction is also key, not so much in the static look of the interview pieces, (with the exception of the interview with Cheryl which actually made me lose sleep, it’s that fucking clever and disturbing) but in the low-fi, slow burn masterwork of the killers tapes.  The camera is almost always in the right position, whether it’s showing you everything that’s going on, or whether it’s showing you nothing, such as the inside of a car door, or an empty room.  There are times where the camera will be haphazardly placed, seemingly by accident, and we are left with just the screams and pleads of the victim and the orders of the killer to clue us in of what going on.  It’s a time-tested approach that works flawlessly here.  Show some gore in full view to screw with audience equilibrium, and then deprive them seeing something later on.  It works in two ways.  Once you don’t show the audience a scene straight on, it gets their minds working.  They create in their head horrible visions of what must be going on.  It also works to create a sickening feeling in the viewers, because they have to realize that they WANT to see whats happening, so much so they are willing to create the images in their own heads to replace the ones that aren’t on the screen.  It’s a lost art, but it’s a tactic employed by the Dowdle Bros. in exemplary fashion.

Eyes Without A Face reference in the movie.  Who would've thought?

Eyes Without A Face reference in the movie. Who would've thought?

With the audio and visual facets of the film firmly in and place grounded in reality, the one area where horror, or should I say terror in this case, goes awry is usually the acting.  You can have all your ducks in a row as far as directing and writing are concerned, but if your actors don’t come through in creating these characters in the physical form, than everything is lost.  Thankfully, the Dowdle Bros. must have been keen on this, and not only hired no names, but no names who looked liked everyday people.  I’m not sure how involved with the casting they were, but from what I’ve read and inferred through the piece itself, it seems fairly obvious they were pivotal in every decision made.  The most all inclusive and flattering thing I can say is, and this goes for the whole endeavor, not JUST the acting, if this were played one TV on night, and no one was told it wasn’t real, there would be a legitimate fear and uproar in many communities around the U.S.  It’s that believable.  So believable that even though I knew coming in it wasn’t real, I still lost sleep over it, and was looking over my shoulder while watching it.  It’s orchestrated with the sole intention of, if nothing else, to stay with you long after the credits have rolled.

Tapes has a long, uphill battle ahead it.  Still having no official release date for theatrical or dvd release, it is caught in release purgatory.  And once it is released, it will undoubtedly be met with serious backlash from angry mothers and politicians who won’t even bother to see the flick, but instead just berate both those who created it, and its fans.  It will be labeled as the next sick evolutionary step in the Torture Porn sub genre, when it really has a lot less to do with the fantasy world that movies like SAW occupy, and a lot more to do with the gritty, unfair, demented world we live in everyday.  There’s no sense of morals, right and wrong, or justification that other horror flicks try to implore.  It is just cruel, relentless, remorseless and always 10 steps ahead of you.  Just like the killer.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes has, buried underneath it’s tough outer shell, an insane amount of creativity and artistic ingenuity.  If an opportunity to see this bound-to-be-lost gem arises, don’t hesitate.  Just don’t plan on going to bed immediately afterward.

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17
Oct
08

A Perfect Fake – Hyper-Realistic Sex Dolls

To be perfectly honest, the first fifteen to twenty minutes of this documentary are boring. It discusses the creation of the perfect fake human, whether it be in CGI or in robotics. The narrator sounds like she’s been narrating all day is well and truly bored. Only after about twenty minutes does it begin to delve in to the CGI porn from, you guessed it, Japan.

It briefly talks about the CGI films, and games, which the Japanese love so much then discusses the possibility of computer controlled sex toys, and this is where the English translation provides comedy gold.

You warped Japs! WE LOVE YOU!!

You warped Japs! WE LOVE YOU!!

I’m sure the translations are accurate, but it’s just the way in which they discuss things that got me laughing. Like the man above who, using a PC, various magnets and a rubber vagina, has created a robotic beaver that, in theory, someone using the PC (or over the internet) could control. His frank discussion of Japanese habits like: ‘they [Japanese men] put their cock in a vacuum [cleaner] and go “oooh”‘ were hilarious. He needs his own TV show that man.

It then moves on to the man with, easily, the freakiest doll of them all:

Agh! Imagine looking down and seeing that thing!

Imagine humping away, looking down, and seeing that thing... it'd put you off your stride!

And its owner is pretty freaky looking too. Definitely a ‘wouldn’t-leave-my-kids-with-him’ guy. He tells how he saw Tina (as he calls her) on a web site and bought her. I suppose it’s the latex equivalent of a Russian bride…

Yeah, excited in the pants you mean!

No, I think your work mates wanted rid of you, you weirdo!

No, I think your work mates wanted rid of you, you weirdo!

He then thought: ‘what can I do with this doll?’ (since I don’t think it’s actually a sex doll) and found that there were many people who take their dolls out in the real world and photograph them, so that’s what Tina’s owner decided to do, dismantle her, stick her in a bag, wheel her out in to the wide open world, stick a pole up her ass, prop her up in a field and take photo’s of her. Oh how I’d love to have seen the faces of those passing by.

I'm speechless by this mans psychological misgivings...

Ok, he's a crackpot...

It does briefly mention Idoloid, a Japanese porn magazine that uses only sex dolls in its photographs, but it then moves in to the real sex doll side of things. One collector (read: raving pervert) is a well known Japanese businessman who’s identity is hidden behind a blurred face.

Yeah, I'll bet you do!

Yeah, I'll bet you do!

He explains that some people throw their old dolls away when they get new ones, but not him, oh no, he keeps them all and even has a spare apartment to keep them all in! This guy is obviously a professional sexual deviant. He doesn’t mess around…

Notice how they all look rather young?...

Notice how they all look rather young?...

He even, helpfully, discusses how you should plug their holes up (*snigger*), when not in use, and how to properly position them so as not to have them distort or crack over time.

The programme runs for close to an hour and only after the short CGI discussion does it get to the good stuff, I’m not sure if the programme was written specifically about the Japanese market, or if they found it difficult to find a Westerner with a sex doll, but either way – if you want to sit and way ‘what the FUCK?!’ ever few minutes then this is the documentary for you. Although it never did tell you how much it was to buy a sex doll…