Jul 22, 2008

Vermilion Eyes

A piece of self-destructive writing; how beautiful. I was watching this film when I humbly dozed off in a beautiful land of still-images that were currently happening. Just over an hour satisfied me deeply; this carnivorous decaying film of stillborn images of the deepest sexual gratification and hidden pleasures. In many ways, this film suits me, not only in my current mood, but in my current stance. Soundtrack of the now: Sanchez is driven by demons.

Ambiance embeds me into my current seat. If there were only two things on my mind right now, it'd be a fine piece of cinema and the casual mind-fuck woman. Not to get too "off-topic", the film picks up instantly with an over-weight Mexican looking man. Not much is known about him other than the present discovery of his fetish donning a haz-mat suit near dead bodies and satisfying his deepest voyeuristic fetishes.

What a world we live in! Balance reigns supreme. I noticed a wonderful spider blocking my wooded route today. It was asleep; perfectly in the center. A bulls eye consisting of a wonderful insect. Such symbolism today is reminding me of Nathan Schiff's lost film. A dreary work of art. One which many can't relate to. I sometimes wonder if the directors have personal motifs.

Our central (again; balance) character is a blend of a cavalier spirit and also blurring personalities, left only with excess characterization. He dreams and films dead women. Just like the modern sociopath before him, he is fascinated with death in the most intimate form. Other than that, he dresses up in air proof clothing to establish the disconnection betwixt him and the dearly departed.

A whores sarcastic grin taunts his ego. For this, he must backlash. But it was all a dream? For this man, Love is the only escape from his inner psyche. But when bad goes to worse, and worse becomes women, the only thing to really do is to embrace your falling. Much like I've learned to do over the years. Vermilion Eyes is a contemporary Peeping Tom. You see, when I first viewed Peeping Tom, I hated the film. Sure, it had "the angles and the budget", but it was as bland as they come.

Criterion isn't a label that automatically makes a film they release "amazing" and "a work of art." A more proper term for a Criterion release would be "Jesus fuck, not another Kurosawa film." One of many things Peeping Tom lacks, is intimacy. The film feels dry and distasteful. Vermilion Eyes catches up the slack felt behind and promotes a superfluous film articulated with a grainy backdrop and a modern depression with a scar of a killer.

On the down side, the acting is pretty horrific at times. In fact, "the woman" walked in as I was viewing this. Let's just say she walked in at an unfortunate time, and I looked like a fool watching a Lifetime film 12 times recorded. That's the only downside I can establish grounds with. The sound effects are top-notch and even more so their cues. Every scene would be nothing if not aided with a harsh screeching of an alone instrument.

I've read forums (Not much information exists on the film) and all I've read are portraits of how "gory" the film is. This is not as brutal as it is "piercing." Vermilion Eyes is definitely it's own experience. It lulled me to a silent slumber as well as shook me until I was wide awake. I've got to hand it to Nathan Schiff. He successfully captures the feel of Nekromantik, yet being an American film.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure"

This quote strikes a great blow to the viewing nature of the film. So far, the only copy is this film is a beyond horrific VHS rip floating around on the world wide web. Normally, I'd rather a DVD rip or a remastered version so I can contain every detail, but for a bizarre reason, the grain, sound cut-offs, and tracking error's complete the film. It's all in place to combine a low-budget puzzle of a scintillated kind.

Like Caligula before it, Vermilion Eyes features an explicit "babydeath" scene as a crudely-animated drunk driver takes the life of a family on the road. This, I can imagine, would be enough to enrage any form of censorship committee. The character touches the dead infant with tragedy in his touch. One to which I can relate wholly to. He promptly wraps the infant up and stores it.

As surrealist as it gets, Vermilion Eyes never gets too unrealistic. A step above other low budget productions; behind these eyes lies a great vision, a vision of horrors committed to bodies being captured on celluloid; much like we would be viewing now. Schiff knows how to embrace the fleshy details of a woman's form, creating from this vessel, a beautiful canvas that we can all enjoy watching burn. Schiff has discovered the ecstasy behind death; for which he created, Vermilion Eyes.

A very whole-hearted thanks to Pete Cann for this film.


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