Les Filles Incompétentes

Martyrs
Greetings, my loyal followers. I still need a name for fans of this blog… accepting recommendations. In any case, welcome back to the Unholy Cathedral. This week I’ve got a new contributor submitting a review for this blog, my good friend The Lipcromancer. So let’s just jump right in with a review of Martyrs.
I bid you a good evening, disciples of the Unholy. I’ve had the pleasure of the Cathedral doors creaking open for me to host you at this, your hour of doom. So please, move those boxes in the corner by that rusty knight armor (mind the ax) and have a seat… for tonight, we discuss The Martyrs, a French film by Pascal Laugier. This movie came recommended to me via the creator of one of my favorite webcomics, “The Last Halloween,” Abby Howard. Technically, it was via one of her comic-blog entries where she ran down her favorite horror movies. Find it here:
I will tell you that all of the movies that I’ve seen on this list are wonderful movies (I still haven’t seen Nightbreed)… eeexcept this one. However, she sort of half-recommended Martyrs and warned that it was a little rough to watch compared to the campiness of the others. It follows the misadventure of 2 young women, one of whom being a survivor of a pretty bad episode of torture and abuse as a child. What follows is half revenge movie, half torture flick. Yes my fellow Unholy fanatics, this movie is more or less two 45-minute plots rolled up into one. The transition isn’t seamless, and the only discomfort I felt during this movie was during the triple overtime spent in this house where our heroines basically committed a crime. Had this been the get-in/get-out operation it should have been, our girls might have turned out okay, but apparently they took an extra does of Fuck-Around OTC with their stupid pills that morning.
This movie is what you get when you combine the feel-good parts of Taken and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with Natalie Portman’s “torture” scene from V for Vendetta and Hostel if it had a grant from the NSF. Sprinkle on top of all that a little bit of soft lesbian and medium misogynistic undertones, and you have every house party at Bradley University MartyrsSorry not sorry, but no one I call a friend should bother watching this movie. First of all, it’s French (the version I watched had a decent English dub track), and much like my first exposure to the French (besides the cut of their potatoes), Pepé le Pew, it stinks.
All right, so it’s not that terrible, but mon dieu, hold onto your berets and let’s go in for A Closer Look
 
Villain:
Inner demons manifested by a not-so-repressed traumatic experience and white people with too much money who really don’t like the uncertainty of dying.
How Do I Stop It?
Pass the 2nd grade. Honestly the only people who would have found themselves in this pickle are the same people who wouldn’t have figured out that Heinz “Chicago Dog Sauce” is really ketchup. You will never convince me that those people didn’t know that was ketchup. 
Lessons learned: 
FFS, broads… every time… Let’s just say that you DID make the decision to follow your crazy friend from childhood who sees demons around on a revenge spree for about a decade, crushing on them the whole time. Next, after you help clean up her latest mess – after which she offs herself, thanks for that – you stick around the crime scene for, oh I don’t know, 2 days. Then, after you begin to think that maybe she was a little nuts and start to doubt her backstory, you find a mysterious passageway in said house that’s leads down… down… down… the darkest stairs you’ve ever seen. 99% of peoples “GTFO Alarm (R)” should be in the red at this point, and it is at this point that you should completely agree with me that whatever harm falls upon this girl is completely deserved, yes? Good. Moving on… BUT, let’s say you wander down these stairs into a hallway with pictures of mutilated people adorning the walls. My GTFO Alarm’s needle has broken off at this point, and I feel like the universe has sent me plenty of red flags so far. Oh what the hell, let’s keep going, right? Past the Hall of Pictures of Doom, on your left, you’ll find a locked door on the floor. Unlock that shit with some keys you found, drop that steel ladder, and head on down into what is now the darkest hole you’ve ever seen (oh, behave). Behold! A torture victim! What happens next? You guessed it! We’re going to help said victim back up into the house where, yadda yadda yadda, YOU GET CAUGHT BY BAD PEOPLE! Man, if only you had 34 chances to stop, think, and get outta there. Of course, it doesn’t really matter because I stopped caring about what happens to your dumb ass when you went down the stairs. Capiche?
Who Do I Watch This With?
A lab puppy so that you’ll have something to keep you occupied while this plays in the background. Also, no one.
Movie Trivia: Girl 1, Mylène Jampanoï, sure is a cutey-patooty!
Rating the Flick
 
Villain: 7/10 then 2/10. The inner demon that the main character battles is pretty dope to be honest. It looks pretty good and hints at A Nightmare on Elm Street. As for the 2nd half, I’m not a fan of torture-themed films, and their antagonists are usually just middle-aged, rich white guys who get their jollies doing the worst things to innocent people. This is only slightly different in that their motivations are a little obscure. See below if you want a little more in the way of spoilers.
Scare Factor: 4/10. It got me once or twice with a fun jump-scare in the first half. The second half is more conceptual fear, weird pictures for a moment, and straight-up violence.
Gore Rating: Moderately Bloody Machete (3/5)
3_5_machete
This is where some may disagree with me. There’s lots of blood and squeamish acts but nothing that made my stomach turn. Speaking of blood, my heavens, I wish I had the hitpoints that these girls have. I think Girl 1 experienced about 53 deep lacerations and seemed to be doing fine till her final moments #DatWolverineRegenDoh. I’d say this movie has way more violence than gore. Also, the violence in the torture parts are 100% focused on women, so some may get upset with that concept.
Overall Rating: 1/5 Unwelcome Advances From Pepé le Pew
Inline image 1
Isn’t that clever? I mixed the French and misogyny. I think I’ve made my case well enough as to why this movie was sub-par, so let me just give away some plot here. The first half is pretty straight forward and, well, good. The revenge and demon action that accompanies this half is solid and does provide some backstory in what’s to come in the 2nd half. No harm there. Once cutey-patooty takes a hike, we see Girl 2 just keep fucking up until there’s no turning back. She just makes it so hard to sympathize with her by the time she gets in the shit. Anyway, what we have here is a kind of society of experimenters torturing people situation. What are they after? Well, they’re convinced that people who undergo extreme trauma and pain (read: torture), and live, eventually get to a point of euphoria (DMT?) and can see over into the next life. Girl 2, while not looking too good at the end of it all (they go all Predator on her, besides her face, after what is probably months of beating the shit out of her and force-feeding her what looks like spicy mustard), is their breakthrough. She tells the main antagonist/orchestrator (an old woman) what she experiences, and granny is so into it that she blows her own brains out. Seems a little hasty if you ask me as (1) n=1 (you are a shitty researcher), (2) you really didn’t have anything you wanted to do on Earth anymore? Cocoa Puffs and Cedar Point still exist and that afterlife ain’t going anywhere, and (3) she’s assuming the afterlife is the same for everyone regardless if you were tortured for months or the one administering the torturing. But hey, what the hell do I know?
That’s all I got. Let’s get the heck out of this Unholy Cathedral before the Master comes back. Aw, man, who spilled a full glass of water on the floor and didn’t clean it up?
Yeah, Git outta here. Go on, GIT. Hopefully yours truly will be back with another review soon, but a special thanks to the Lipcromancer for stepping in and submitting this great review.
Until next time, stay cool.
-Dvo/Lipcromancer
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