I know that you guys all think I’m a hot shot in the horror journalism community, in addition to being the bad boy of horror journalism also, but I can’t attend EVERY film festival, can I?! The answer is no, especially when that festival is taking place in another country. As is the case with the Fantasia International Film Festival, currently taking place in Montréal, Québec. Luckily, the internet is a thing that exists and it allowed me the opportunity to live vicariously through it as some of the films being shown at Fantasia are available online! Cool! With all of the interesting films available to me, the first film I was recommended to check out was Thanatomorphose by Smith over at Icons of Fright, with the caveat that I “get ready to puke”. Having the iron guts of the Wolfman makes it pretty difficult to get nauseous, but I figured that I should put my guts through the ringer and see what wacky French writer/director Éric Falardeau could possibly do to make me feel squeamish. Good for him, because he almost got me there in this metaphorical tale of woman’s physical and emotional death.
Why would you think blood makes an acceptable substitute for a pillow?!
After a girl (Kayden Rose) and a boy (Davyd Tousignant) finish making sexy times, we see some strange bruises on the girl and the boy steps on a nail. Yikes! It becomes quite clear that this boy is only spending time with this girl for the sexy stuff, so he looks like a real jerk. As the film shows the girl clearly losing sense of self worth, more and more bruises begin to appear on her body, causing some of her friends to be concerned. They have good reason to be concerned, as her body isn’t even close to being finished hating itself. The bruises spread across her body, she starts losing fingernails, and open sores start appearing. Don’t worry, it only keeps going! This girl eventually becomes a walking, talking, and yes, blow job giving pile of rotting skin stretched over some bones until the film ends.
Just because you’re body is falling apart is no excuse for you to have a dirty bathtub. I mean, what if a MAN drops by and isn’t impressed?! You want to impress MEN, don’t you?!
Blood! Piss! Shit! Puke! Cum! All bodily fluids are covered in this laugh riot! Wait, it wasn’t really a “laugh riot”, but it was hard to follow up so many bodily fluids. According to the internet, “thanatomorphose” is a French word that means “the visible signs of an organism’s decomposition caused by death”. Okay, cool, so this girl’s emotional death, caused in part by being sexually objectified and some letter that she gets that lets her know she was rejected by something, is manifested literally as we see her body fall apart. Most of the film was spent waiting for something to happen that might shed a little more light on what was happening, only to realize that we were really just going to see someone’s emotional decay be translated into her physical decay, and I’m pretty sure that’s all the filmmakers wanted to accomplish. I’d say they met their goals, and managed to do it in the juiciest, bloodiest, pus dripping way possible. Even though the plot left much to be desired, I’m sure that the likes of Lucio Fulci and Clive Barker would give a bloody thumbs up at the film’s effects and sound design. I watched this film with headphones on so I think I got so soak up every single decibel of every skin peeling, blood dripping, bodily fluid squishing moment, making the film effectively disgusting. The film wasn’t necessarily horrific, as there were maybe only 1 or 2 scenes involving any sort of “violence”, but the bodily decay certainly isn’t for the squeamish. I suppose that I had a hard time turning off the more logical parts of my brain that were more interested in a narrative because I kept thinking “WHY DON’T YOU GO TO THE HOSPITAL TO STOP YOUR SKIN FROM FALLING OFF,” but I knew that wasn’t the point of the film. Unfortunately, I was hoping for a little bit more by way of plot or story or anything to engage me in any way, but it can’t be argued that those effects weren’t pretty disgusting.
Wolfman Moon Scale