An amateur detective looking for a girl who apparently has stolen his heart is led to a strange house where a mother and her daughter are residing in peace. The man, known only as Singapore Sling, soon finds himself caught in a deadly game of carnal perversions where the two women will experiment with every part of his body that could be used as a pleasuring object.
A noir picture gone terribly wrong Singapore Sling (1990) has got to be one of the strangest films I have ever seen. Put together by Greek director Nikos Nikoladis the film truly is beyond description-dismembering, vomiting during sex, golden showers, painful S/M torture, you name it this Greek souvlaki has it. On top of everything else Singapore Sling runs its story under the classic tunes of V. Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini as well as his famous Piano Concerto #3.
Shot in glorious black and white Singapore Sling does indeed start off as a noir picture offering some beautiful camera work. The story line however quickly veers off in a direction where degrading behavior and exploitative trickery become the focus of attention. As a result what follows up is only a step away from a genre which we typically associate with a slightly different sort of acting.
Dementia as a form of art most certainly is not something mainstream cinema has been rigorously neglecting. Watching Singapore Sling I was quickly reminded about Ray Brady's shocking Boy Meets Girl (1994) which does seem to explore similar themes. To Singapore Sling's credit though Nikos Nikoladis has truly taken the term "perversion" a notch up from what it typically must be used for. There is absolutely no doubt in me that this film will test your staying power and unless you are well prepared to endure what I already described above I suggest you place a large plastic bag next to your recliner.
Aside from all the extreme acting in Singapore Sling I was actually pleasantly surprised with the costume designs by Marie-Louise Bartholomew. The Victorian dresses the women wore in between action quickly followed up by lacey gowns and suggestive make-up provided Singapore Sling with that eerie feeling one is likely to encounter in a film about Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. However, given how serious the actors appeared about their "acting" Singapore Sling might surprise those of you expecting an amateurish extravaganza of twisted behavior.
There isn't much left to say about Nikos Nikoladis' Singapore Sling other than the already suggested above summation that once the action starts all bets are off. Frame after frame the story successfully managed to convince me that there is always something more gruesome, shocking, and disgusting that could be captured on film. Prior to seeing Singapore Sling I was under the impression that for the most part there isn't much that avant-garde cinema can surprise me with. I have been wrong! This not so dated Greek film caught me completely off-guard. Well done, what's next?
How Does the DVD Look?
Presented with its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and enhanced for widescreen TV's Singapore Sling looks mighty impressive. With an exceptional detail, excellent contrast, and a truly fine black and white gradation this transfer is a pleasure to behold. I must particularly comment on Synapse Films and their decision to present the film with a fine anamorphic enhancement (unlike some of the other R1 distribs who still seem to be having trouble understanding the concept of enhancing 1.66:1 films). Last but not least I could hardly spot any edge enhancement here, indeed this is one excellent presentation.
How Does the DVD Sound?
The film is presented with its original English/Greek audio where the portions spoken in Greek are being subtitled with English text. The audio is also of exceptional quality that matches well the magnificent restoration efforts shown in the video department. This being said Synapse offer an extra sub-option here where the original (imposed) English subtitles that appear on the film print are also complimented with a second option of improved player generated English subs. Truly a nice touch from Synapse. Bravo!
Aside from the original theatrical trailer and a small gallery of stills there is nothing else to be found on this DVD.
A truly bizarre, shocking, and intentionally repulsive film about human degradation Singapore Sling is in a league of its own. Certainly I do not recall another production of such provocative nature. You sure must have a good stomach to endure Nikos Nikoladis' exploitative creation. But, why not…RECOMMENDED!