Dec 12, 2010

Brutal Relax

It seems as if it has been so long since I have last enjoyed a short film; one from this decade that is. Brutal Relax was recently selected to play at Sitges Film Festival, courtesy of Eskoria Films. No matter what might be a translation error as it perfectly chimes the tone of the film. The title is such after the discharge of a patient whom appears to have an aggressive condition. Our mute leading man with a frozen grin is being released from what I can only guess is a sanitarium. The doctor gives strict preference as to where Mr. Olivares should vacate to: somewhere relaxing as to avoid any sort of sparking conflict. The warnings towards avoiding stress weigh heavy enough but for us the trip is hardly over. As soon as Mr. Olivares settles on a beach in a pool of mud, scaly lizard zombies (or demons) crawl from the abyss to slaughter and maim the fun-loving citizens of the resort.

I believe that the most accessible facet to Brutal Relax is the facial comparison of Mr. Olivares to French provocateur Gaspar Noe. The second leading trait is the relentless bloodshed that is always excessive but never tiring. Mr. Olivares always gets his man and even goes as far as wielding a child's mutilated corpse as a club to bludgeon the creatures who have imposed upon the malfunction of his cassette player. Apart from the well-done gore effects and violent slapstick, Brutal Relax also is one of the few films in question that alters the undead into something that doesn't involve pharmacy brand face paint and shredded clothing. These lizard-men emit a pustular discharge from their mouth while chowing down on a passer-byers neck. The cast of victims include beautiful women, children, and the occasional bro. The level of depravity hit is almost shocking. What's more is how enjoyable and utterly intoxicating it all is, especially if you're able to reach the off switch for 15 minutes.

Mr. Olivares is the greatest aspect of the film which is an admirable portion of a serving based entirely on bloodshed. His ambiguity opens the door to possible precursors to what could be a tasty franchise of unpredictable vacation massacres. I, for one, would pay to witness Mr. Olivares in a parka defending a small ice-fishing village from mutant demon penguins. Also appealing is the sexless agenda fueling the bulky monster of a man, denying damsels no longer in distress from victory kisses. Brutal Relax is a bona-fide gruesome short that expresses its point clearly with no genre confusion. Finally, gorehounds did it right.


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