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Brutal

Unearthed Films // Unrated // December 11, 2018
List Price: $22.44 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted January 29, 2019 | E-mail the Author
Brutal:

Unearthed Films delivers this short/not-sweet slab of insanity from Japan, a movie that seemingly could only come from the realms of horror-lunacy that Japanese extreme-horror-makers and fans inhabit. Mixing sex and violence in a way few others would dare try, director Takashi Hirose leaves it all and then-some on floor, for you to pick up and marvel at.

We start this latest trip to hell in the apartment of a stunted man having his way with a few bound and gagged women. Eschewing any form of set-up, Hirose sets his Man (Butch) loose, battering and beating his victims while he asks them if they understand what he's doing. Too late, and despite much hysterical begging and pleading, they learn what he's doing is stabbing them repeatedly in the groin. Blood flows copiously, and a few intestines are wallowed in for good measure.

Meanwhile, in another nearby neighborhood, a Woman (Ayano) tracks down various men to lure into her apartment for love? Sex? No, what she's after is a little thing called stabbing them repeatedly in the groin. While Woman fares a little worse than Man, due to the fact that she's smaller and weaker than her victims, nonetheless, blood flows copiously.

You see where this is going, I hope. These two were meant for each other! If there's any justice in this world, they'll meet-cute and live happily ever after, stabbing each other repeatedly in the groin. If you're curious, we even get a tiny insight into why they love repeatedly stabbing members of the opposite sex in the groin, and it's pretty horrific.

Interspersed throughout all the stabbing, scenes of other men and women attempting to relate unfold. The gulf between the sexes is universal, even if deep down, we learn we're more similar than we think. A high point in this psychological editorializing is the guy wearing a baseball cap made out of Coca-Cola cans.

Without the balancing act, Hirose's film would seem indefensibly misogynistic, it's certainly incredibly difficult to watch, and on balance maybe still a little hard to stick up for, as Woman gets beaten up fairly soundly while innocently going about stabbing men repeatedly in the groin. The performers are roundly fearless in their depictions of madness, and Hirose's direction is brutally efficient; the film clocks a brief 67 minutes with credits. Aside from some brief guts and disturbing practical make-up effects, most of the voluminous bloodshed is strictly splashed about without the aid of explicit special effects, which is either a small favor or a disappointment.

Brutal might be seen as an illogical extension of the movie In the Realm of the Senses, with its incredibly violent, bloody tale of groin-stabbing lovers. At just over an hour in length it doesn't exactly overstay its welcome, but you'll have to decide just how much anger, sorrow, and depravity you really need with your ultra-violence. Rent It if you're still curious.


The DVD

Video:
Unearthed presents Brutal in a 2.35:1 ratio high-definition presentation, (with subtitles occupying the lower strip of letter-boxing) that has been abused digitally so as to recreate a Grindhouse viewing experience. The picture is otherwise as detailed as it needs to be. Scenes of normies courting in pop-can hats are a bit gauzy and washed-out, a thematic nod to their differing importance, while Man and Woman live in a grimy, dim world of dank colors and brackish blood.

Sound:
The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track features a disturbing and atmospheric soundtrack score, and highlights all the screaming and thudding groin-stabbing sounds nicely.

Extras:
Extras are limited to about four-minutes worth of BTS-style Making Of footage, three Music Videos, English Subtitles and Unearthed Films Trailers.

Final Thoughts:
Brutal might be seen as an illogical extension of the movie In the Realm of the Senses, with its incredibly violent, bloody tale of groin-stabbing lovers. At just over an hour in length it doesn't exactly overstay its welcome, but you'll have to decide just how much anger, sorrow, and depravity you really need with your ultra-violence. Rent It if you're still curious.

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