Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 28th, 2007
Release Dates: Various
Directors: Olivier Smolders, Nico B, Brian M. Viveros, Eriijk Ressler, Bogdan Borkowski
Cast: Catherine Aymerie, Takashi Matsuo, Rozz Williams
DVD released: March 27th, 2007
Approximate running time: 83 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen /1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo French
DVD Release: Cult Epics
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
The first short Adoration uses minimal dialog and most of the action happens in one room. It is beautifully shot in black and white with many striking compositions. The story is simple a man murders his date and then eats her.
The second short Dislandia is about a young girl named Lindsey who is haunted by her disturbing visions. This is the longest short included in this collection and it is the most abstract of the five shorts. There is no spoken dialog and the eerie ambient soundtrack perfectly complements this shorts surreal imagery.
Pig is a tale about the inner workings of a killer and his downward spiral into oblivion. Pig is the most compelling and interesting short of the five included in this collection. Rozz Williams gives a chilling performance in what would turn out to be his last performance before committing suicide. Visually this short grabs you from the get go and even though there are few moments that really push the limits of good taste the majority of the short is like watching an evolving painting as the artist creates his vision on a canvas.
The fourth short is titled Hollywood Babylon and it is the shortest of the five include in this collection. The short is essentially images from the exhibits from the Museum of Death.
The fifth and final short is titled Le Poeme. It is also the only one in color is about an autopsy and the dialog is comprised of Arthur Rimbaud’s poem “The Drunken Boat” which is recited by a unseen narrator. Story wise there is very little to this one as it relies heavily on imagery. The dissecting of a human corpse is never a pretty site and reading Rimbaud’s poem while showing this gruesome footage only adds to the carnage.
All five shorts included in the Cinema of Death collection are presented in their original aspect ratios. The quality of each short varies as they were all shot on limited budgets. Overall Cult Epics has done a solid job with all the shorts and their transfers for this release.
All the shorts are presented in a Dolby Digital Stereo. Adoration and Le Poeme are in French with English subtitles. The other three shorts Dislandia, Pig and Hollywood Babylon have no dialog and the audio is made up of ambient sounds. Overall all five shorts audio is in great shape as there are no problems with distortion or any other sound defects.
Extras for this release consist of director introductions and five collectable postcards.
Cinema of Death collects five distinctively different shorts that push the boundaries of extreme cinema, highly recommended.