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Urban Flesh (1999)

DVD Cover (Sub Rosa Studios)
Genres:
Cannibal Film, Horror, Sadistic Horror
Director:
Alexandre Michaud Alexandre Michaud
Starring:
Martin Dubreuil Martin Dubreuil
Marc Vaillancourt Marc Vaillancourt
Marie-Ève Petit Marie-Ève Petit
Anthony Pereira Anthony Pereira
Mireille Leveque Mireille Leveque

4.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: December 13, 2007
Banned in Canada, England and Germany. A massive gorefest dedicated to Lucio Fulci. A half-naked chick with an ax on the DVD cover. Really, how could a movie like this fail, especially for someone like me who enjoys a good "torture porn" flick with massive amounts of bloodshed and dismemberment every now and then? Well, I hate to say it, but fail it did... and not only did it fail, it was a failure of epic proportions.

Plot? There's not much of one here. Four people - Kane (Martin Dubreuil), Zack (Anthony Pereira), Sally (Marie-Ève Petit), and Ygor (Marc Vaillancourt) - enjoy killing and eating random civilians for fun. A detective (K.M. Lavigne) is hot on their trail and has nothing on his mind but putting an end to this "cannibal cult." There's your plot, and it goes on like that for about eighty minutes.

Before we get into the movie, we're presented with a note from the director that the audio and video for this film doesn't exactly make for a high-definition experience due to the age of the film and the substandard equipment used to film it. That's fair enough; he certainly wasn't lying as things look and sound awful, but I can deal with that. The problem that I had with this film was... well, just about everything else. For starters, the most annoying thing about the film was the soundtrack. Now, I'm not referring to the muffled dialogue here - no, I'm referring to the god-awful mixture of synthpop and death metal music that was inserted into damned near every scene of the film. There are very few films that have been able to successfully use death metal effectively, and trust me when I say that this was not one of them as I was wanting to stab myself in the eardrums by the third time I heard one of those obnoxious songs. I have to admit that I actually enjoyed the synthpop stuff, but again, it certainly didn't fit with the theme or tone of the film and did nothing but hurt it.

The complete and utter lack of a storyline also hurt this one to a tremendous degree. Now, I realize that the intent of a film like this is to simply show off some great gore effects and not to tell a riveting storyline, but you do have to have something in there to string it along. At first, I thought that the detective subplot would be used for that purpose, but sadly, I was mistaken - there's a couple of scenes revolving around him towards the beginning of the film and it should go without saying that things end with a confrontation between him and the cannibals, but the vast majority of the running time is simply spent on watching those four hoodlums go about their daily routines and carving people up. Maybe I'm just getting old, but watching the same goddamned kill sequence done over and over again on different people did nothing for me.

Speaking of the gore, it's pretty much the same stuff we've seen a thousand times over in other, better films. There's the traditional stab wounds, plenty of entrails being ripped out, and of course, more than a couple of bodily organs being rubbed on the actor's faces (excuse me, "being eaten"). I will concede that there was some good special effects on display here as these kills looked much better than I would have expected from a film of this nature, but again, it simply lacked inspiration and it felt like the filmmakers were constantly retreading old ground. I did enjoy the fetus-eating scene and thought that it was disgustingly great, but even that gag has been done numerous times over and shouldn't do much to shock anyone with the slightest bit of experience in this nasty little subgenre.

Skip it, unless you're a huge fan of this type of film and desperately need a fix. It may have been a much better film had damned near everything in it not been done before, but when you consider that there's really nothing original in here and you have to suffer through some grating music to see it, I simply can't recommend this one in good faith. 3/10.
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