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LITTLE DEATHS
DVD. Monster Pictures.

Little DeathsSex and horror have long gone together – both taboo subjects, both entertainment genres dismissed by the mainstream and both held responsible by idiots for all manner of criminal behaviour. In new British horror anthology Little Deaths, the connection is pushed to the extreme.

Essentially three individual short films, this is a dark, sometimes disturbing, often outrageous effort that will probably cause outrage should the tabloids ever get hold of it.

The first story, Sean Hogan’s House and Home, sees bored married couple Richard (Luke de Lacey) and Victoria (Siubhan Harrison) picking up homeless Sorrow (Holly Lucas), who is drugged and raped by the couple. However, their victim is not what she seems, and very soon the tables are turned in spectacularly gory manner. It’s a fairly predictable story – the twists being rather obvious – but has some outrageous moments – a facial cum shot, golden showers and nipple chewing to name just three. However, the BBFC have cut 41 seconds of "a focus on sadistic humiliation during a scene of sexual violence" so expect the version you'll find in the UK to be less confrontational.

Andrew Parkinson’s Mutant Tool is a more convoluted affair, centering on prostitute Jen (Jodie Jameson), who finds herself hooked on drugs that are made from the emissions that drip out of the huge penis of an imprisoned mutant – enough information, I would imagine, to get your attention. Despite the outrageous premise, this is a quiet and bleak little story, possibly suffering from vague characterisation – you never quite get the connections that bring the characters together. The ‘mutant tool’ is a Cronenbergian creation, genuinely unsettling to see as it is milked, and the final twist is… twisted.

Little DeathsThe final story is Simon Rumley’s Bitch, a sharp little story about Pete (Tom Sawyer), who is is in a dysfunctional relationship with Claire (Kate Braithwaite), that runs from BDSM sessions where he dresses as a dog – her greatest real life fear – and is buggered with a strap-on, to watching as she gets off with his best friend. Eventually, the constant abuse and humiliation becomes too much and he hires a lock-up garage, finds a few dogs and… well, you can probably fill in the gaps. While possibly a little reactionary about kinky relationships, this is an agreeably sour little tale that comes closest to the classic Amicus anthology style with it’s nasty little sting in the tail.

It’s unusual to see a British film so openly confronting sex and violence, and Little Deaths certainly pushes the limits. The common theme makes the individual stories fit together better than many multi-director portmanteau films, and each story has plenty going for it, none feeling over-stretched or over-indulgent. Fans of hardcore horror will find much here to make them happy.

DAVID FLINT

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