“Either Unmissable or Unwatchable Extreme Hard Core Art House Horror”
That’s my attempt to sum up WE ARE THE FLESH in a single sentence. It’s a very peculiar, very intense Mexican movie that’s getting a presumably (and surprisingly considering everything that goes on in it) uncut UK Blu-ray and DVD release courtesy of Arrow Films on 13th February, when you can find out for yourself which you think it is. I don't imagine there's going to be much middle ground.
We open on heavy breathing as we see the very strange Mariano (Noe Hernandez) distilling something (?paraffin ?drugs ?life itself) from a mixture of mouldy bread and goodness knows what else. He lives in a squalid building into which wander down on their luck brother and sister Lucio (Diego Gamaliel) and Fauna (Maria Evoli).
Mariano offers to take them in as long as they’ll help build his massive cardboard cavern. Oh, and have sex with each other, graphically. Indeed, the sexual activities and lingering shots of various nether regions in this made me wonder if director Emiliano Rocha Minter was ever sent home with a school report that said ‘Emiliano is getting along well in art, even if he does exhibit a somewhat unhealthy preoccupation with genitalia’.
Things become even more outrageous and insane as a Mexican soldier is captured and slaughtered in between lots of arty shots and lots of sex. The film ends on a note of outrageous, extrovert craziness leaving you wondering quite what you’ve watched.
Not everyone is going to get on with WE ARE THE FLESH. In fact I think I can safely say the audience for this one is going to be limited. Minter has an interesting directorial style and a warped imagination to go with it. The only previous movies this reminded me of were the more insane scenes in hell from the Jose Mojica Marins ‘Coffin Joe’ movies from Brazil, and if you found those to be too much then you should stay well away from this one.
Arrow’s Blu-ray looks great and includes interviews with the director and the principal cast members. You also get two of the director’s previous short films - DENTRO and VIDEOHOME, as well as a new video essay by Virginie Selavy, stills and a reversible sleeve. The first pressing also comes with a collectors booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anton Bitel.
Emiliano Rocha Minter’s WE ARE THE FLESH is out on UK DVD and Blu-ray from Arrow Films on Monday 13th February 2017