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December 16, 2011

Movie Review: Little Deaths (2011)

I love a good anthology. I just watched and enjoyed Image Entertainment's recent Chillerama and well folks, we have yet another called Little Deaths. This film is a completely different animal than the playful, humorous Chillerama. Little Deaths, pure and simple, is a take-no-prisoners taboo-busting horror movie. Some of the best horror anthologies come from Britain, which is exactly where our feature here was produced, written and directed. Genre stand-out, Simon Rumley (Red, White and Blue) is joined by Sean Hogan and Andrew Parkinson to create this sinister trilogy.

Buy Little Deaths on DVD or Watch It Instantly

The first story, House and Home is Sean Hogan's grisly entry that follows the life of a rich couple in the suburbs of England who have a hankering for picking up homeless folks and taking them home to sexually degrade and torture. The performances by our leads are really pretty good even though the story is pretty thin. I wasn't terribly fond of the ending but overall it grabs you early and has plenty of shocks that make even the most jaded genre fans take interest.

In Andrew Parkinson's, Mutant Tool, a drug-addicted hooker is assisted by a doctor with slightly questionable credentials who has championed a wonder drug of sorts which links the poor soul taking the pill to the doctor's naked, monstrous, shackled, penis-swinging, ejaculating creature. Still with me?? I don't really know how to describe Mutant Tool, it was so fucking off the wall. This story is like very much like what you'd expect from David Cronenberg, but somehow even Parkinson manages to take it to that next level - as the other entries in Little Deaths do.

To me, Simon Rumley is the most talented filmmaker to come out of the UK since Clive Barker. Yes, I said it. Bold words, yes,  but after seeing his horrifying Red, White and Blue I became a believer. So much of what made Red, White and Blue great - the moody camera-work and gritty filmmaking has thankfully made its way into his Little Death's entry Bitch. Pete and Claire (Tom Sawyer and Kate Braithwaite) are a unique couple. Both are into some pretty intense dominant submissive BDSM. Pete is the submissive dog to Claire's abusive owner but Pete's getting a little fed up with Claire's treatment.

Bitch is visually very effective. I really liked the usage of soft blues and even red color during different scenes. Rumley does the correct thing as a filmmaker by not having the narrative reliant upon characters talking to further the story. The last third of Bitch is pretty much without dialogue which in my opinion makes the excruciating climax that much more shocking. Next to no drops of blood are shown in Bitch, but its finale is as disturbing and cruel as anything I've ever seen. Rumley's uncanny ability to get under your skin is a testament to his skill as a master storyteller.

Image Entertainment has included a pretty solid featurette where all three directors are interviewed. The goal of making three short films that blended sex and violence on a low-budget is talked about at length. Considering the extreme content of the films, each fellow seems cool enough to go grab a pint and shoot the shit with.

Little Deaths packs a punch some horror fans might not be able to take. Much of it is pretty extreme material and not for all tastes. I loved it however, with Rumley's Bitch being the best of the three. Highly Recommended!

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