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Flesh City indie film review


Directed by: #ThorstenFleisch


Flesh City movie poster
Flesh City movie poster

Oh, this was a lot of fun.

If David Lynch, David Cronenberg and Gaspar Noé had a few glasses of wine, put on a Marvin Gaye record and had themselves a raunchy, intimate night, they wouldn’t be able to conceive a child, but imagine if they could. Perhaps if there was a way of extracting the DNA from their semen; Lynch’s neosurrealist gene, Cronenberg’s body horror gene, Noé’s intense visuals gene, and injected these into an unfertilised egg cell (perhaps Maya Deren’s would be most appropriate). Then this egg cell could be implanted into a surrogate mother (say, Jane Campion) and if we were lucky enough to have that cell latch onto Campion’s uterus lining, nine months later a child would be born. And I reckon that child would be a bit like Thorsten Fleisch.

So who the heck is Thorsten Fleisch? Not only is he the director of Flesh City, but the writer, D.P., editor and composer. What a greedy boy. But when you’re making films this good, you can be as greedy as you like. As for the plot, I must say I’m really not sure what the film is about, and I’m not sure I really care either, but its worth noting that it has drugs and clubs and nudity and violence and satanism and robotic beetles and mad scientists and giant flesh monsters and if those aren’t all good things then I’m not sure I know what is. Oh, and music.

Oh boy, the music.

Much of the film is structured around a sort of post-apocalyptic MTV, which displays music videos from fantastic fictional bands, and the videos and songs alike are as hilarious as they are horrific.

Such a comment could be made to describe the whole film; Fleisch has a talent for balancing comedy and horror in a way that one never interrupts the other. The funny moments complement the disturbing and vice versa. This is catalysed by the actors, whose performances jump unpredictably from hammy to wacky, from wacky to creepy, from creepy to hammy, and from hammy to creepy.

However, the real highlight of Flesh City is its style. Of course, we are not at a shortage of films with fast-paced editing and neon lighting, but Fleisch pushes these aesthetics to their logical conclusion, creating a jarring, buzzing headache of a film that truly earns the epilepsy warning that it opens with. I appreciate this may not sound like much of a complement but the result is something you just can’t look away from.



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