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HOUSE OF FLESH MANNEQUINS
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Domiziano Cristofaro

Starring:
Irena A. Hoffman
Giovanni Lombardo Radice
Domiziano Arcangeli

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
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 torture.
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.
The Extras
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.
Last Call
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.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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