A little death, a LOT of sex
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie as kinky as Little Deaths. I’m no prude, but this one had me squirming. It’s from England and if you have any preconceptions about “uptight Brits”, it will make you think twice about that. Little Deaths is an anthology of three, roughly 30-minute films written and directed by three different filmmakers. The glue that holds them together is gross-out horror mixed with twisted sexuality.
The first story, House and Home, written and directed by Sean Hogan, is the most tame of the collection. It also is the closest in tone to a Twilight Zone episode, which is the standard I desire in short horror films. An unhappy couple lures a homeless woman into their home under the pretense of charitable good. Instead, it turns out that she becomes part of a bizarre ritual they regularly practice in order to reach sexual satisfaction.
This time, their plan comes back to bite them. Literally. House and Home makes you wonder about the homeless, especially those who seem to travel in packs. You know that things will end badly for the couple, but since you’re not sure how, it’s an interesting twist. However, like the other parts of Little Deaths, House and Home doesn’t know when to stop, piling excess on top of excess.
But that excess is nothing compared to that of the second story, Mutant Tool, written and directed by Andrew Parkinson. I really don’t know what to say about this one; it is so graphic and so grotesque, I’m not sure you’d believe me. However, it is also entirely original. The best I can categorize it is as a sci-fi/medical experimentation-gone wrong cautionary tale, with no moral lesson at the end.
In Mutant Tool, a junkie prostitute is trying to go straight with the help of meds from a creepy doctor. It’s probably best that she doesn’t ask where the meds come from, or what her fate will be in the end. In fact, it’s probably best that viewers don’t ask. This story is dark and dirty and a little hard to follow, but there’s no denying that it is absolutely horrifying. You will probably stick with it due to curiosity, but you have been warned.
Finally, Bitch, written and directed by Simon Rumley, offers the most humor of the three stories in Little Deaths, but also is the least successful. The sexually-frustrated couple in this story gets its satisfaction from “extreme S&M role-playing”. The man’s role is to play a dog. He crawls around on all fours and sleeps in a dog house. Based on the outcome, though, I wouldn’t say he particularly likes that role. In fact, he really needs to be swatted with a newspaper.
The box art for Little Deaths is what attracted me to the movie. In the picture, a naked woman, seen from the side with her arm partially obstructing her breasts, has what looks like pieces of bloody glass or metal coming out of her back. It has nothing to do (that I can tell) with the actual movie, but does accurately convey the tone. Also like the box art, the movie is well-produced. For short films, they seem to have been made with a decent budget.
I don’t honestly know if I can recommend Little Deaths. What would you think of me if I said I “liked” it? (For one thing, you might infer that my sex life is less G-rated than it really is.) I think I’ve done my job. I’ve tried to describe it without spoiling it, yet provide ample caution about its nature. You are all adults. If this sounds interesting to you, by all means, enjoy it. But if it doesn’t, steer clear. It is relentless in its intent to disturb.