HOUSE OF FLESH MANNEQUINS
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Irena A. Hoffman
Giovanni Lombardo Radice
What's it about
Sebastian grew up being abused by his father, and the old fella liked taping every second of the kid's life. The whole 'on tape' thing has leaked into his adult life, as he currently films child porn, and takes pictures of other horrid tragedies. In the meantime, Sebastian is a landlord who ends up renting a room to a young lady and her ill, blind father, who takes a weird interest in his work. The film digs into this weirdo's bizarre, continued journey into the dark side of existence.
Is it good movie?
I wish I could tell you I totally "got" this film, but I can warn you
right now- if you're looking for something straightforward that'll
answer all your questions and make sense, you can look elsewhere. This
is clearly a film influenced by stuff like Peeping Tom and strange
director's like David Lynch, so if you're into that surreal, bizarre
and truly awful imagery peppered about liberally in your films, you'll
be right at home here.
The movie is relatively straightforward in terms of pace and whatnot
but it's jam-packed with strange visuals that you can't unsee. A lot of
the time, it's hard to even tell what's going on and the dialogue can
be so low in volume that it becomes indecipherable.
Domiziano Arcangeliís Sebastian is a truly bizarre and shattered
character, either played to perfection or played terribly, depending on
how you view it. It's hard to really judge his performance, but it's
low-key and off kilter to say the least. Irena Hoffman is our
(presumably underage) heroine, and she devours her strange, tempting
and mysterious role impressively while Randal Malone plays the scummy
Cannoluti, the man behind the evil kiddie porn ring Sebastian gets
caught up in.
There isn't a lot more I can say about this strange film. It isn't for
everyone, and I can't say I'd watch it again any time soon. If you're
sick of the typical stuff though, this one could certainly be up your
alley, although it's bizarre, disturbing and at times presents real
sexual acts and actual acts of violence and mutilation, so you've been
warned. It's surreal, way too real and a true journey into hell. Be
aware though, that I felt that the whole thing was more bizarre and
strange than truly shocking. I feel like the right viewer would write a
book about how this movie affected them- I was spending awhile wonder
what I was looking at, often regaled with buckets of gore and acts of
Video / Audio
Video comes in 1.85:1 anamorphic
widescreen , and doesn't look great. It's a bit of a grainy,
dark picture and colors blur.
Audio comes in Dolby 2.0 with
an English dub and as mentioned before, is poorly mixed. No original
language track appears.
First up is a 13 minute Behind the
Scenes deal with nothing but unnarrated set footage.
There's also a 6 minute piece about the gross effects in the film, called It's Just Flesh.
Finally, there are a few brief interviews
with the cast and crew and if you're into it, full versions of all 5 "snuff" films the movie presents.
It might make me a wuss or whatever, but I prefer my horror violence to
be mostly simulated. Character interaction is strange, awkward and
sometimes terrible and the whole package doesn't make a lot of sense
(or always engage the viewer). Watch this if you're really looking for
something different. Avoid otherwise.