Blu-ray Review: Brutal (2017)

December 11, 2018

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Butch Bigwave stars as the appropriately named Man, one sick ticket of a dude whose hobbies include kidnapping women, tying them up in his apartment, making their bodies resemble hamburger, then carrying on conversations with their severed heads. Brutal indeed. Meanwhile, a woman only known as…well, Woman (Ayano Oami) carries on in much the same manner as Man, just with male victims ‘natch. As fate would have it, these two meet each other and a bizarre pseudo-romance begins that can only culminate in the ultimate display as violence as sex surrogate ever committed to film!
Straight up; Brutal lives up to it’s name a thousand-fold. This flick features some of the most nauseating sequences of bloody gore I’ve seen in a damn sight, and they are presented with gritty realism and practical effects glory. Also, as you can surmise, the basic story itself is as off-kilter as you can get and features genital mutilation, gallons of blood, and a surprisingly human element appearing in characters that act anything but.
Adding to the atmosphere is an aging technique added to the film that gives it that grindhouse aesthetic many film makers try to emulate, often to distracting effect. Here it just gives everything the quality of being a sort of documentary detailing the horrors at hand, and actually makes things seem more realistic than they would if just presented in a more straightforward visual style. Hopefully Charlie Sheen never gets his eyes on it…
On a side note, this flick runs a scant hour and six minutes. Most of the time I’d comment on that being kinda short for a feature film…but honestly, I think for this feature it’s long enough. Things happen in a no-bullshit way that pushes the violence to the fore and utilizes storytelling as window dressing instead of it being the more standard flip-flop.
As for extras on this Blu-ray from Unearthed films and MVD Entertainment, things are on the light side. We get a brief behind-the-scenes featurette, a trio of music videos, and a handful of trailers…and that’s all she wrote.
While not my particular cup of terror tea, there is no denying that Brutal is amazingly successful at what it does, and manages to elevate itself from being mere torture porn and presents a romance of the most demented kind with some surprises to boot. If you can handle things on the ultra-extreme side I’d recommend checking this one out!


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