Nick Peron really went all out on this HORRORFAIL. So much that instead of just stopping after seeing the first entry, he decided he had to complete the trilogy. Part 2 of 3 will be posted next Thursday.
For the longest time, film maker Lucifer Valentine has boasted about his creation of films the Vomit Gore Trilogy. A self proclaimed Satanist, he appeared on the scene with his premiere film Slaughtered Vomit Dolls; A film that he claims was banned from “every” film festival it was submitted to because it was deemed “too disgusting” for public consumption (a little puking joke there). That is a bold claim to make considering the fact that we are living in the internet age where Google is your gateway to seeing the stuff of nightmares streamed right to your computer. Don’t believe me? Google Japanese Eel Porn. You’re welcome. Since then he has released two more films reGORGEitated Sacrifice and Slow Torture Puke Chamber. Most recently, all three films have been released in a box set. Recently, I decided to get a hold of the trilogy and see if the two follow up films to the VGT manage to actually accomplish more than the original film. The next successions of articles I will be reviewing will cover each of the VGT films. To start I will be revisiting Slaughtered Vomit Dolls… Which proves my original theory that I just utterly hate myself.
Slaughtered Vomit Dolls (2006)
Preface (Meanwhile, Circa 2008):
I am lounging out on my then-girlfriends sex stained bed (black sheets keep no secrets, friend), with a glass of Jack and Coke in my hands and the remnants of a Hungry Man Sports Bar Meal in my lap. The girlfriend, this petite little thing that was sexy in that crazy sort of way and says “I found this really fucked up movie the other night. It’s called Slaughtered Vomit Dolls, do you want to watch it?” My instant reaction was “Hell yeah.”
Keep in mind, this was the first time I heard about this damn film. I didn’t read any of the press, I didn’t know of any of the “buzz”. In other words, I was just another fool sold on a cool sounding title by a chick with a nice pair. If only I knew what I was getting into….
“I could never do that,” she says as she watches the girl stooped over the toilet, pushing her hands down her throat to throw up. I’ve heard this line before, but I decided to play along. “Whatever do you mean?” I ask. She then sticks her fingers as far down her throat as she can, with not a single reaction. When she finally stops she says “I have no gag reflex”. And before I could crack a joke about dick sucking she says “It has it’s perks” and proceeds to fiddle with my belt buckle.
In hindsight, I find this really funny, as Lucifer Valentine — or Lucy as I like to call him — is a Emetophile (That’s a fancy five-dollar word meaning the act of puking turns you on). Of all the thing I could say about this girl, good and bad, the one thing that cracks me up is that she is the anti-thesis to Lucifer Valentines objet de l’amour.
Soon enough, here I am, getting a blow-job while a girl in a movie is forcing herself to puke. I would maintain that this wasn’t happening because it was hot to get sucked off watching Slaughtered Vomit Dolls, it was that we were just that fucking bored we decided to screw around. Last time we did that was when we watched How Stella Got Her Groove Back.
See this is the hardest part to write, because there really isn’t much of a plot. Essentially it’s this: Somebody likes to pay for sleazy hookers and call girls who are addicted to drugs. They have sex, sometimes the girl vomits, sometimes the guy vomits — usually after dismembering somebody — and then it’s off to the next girl. The story focuses primarily on a girl named Angela Abredeen. She sells her soul to Satan (or something) and talks about how she got into stripping, got into drugs, and became a prostitute who will do anything you want (even kiss them on the mouth!). Outside of that.. There is not a whole lot else. The movie attempts at a surreal hallucinogenic quality, making you wonder if Angela is the killer, or some fat dude (he also throws up! What a twist!) and making you wonder did it really happen? (Which is a rhetorical question really, because if you’re like me you didn’t really give a shit if it did or not) Reading some of the press about this movie, and in watching the supplementary material about this film it is also about the suicide of Angela Abredeen around the time of Kurt Cobain’s death. Which, unless you’re a huge Nirvana fan isn’t very evident while watching the film.
Story Telling: F-
Where is the god damn story? I’m sorry, but if you’re making a movie, and calling it horror and are attempting to be a shocking film, you need a damn story. Slaughtered Vomit Dolls has almost zero story. We kind of get a little window into the world of Angela Abredeen, through juxtaposition of shots of home movies when she was an innocent child being spliced together with shots of her as an adult getting fucked, being high on drugs, puking, or talking about her rough-and-tumble life.. There’s not a whole lot else going on. She sells her soul to Satan apparently, but what this has to do with anything — especially the plot — is anyone’s guess.
The rest is the fact that someone is killing various girls, either before — or after — they puke. If they puke at all. Because you know, sometimes when it comes to performing, women are just not in the mood. It’s some killer. But what’s his identity? What’s his motivation? Is it actually happening, or is it some kind of vision. Well unfortunately this movie has about as much character development as a Point-Of-View Porno. But instead of getting a male-porn-star eye view of lewd sex acts, all you get is vomiting. Lots of vomiting.
Where this story fails is in explaining itself. It focuses entirely on the shock value (And we’ll get onto that in a moment) and no semblance of a plot. When it’s not trying to do the gross-out factor, it’s trying to wow you with it’s “unique” cinematography, which consists of nothing but jump cuts, film slow downs, film speed ups, flickering lights, and audio distortion.
It’s kind of like you’re watching a karaoke video for an Industrial song, and someone forgot to turn on the captions so you can sing along. That is the best way to describe the story narrative for this one.
Lucy has said that he doesn’t follow conventional film making rules, standards, as it hampers his creativity and the potential for his movies to go to the extremes he is looking for. I often have to wonder if the extreme he was looking for in this movie was boredom? Because that was the feeling I was having.
SHOCK Value: F-
The one thing that Slaughtered Vomit Dolls tries is repeatedly sold on it’s pure shock value. Now, I don’t know how adept Lucifer Valentine is when it comes to looking around the internet. I’ve read some of his interviews online, so clearly this guy knows how to at least check his e-mail.. But I mean come on, this is what you call shocking?
Naked girls splaying around with no sense of shame, puking all over the place — mostly on glass tables lined with plastic wrap, and then getting savagely murdered? Minus the getting savagely murdered part (well for the most part), that’s not shock. That’s Spring Break in Cancun.
That’s all this thing has to offer. As far as shocking, I’ve had motion sickness that is more violent than this. You ever see a 3 year old kid puke up bubble gum on his mom? That’s more disgusting than a naked adult stooped over a toilet bowl or glass table.
I can find more disturbing things with Google. Clearly, Mr. Valentine is focusing on the vomiting due to his fetish, but really, if you want to keep me entertained you have to go a little further than that. I mean, I’ve seen girls butt-holes falling out, or Asian chicks playing with their food (Hey, Jellied squid, it’s not just for dinner!) I get that there are certain legal limitations to what he can make in a film and commercially market — at least if he was going to do the real thing — but even doing a simulation with props would be better than just watching this film clumsily plod along on nothing but glistening vomit.
Puking is not shocking anymore. And that’s before the internet became the refuse bin of depravity, and vomit porn became easily accessible. It was made cool by Tom Green and the guys who did Jackass. Pop-Culture is the kiss of death for shock value as far as I’m concerned.
The last thing I want to point out is that the over emphasis on shock value and lack of a story totally makes this thing just barely watchable. Anyone who calls the Saw movies torture porn, has not seen Slaughtered Vomit Dolls. At least Saw was shocking and had a good story. Fuck, I’ve seen snuff films that have more plot than this turkey.
My last bit of advice as well: If you want to gross people out, you should make your violent vomit movie a little less sanitary. In every scene people are puking on glass tables, plastic wrap, glass screens etc. Nobody pukes on furniture, or on a carpet. You want to evoke the gross out in me? Make me consider how bad my couch is going to smell for a week after you throw up sour milk and bacon all over it. That’s gross.
Showing me someone puking on a glass table? Shit, that’s a courtesy even my roommates cat will do me so clean up is easier.
Reading his interviews, Lucy has a point of saying that he wants to push boundaries, yet I note that he has certain tastes (ha ha) and things that he finds gross. Like vomiting up pizza. Clearly, his movies are catering for a specific niche. I have to point out that
Cinematography: F- F- F-! F! F! F! F! Fffffffffff!
Seriously, can you get any more fucking annoying? As I said before, it’s nothing but a series of jump cuts, video and audio speed tricks, and flickering lights. I get what he’s trying to do, all the disorientation is supposed to make you feel sick. But seriously, it’s fucking annoying. JUST. STOP. MOVING. THE. GOD. DAMN. CAMERA!!!
Couldn’t you have tossed in a star wipe in there or something?
It’s interesting to note that most of the captions in this film place the footage as being filmed in 1994. Without realizing the Nirvana context, the number of jump cuts, film exposures, and other digital editing tricks in the film, you’d figure that’s when Lucifer Valentine stepped into the editing booth to begin cutting this movie.
Here’s my thing when it comes to gore. It’s not just how realistic it looks, it’s how it’s presented. This movie focuses far too much on the shock value, that we’re sitting there for a pain-staking eternity (at least it feels that way) while our killer is gouging out a girls eyes with a screw driver. Sounds like fun don’t it?
Well don’t hold your breath there Charlie.
Here’s the thing: The scene is played in slow motion and relies a little too heavily on jump cuts, that your ability to suspend disbelief goes right out the window. Why? Because something fakey happens that ruins the whole illusion? The screw driver goes into the eye socket a little too deep and the latex head indents — which is made painfully obvious by the slow motion video. Then it cuts to a shot of the same girl — blinded — wandering over to a glass table and puking on it. She has hardly any blood on her face, and I am quite sure if you were brutally skull-fucked with a screw driver going handle deep into your eye sockets, and the guy doing it took a pause to pluck your eye balls out and play around with them, the last thing you’re going to be able to do is wander over to a table and puke on it. In fact, you’d probably be dead.
This sort of shit happens throughout the movie, there are just some things that totally ruin the illusion of gore. Valentine clearly spent most of his budget on these gore effects (Because he certainly didn’t spend it on the writing) and it’s just another show of how inept he is as a filmmaker by making such a clear fuck up when — all things considered, and for lack of a better statement — these moments are probably the best part of the movie.
It happens again later when another girl gets her face cut off, and then reattached to her face. The effect showing the skinless face looks amazing, but then they do this thing where the killer dangles the loose flesh in front of the camera. It screams fakey. Then the killer reattaches it to the girls face and it literally looks like a make-up mask.
There is also a great scene where a power-tool is taken to a mans head, and some fat guy in a trucker hat ends up eating his brains and puking inside his skull cavity and all over the place. This scene is of course ruined by all the damn puking. Shot after shot after shot of this guy retching all over the place, the puke streaming off what you can then clearly tell is a prosthetic head. It’s so stiff and unmoving that it’s just plain laughable.
The only gore shot that has some redeemable quality is a scene where a girl gets her armed sawed off. If you ignore the fact that she sits still on a chair and lets the guy do it to her. Most people, you know, get out of the way or try to struggle or something. Anyway, they show her flopping around and stuff like that, and it really looks like the girl had her arm chopped off at first. I think in reality, it’s likely an actress who only has one arm. If Mr. Valentine wants to be shocking and realistic looking though, he should have shown a lot of blood pumping out of that severed limb. Because once you cut a limb off, it’s a gusher of blood (you know what with the arteries and all).
For a movie that is supposed to push boundaries and be as realistic as possible, there are a lot of moments where Lucy’s desire to hang on a shot for an extended period of time totally ruins the scene.
I get it, you want people to agonize over the length of time they are forced to look at this horrifying imagery you’ve cooked up, but this shit is the equivalent of a UFO held up by some fishing line.
What the Fuck Moment: A+:
The only passing grade this movie gets is for its one instance of “what the fuck”. Which, you’d figure for a movie called Slaughtered Vomit Dolls it would have a lot of those… However, it only has one. In the scene where the girl gets her arm chopped off — for no explainable reason — the killer places an acoustic guitar around her and pulls up a microphone and tells her to play, and all she does is just sit there looking off into space.
Not explanation. Nothing. That’s it. I laughed for hours.
So this is the first time I’ve sat through Slaughtered Vomit Dolls, in over two years. I was by myself and very very sober. I was fucking bored! You know, I thought that perhaps being drunk off my cork on Jack Daniels while my ex banged my brains out was the reason why I missed something about this movie. But it appears my initial assessment was correct. This movie is just terrible, it’s not offensive, it’s just boring. Boring as shit. Avoid it unless you get really wasted and have a hot girlfriend. Because at last you’re going to get something out of it.
You want something truly shocking that will gross you out? Go and get a Japanese horror film, or a Japanese pinky violence movie. I recommend Naked Blood. Personally, it’s way more disturbing than this film.
The big problem, and you are going to see this as a recurring theme in my reviews of Mr. Valentine’s work is this: I have always been about less being more. Shock value alone has no long staying power. It has no lingering after effects. At least not for me. I get what Lucy is doing here with these movies. He’s trying capture his personal world, and he’s trying to do it in what he believes is an artistic impression. He wants to break the social taboos and also not follow any conventional film making. Hey, I am all for that. Experimental film making is by and large is — in my opinion — an under used medium. I can see his ideals about pulling out a camera and just filming what happens, and trying to create an environment unconstrained. However, when your point-shoot-see-what-happens movie is something like Slaughtered Vomit Dolls , well it kind of looks like a Porno spoof of a Dogme- 95 film.
With that, there is one Vomit Gore movie down, two to go. I’ll be doing the second film reGORGitated Sacrifice. A movie, I point out, I haven’t seen yet. This could be an interesting endurance run for me. Be there, won’t you?