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Visions of Suffering 
Written by: on November 10th, 2006

Theatrical Release Dates:
Russia, 2005
Director: Andrey Iskanov
Cast: Igor Anikin, Alexandra Batrumova, Yukari Fujimoto, Svyatoslav Iliyasov

DVD Released: September 19th, 2006
Approximate Running Time: 125 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
DVD Release: Unearthed Films
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95

A man desperately tries to escape from the demons that haunt him while he dreams. The demons are pushing him beyond on the point of sanity. He no longer trusts his surroundings since he has lost track of what is real or just a dream.

Visions of Suffering quickly establishes its surreal tone from the get go with its bizarre imagery and dream like story structure. Director Andrey Iskanov perfectly captures the essence of a drug induced nightmare. The films plot is like an intricate puzzle that must be carefully watched and put together to fully enjoy this twisted tale. Andrey Iskanov cinematic style is most reminiscent of filmmaker David Lynch who also dabbles in weird cinema.

Visually this film has a lot going for it while the story which is not that straight forward as most movie might put off most viewers. The films special effects are all well done and effective. The acting exceeded my expectations. Even though Visions of Suffering is billed as a horror film it is not what I would call a horror film per say since there are no real scares and the horror in this film lies with in its disturbing images. Overall if you like demented and nihilistic cinema then you will thoroughly enjoy Visions of Suffering.

The DVD:

Visions of Suffering, is presented in a full frame aspect ratio that retains the films original compositions. The image remains stable and it is in great shape overall with faithfully reproduced colors and details look through out.

This release comes with one audio option the films original Russian language soundtrack which is presented here in a Dolby Digital Stereo. There are no problems with distortion or any other sound defects. The audio mix offers a full sonic filed that totally envelopes the viewer with its ambient soundtrack. Removable English subtitles that are easy to read and follow have been included.

This release is loaded with extras and they are as follows trailers for Visions of Suffering, Nails, Bone Sickness, Frankenhooker and Rock & Rule. There are two photo galleries titled “Andrey Iskanov” and “Victor Silkin” which include photos and portraits of their work. Also included with this release are two other photo galleries one titled “Production art” and the other titled” Production Photo’s”. All four galleries play out like featurette’s and the one titled “Production Photo’s” is accompanied by the films complete score which runs about seventy minutes in length. The main extra for this release is a fifty three minute documentary titled “The Making of Visions of Suffering” in which director Andrey Iskanov and Victor Silkin who discuss the origin of “Visions of Suffering’s” plot, dreams, Dario Argento and film like Solaris, Suspiria and Last Year at Marienbad which all help inspire “Visions of Suffering”. The last extra included is a short film directed by Nic Loreti titled “The Raven”. It is a tale about a cellist who is driven to madness by an unwelcome visitor whose noise always interrupts his practicing.  

Visions of Suffering, is not a film that is easily digested and it is one of the most original films that I have seen in a very long time. Unearthed Films have done an amazing job putting together this release making it this film a must have purchase for fans of Andrey Iskanov.

For more information about Visions of Suffering visit Unearthed Films here.

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