ill Will's Modern Nasties part 1:
Snuff 102 (2007)
Written & Directed by Mariano Peralta
Starring Yamila Greco, Silvia Paz, Andrea Alfonso, Eduardo Poli,
Julian Alfonzo, Rodrigo Bianco, Salvador Haidar, Lucas Delgado
If you don't know what the 'Video Nasties' are, please give yourself a good slap and then go look it up. As someone who was born into the video nasty era I've grown up loving horror, especially the more bloody and gory stuff.
Along with that fondness I also acquired a hatred for censorship in all forms, especially censorship of film. I do believe that without the video nasties and the slashers of the 80's we wouldn't have modern extreme cinema, all that weird, obscure, sick and sadistic stuff that's been pouring out of the underground over the last 20-30 years. That indie DIY stuff, the films that only get shown at certain festivals, a far cry from Sundance and Cannes. Films that are so fucked up they don't get approved for release on either side of the pond so they have to be released independently or bought directly from the filmmakers themselves. Yes I'll be delving into those ones, the infamous films that hardcore horror fans have on their STF (sick twisted fuck) lists. If there was a crackdown on horror again and we fell back into another video nasty era, these films would definitely make the banned list. Some films I'll be revisiting, others I'll be viewing for the first time. Here we go...
Snuff 102 is a 2007 film from Argentinian filmmaker Mariano Peralta. Going into this film as a first time viewing and knowing nothing about the plot I must admit I did find it a bit hard to follow at first, but with a little concentration the pieces began to fall into place.
After seeing news reports on a serial killer known as The Road Killer, an investigative reporter decides she wants to write a piece on snuff films. She acquires evidence and CSI reports and interviews from the Road Killer case. She then gets in contact with a guy simply known as 'the film critic', except this guy is no Siskel or Ebert - he's line of expertise is dark cinema, rough hardcore porn, bondage and S&M, scat/piss/vomit porn, mutilations, animal killings, real death and executions and all that other good stuff you can find in the dark web.
As her interviews with this guy go on and on you can see that she is becoming equally more and more fascinated and disgusted by him. Especially when she asks him what his thoughts on snuff films are... That description may seem pretty straight forward but the film itself is played out in a non-linear fashion. It's basically the story of 3 girls who are bound and gagged and locked in a dark room together by a killer who is recording the whole thing. The story jumps back and forth showing how each of the girls lived before their abduction and how they got where they are. There's nothing more I can really say about the plot without giving away the whole thing. what I can say is that Snuff 102 is one of the sickest, most realistic looking depictions of the making of a snuff film I've ever seen. Is it the Citizen Kane of horror? Hell no, it should be enough to please most fans of the faux-snuff horror sub genre though.
I can sit through most extreme and disturbing horror films with ease because I'm not a moron and I can tell the difference between fiction and reality. A Serbian Film is one of my favourite modern horror films and that's probably going to be reviewed as part of my Modern Nasties series as well. The reason I refer to the difference between reality and fiction is because obviously a lot of people cant tell one from the other.
When Peralta premiered Snuff 102 at the Mar Del Plata Film Festival in March of 2007 he was attacked after the screening by hordes of angry viewers and he was beaten to a bloody pulp. What a bunch of fucking retards! Yes no one wants to see a heavily pregnant woman get punched in the face repeatedly, have her head and her stomach stomped on but at the end of the day this shit does happen in real life. If a director and two actors have the balls to reenact it on camera then kudos to them. It doesn't make them sick or demented, it makes them brave and creative.
I find it annoyingly similar to when people refer to A Serbian Film as if it's actually real child porn just because an actor pretends to fuck a doll in it and anyone who likes the film is looked at like some sort of pedo. Fuck off! Peralta claims he intended the film to be a violent and misogynistic slap in the face and uncomfortable to watch. (Mission accomplished sir!) He said it was heavily influenced by Passolini's Salo and he also says Gasper Noe's Irreversible is one of the best films he's ever seen. The three girls were nameless and referred to as Victims 100,101 and 102 - this was a metaphor to say that at the end of the day we are all just numbers. He used a pregnant woman as the first victim to show pregnancy as a symbol of hope, so when there was no more pregnancy ( a nice way of putting it) then there was no more hope. Actress Andrea Alfonso was really 7 months pregnant during filming and often feared for the safety of her unborn child throughout the shoot. Snuff 102 is very similar to A Serbian Film not just because of the snuff theme but because the directors of both movies intended the violence and despair in their films as a metaphor for the society they grew up in.
Snuff 102 had a very limited release in 2007 on DVD-r sold by the director himself. The original copies sold fast and quickly became like gold dust to extreme horror collectors. Most of those who got them made copies to give to friends and bootlegs of the film circulated the globe for 9 years until the film finally got an official release on DVD last year from Massacre Video.
An obscurity for being a horror film from Argentina but also very strange that most of the cast and crew never worked on films again after it, including the director. I suppose being almost beaten to death by a group of neanderthals for nothing other than creating a piece of expressive art would put most people off filmmaking for good. This film is definitely not for the easily offended. It can be slow and slightly confusing at times and is shot in a very experimental style, covered in a grainy distressed filter to give it that grindhouse look. The gore is outstanding, sometimes a little bit too good and might be hard on the eye and stomachs of those with a weaker constitution. Fans of the Guinea Pig and August Underground series should definitely check it out. Thankfully it can be bought easily from Massacrevideo.com, Amazon or most good online dvd stores.