“One of the most unique and challenging horror anthologies in quite some time” — Scott Weinberg, FEARNET
Director: Sean Hogan, Andrew Parkinson, Simon Rumley
Screenplay: Sean Hogan, Andrew Parkinson, Simon Rumley
Cast: Siubhan Harrison, Luke de Lacey, Jodie Jameson, Tom Sawyer, Kate Braithwaite
Producers: Samantha Wright, Sean Hogan, Andrew Parkinson
Print Source: Seville Pictures/eOne
2011 | 6 min
Three of the most daring filmmakers from the British new wave join forces to bring you this assaulting anthology film, a work that literally drips with depravity and cruelty both physical and psychological. It is a dual-edged exploration of sex and death, each filmmaker having been given free reign to take their segments anywhere they felt appropriate.
Simon Rumley, who has scarred Fantasia audiences over the years with the exceptional RED, WHITE & BLUE and THE LIVNG AND THE DEAD, contributes a shocker of a segment with the blunt moniker “Bitch.” His entry details the last days of a crumbling BDSM relationship, where power exchanges and humiliation games give way to a twisted form of edgeplay that is neither safe, sane nor consensual. As an exploration of interpersonal cruelty within a relationship where love once existed but has long since left the building, it is perhaps the most wounding of the trio, and the most profound.
Andrew Parkinson’s work hasn’t graced the Fantasia screen in a while, but those who recall our showings of DEAD CREATURES and I, ZOMBIE understand the filmmaker’s penchant for using the genre as a device for morbid, existential exploration. His contribution, “Mutant Tool,” is easily the most perverse work he’s done to date, telling the tale of a recovering addict and part-time prostitute who sees the wrong doctor for help and finds herself prescribed an experimental and dangerous new pharmaceutical drug. A drug that is in fact about to become a new street narcotic. It takes more than a small toll on her domestic life, and the borderline abusive relationship that she’s in.
“House & Home,” from Sean Hogan (LIE STILL), details the exploits of a thrill-seeking bourgeois couple who, at least on the surface, appear to be models of social conservatism. As good upstanding citizens, they sometimes invite a homeless person over to their house for a charity dinner. Of a certain kind.
Great Britain has a long and cherished history of anthology horror films. It began with the seminal 1945 Ealing chiller DEAD OF NIGHT (which, like this film, employed a string of different directors, each tackling their own segment) and carried through the ’60s and ’70s with such beloved Amicus greats as DR TERROR’S HOUSE OF HORRORS, TALES FROM THE CRYPT and the wonderful ASYLUM, to name but a few. LITTLE DEATHS continues this great British tradition while also moving away from traits that were central to those films. There are no interlinking segments here, for one. Nor is any subject taboo.
The dynamic of the filmmakers’ voices is a strong one, and each entry stands as a singular macabre vision. Across all segments, the performances cut like knives. Hatred. Jealousy. Addiction. Domination. Submission. Exploitation. Murder. The ugliest sides of the human monster are unflinchingly — and imaginatively — explored. This is one angry piece of work.