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Alex is attended a party with her lover, Marcus, and her ex-husband, Pierre. They take the subway and have a long conversation about sex on the way. When they arrive, the two men go off on their own as Alex is stuck dancing by her lonesome. Marcus is drinking and doing a large amount of drugs while being away from Alex. He starts trying to have sex with other women, but Pierre is there to stop him. When Marcus finally approaches Alex, he acts very moronic around her, causing her to leave the party early. On her way out, she is stuck at the corner of the street, trying to get across. One of the local prostitutes informs her about the bad traffic and suggest she takes the tunnel.
Down the tunnel she goes. A pimp and one of his women start to fight in front of Alex. After hitting her quite a bit, he spots Alex. When Alex tries to run away, he pins her up against the wall and threatens to kill her. He eventually gets her on the ground and starts to anally rape her. A man begins to walk through the tunnel when all this is going on. Instead of helping the damsel in distress, he turns the other way and walks off. After the it's all over, he lays down next to her to catch his breath. She slowly starts crawling away until he starts kicking her in the face for being so beautiful. Then proceeds to punish her by repeatedly punching her in the face and slamming her head into the concrete floor.
Marcus and Pierre are on their way back home when they're stopped by a group of police men that are blocking the tunnel to the subway. They tell the two that a prostitute had been raped. Thinking nothing of it while arguing with the cop, Alex is wheeled by on a stretcher. Heavily beaten and now in a coma. After the two are questioned by police, they are approached by two hit men that offer their services to find the man who did this to Alex and get revenge. Marcus and Pierre agree and start looking for the man. They first ask a long line of prostitutes that are out on the street working. After viciously harassing one of them, she tells them that he goes by the name of Tapeworm and can be found at the Rectum, a club for homosexual gentlemen.
All the prostitutes start attacking the four men when they catch them harassing one of their own. The two hit men get left behind as the other two jump into a taxi. The driver has no idea where the Rectum is, which doesn't sit to well with a heavily drugged Marcus. He starts yelling at the driver and then begins to hit him. The driver pulls them over and tells them to get out. Marcus gets out, only to rip the driver out of his seat, spray him in the eyes with pepper spray, then steal his taxi. When they get to the bar, Marcus is going up to every man and couple looking for Tapeworm. When he finally finds him, he starts a fight. Tapeworm breaks his arm and is about to kill Marcus. Pierre puts a stop to that by smashing his face in with a fire extinguisher. The two men are wheeled out on a stretchers.
Take every one of those scenes and put them in reverse order, that's how the movie is. So the movie starts out with the two men getting wheeled out on stretchers. Then Marcus is scouring the Rectum for Tapeworm. Then they're trying to find the Rectum. Continue that all the way through the film. The story line is easy to follow, so the order the scenes are in don't make it confusing. It also seems like the fight at the Rectum and the rape scene are the main parts in the movie. But it's actually the beginning of the film (that's shown at the end) that makes the other stuff even more brutal. The ending also has one quick off and on twist. It seems as if all that happened didn't really happen, but then isn't the case which is found out not even a minute later.
All the blood scenes were digitally edited in the film. When Alex was being wheeled into the ambulance on a stretcher, her bloody and mangled face was all digital. The face that was being smashed in by the fire extinguisher, also digital. Both looked incredibly life-like, which was nice to see since the small amount of films that use effects for those sort of things hardly ever turn out even half decent. Tapeworm breaking Marcus' arm also looked very real, which wasn't done with any sort of digital process. Another effect they used was for the ending of the film (shown at the beginning) which was shaking the camera around an extreme amount. It was there to grab the artistic side of the film, but came off as extremely irritating.
Not very shocking or disturbing, but not boring either. Everything looked real, which is always a plus. The anal rape scene was a bit long, but added to the realism. A lot of sex scenes in films are very short and are mostly shown for intimate purposes. This scene actually had the length it would take for a man to get off if he were really raping some girl. Her struggle or screaming didn't let up once either, quite the brutal scene. There was a lot of lower male nudity, so any guy too scared to look at another guys nether regions should definitely stay clear from the film.
Final Conclusion: 7/10
- added 10/21/2005, 08:13 PM
This was an interesting little arthouse flick
that caught me offguard. The violence is all too
real and the performances are solid, but this is
kind of like "Swimming Pool" in that you really
have to be in a certain mood to enjoy it. 6/10.
- added 05/08/2007, 08:01 PM
I rented this movie because I had read about it.
The camera moving crazy like through almost all of
the film gave me a headache. Sorry but I hated
- added 03/16/2008, 05:29 PM
Great and very diferent movie... the rape scene
is very hard to watch also... Monica bellucci is
so good... one of my top 20 fav. movies.
grain of sand
- added 05/05/2008, 07:02 PM
I really like this movie, but doubt I'll ever
watch it again. Fire extinguisher face was
beautiful and the rape scene made me really
- added 08/23/2008, 12:26 AM
Guess I should comment on this one since it's
been on my mind lately. One of the first truly
disturbing movies I've ever seen, as well as one
of the most realistic depictions of violence and
rape I've ever seen on film. I may own it, but I
don't know if even I could sit through too many
viewings of this one. Even with all the violence,
it's a remarkably beautiful film with great on
screen chemistry between real-life couple Cassel
and Bellucci. Definitely worth a watch, as long as
you have a strong stomach. 10/10
- added 08/27/2008, 03:30 AM
Good, but highly overrated. The scene with the
fire extinguisher to the face was great and the
rape scene was brutal, but other than that, it's
your standard rape / revenge flick... only, shown
through the eyes of a director who apparently had
seizures while filming, and shown in reverse just
to get some arthouse cred. I have no problems
with trying something experimental in a movie, but
this just didn't work as well as it would have if
they had simply shown the story from beginning to
end. 7/10 sounds about right.