FILM GUTTER COME ON IN, THE WATER'S SICKENING...
Beyond the Madness (Oltre la Follia) (2016) Dir. L. Atomico Italy, 61 minutes
Most of the time, when I've watched a movie, I'm pretty quick to get to the review because I find it useful to bottle those initial thoughts and reaction. There's also the chance I might forget some of the details, so it's good in that respect too. I watched Beyond the Madness four nights ago and I've been debating since how, or even if, I can review this. It's the first 'adult' horror film we've looked at, for a start, but of course this is Film Gutter so we've gone far outside the usual boundaries of the genre.
FAR outside. Beyond the Madness is effectively a portmanteau, with five individual scenes each punctuated with quotes on the theme of madness (some from the director himself) and each being more disgusting and nauseating than the last. There's no thread of story whatsoever, but a cast of male and female performers that tend to appear in each scene.
There are many things that alarmed me about this movie, but chief among them is that there could be people out there who find this a turn-on. I mean, there must be people watching this with that in mind. But there's very little you could call 'traditional' adult content – instead there's a couple of scenes involving urine and a whole host of scenes involving raw animal organs, skulls and body parts. So yeah, if that's your bag, you might well enjoy this one. But seriously, seriously, not for me.
In fact, I'd go so far as to say this is the most distressing and upsetting viewing experience I've had here at Film Gutter. I think no small part of my reticence in reviewing this is that I didn't want to admit I had even watched it at all – I feel a sort of shame even at witnessing this. This is not just an hour of my life I want back, this is an hour of my life I would love to just wipe from my memory, but unfortunately that's not possible and there are grizzle, awful images from this that will live with me forever. The only thing that kept me going to the end of the hour runtime was that part of the Film Gutter promise is that I will always, always make it to the end of the film. Rarely has that been harder than here.
The only thing that I can fairly compare this to would be Lucifer Valentine's infamous Vomit Gore Trilogy, in that this is angling at a niche so small as to practically be invisible. It's obviously something the director feels strongly about in the same way, but VG managed to produce an interesting, almost intoxicating effects with its hideous soundscape and crazed visuals. Maybe some will get it, but I really couldn't detect anything here to pick up on artistically – it's unique, for sure, and I've certainly never seen anything like it. But it's fair to say that's not always a recommendation – in some cases, it's for the best you've never seen anything like it.
RATING: 2/10. Honestly, very hard to know how to rate this particular movie. I can't say that I enjoyed it, buy then there are many movies I've reviewed that I can't honestly say that I have enjoyed but have still rated highly. But ultimately there's not enough interesting here to really latch on to – there might be some sort of message here, which is why I'm not giving it a rock-bottom rating, but I couldn't really tell you what the moral is. This one is strictly for the most hardened fans of extreme cinema.