Going into We Are The Flesh with a slightly obscured and ignorant mind, was both a blessing and curse, but one I would recommend to every viewer. It was clear from the outset that there would be copious amounts of climatic weirdness, sodden with bodily fluids, although the sheer volume of morally depraved sexual scenes came as a stimulating surprise. With inspiration coming heavily from the world of extreme cinema, Emiliano Rocha Minter explores the hidden depths of erotica, fantasies and the life cycle in this apocalyptic nightmare fuelled by perversion and lost hope.
Two siblings, Fauna (Maria Evoli) and Lucio (Diego Gamaliel), are desperately trying to escape the bleak and desolate landscape that rules the outside world. Starving and seeking shelter, they stumble upon the eerie dwelling of an exceptionally unsettling man, known as Mariano (Goe Hernandez). Mariano offers the brother and sister a bed to sleep on, and as many eggs as they can stomach in return for their help to construct a womb-like habitat for him to abide in. His conditions are unsavoury, with the requests beginning at working in the bare flesh underneath overalls, to forcing vegetarian Lucio to eat a bloody steak in order to save his sister from the poison she’s afflicted with to some hardcore incest scenes. SLXLM
Extreme cinema is a most particular taste, and not for the masses. Pushing the boundaries of cinema is something to be commemorated and rewarded, although it’s often hard to define exactly why to those who perceive the genre as built purely to shock. In one sense, extreme film is designed to shock, disgust, amaze and horrify the viewer, evoking an overwhelming emotional or sensory experience. However, the extreme cinema genre is similar to anarchy on screen. It takes those elements that are not permitted in mainstream horror (and film in general) and presents them so flamboyantly that there is no escape. The pornography element seen in We Are The Flesh does this perfectly, and presents the viewer with two conflicting emotions. Through normal human nature, pornography stimulates our inner most sexual reflexes and makes us feel delighted, however, the audience is given a contradictory feeling when this pleasure comes from something that is morally and socially illegal; incest. Even though we know the incest is falsified, it’s difficult to separate that two emotions, therefore conjuring a self-disgust at this particular sexual stimulation. Minter forces our most cerebral desires into focus, conjuring a constant shame throughout the film, leaving the frantic viewer desperately trying to hide their enjoyment and titillation at watching scenes of raw, animalistic fornication between blood relatives.
The entire film is presented as an relentless apocalyptic nightmare, which has ferociously gripped humankind, leaving some of the most depraved of society to inflict their madness upon others. Mariano immediately penetrates the skin and soul with his haunting grin that will forever churn the stomach and leave a bitter taste in the viewer’s mouth. His entirety is the basic ground for what all nightmares were made on; his eyes bore into your soul and when those lips start spreading to brandish that bloodcurdling smile you’ll begin to feel the hairs stand up on your arms, your flesh pimple and a nauseous feeling gradually rise up to the back of your throat. Throughout horror history there have been an undefined amount of icon serial killers and evil figures, however, what they lacked in in terms of the creep factor, Mariano makes up for. Fauna is presented to the viewer as a women smeared in issues, and dark fantasies that merely need a nick to the skin to come gushing out in uncensored quantities. For her, it doesn’t take much persuasion from Mariano to start seductively and sweetly bringing her brother Lucio to erection through fellatio. Her unsettling attraction to her sibling only ever needed a little prompt from Mariano about the eradication of love, and freedom to explore one’s darkest and sickest desires for her to be gagging for him inside her. Lucio is innocent and unmarked by impure thoughts, with no desire to commit such an atrocity with his own sister, yet understands the need for survival in this twisted hell they have stumbled across. Raped by coercion and the embarrassment of still owning his virginity, Lucio unwillingly thrashes upon his sister with force stemming from disgust and shame. As the viewer, we feel this empathetic pull towards Lucio as he becomes a victim at the hands of his sister who has become infatuated and submission by a dirty maniac.
We Are The Flesh is a viewing experience, one that may come across as pretentious to many through what seems to stand as a slight lack of developed plotline. If the audience perceives the absence as intentional, the film holds more reason and structure than initial thoughts would dictate. The slightly vacant plot line, reflects the vacant lack of morality, sense and sanity due to the depletion of the apocalyptic world outside, which therefore almost drives the audience to feel the same lack of coherent thoughts, and descend into madness alongside the characters and devolving plot line. With a vibrant and careful choice of hued, foggy red and blue tones throughout, the audience becomes subdued from mind to matter in this feverish nightmare that resembles some form of an explicit limbo, in which dirty writhing bodies copulate with anything and anyone that might satisfy a desire, and rebirth comes at the expense of blood lost, sacrifice and strange impregnated children.
“We will kill you for your blood. For your flesh, and the exquisite substances in your body.” A brief depiction of the erotic depravity and madness that is spunked all over the face of We Are The Flesh. The exploitation of reproductive organs, the violent intensity behind every act, and the pure caliber of immoral yet delicious climaxes combine with mesmerising dream sequences soaked with visceral colours to prove that even extreme cinema can be beautiful, shocking and arousing.
Verdict: 4 out of 5