DVD Review – We Are The Flesh(2016)

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“This is not your average party.”

A brother and sister take a break from the anxiety of the apocalypse and hide out in the morally impoverished hell-hutch of Mariano the solitary danger pervert.

The vulnerable siblings are soon press-ganged into the construction of an epic troglodytic womb-den before being systematically crowbarred into the cannibal car of the incest express……

Mariano (played with startling conviction by the superb Noé Hernández), is quite simply one of the most openly deviant characters in modern horror cinema. A thoroughly unhinged amalgam, part sex-troll possessed Jim Carey, part hypnotic hyper-bohemian Rasputin with an unhealthy splurge of Aphex Twinism.

The goblinesque fuck-hermit obliterates taboos as readily as the tables he splinters for firewood, but there is a surprising level of emotional depth to his character. Indeed, his mantra of melancholic acceptance and rabid libertinism is fascinating. As he articulates an internal narrative, where solitude is a perpetually loving partner and loneliness a rifle barrelled conduit for his lunacy, it becomes clear he is more than just a sex register signing Rumplestiltskin.

As for the siblings, cornered in his hallucinatory shrew’s nest of pervasive sexuality, they must decide how much of their basic humanity to sacrifice in order to remain within the relative safety of this infected sanctum.

These two forms of primal acceptance provide the perfect agar plate on which to breed the disfigured pollutions of extreme cinema and as such, We Are The Flesh is practically bursting at the squalid seams with the juicy paraphernalia of art-house nihilism. Packed to the green gills with interbreeding, necrophilia, lesbian sexual assault, graphic human slaughter, menstruation humiliation and heat-cam recorded hardcore debauchery – there is absolutely no snowflake space built into the film’s scant running time. Be warned, this flick is relentlessly challenging as it takes absurdist philosopher Albert Camus’ concept of  “the nakedness of man faced with the absurd” to its most extreme conclusion.

Of course, the sociopolitical allegory card (the staple excuse of all extreme art-house cinema apologists), will be waved in the face of outrage. However, in reality, We Are The Flesh is much more internal existentialist tantrum than a statement of ideological exorcism.

Writer-director Emiliano Rocha Minter originally wanted the leads to be a real brother and sister! Only baulking at the notion because… “it was too problematic for my first feature film.” This sums up the punk aesthetic of the whole movie perfectly.

Skulking beneath the unctuous blanket of shocks ‘n’ psychedelics is a tightly crafted movie with a gnawingly invasive soundtrack and seductive cinematography. Despite its robust affection for the chaos of art, the film is ferociously graceful in its fervent button pushing and remorseless in trimming any pretentious fat from the creative process.

We Are The Flesh is the cinematic equivalent of a big, fat, sexually lawless tequila worm double daring any adventurous gawkers to ingest it.

[rating=4]| Bradley Hadcroft

Drama, Horror, Fantasy, Art house | Mexico/France, 2016 | 79 mins | |Arrow Video| UK DVD 13 Feb. 2017 | Dir. Emiliano Rocha Minter| Cast. Noe Hernández, María Evoli, Diego Gamaliel, Gabino Rodríguez, María Cid | BUY