Visions of Suffering Movie Review
Review written by Daniel Benson
Released by Unearthed Films
Written by Andrey Iskanov
Directed by Andrey Iskanov
Runtime - 120 Minutes
Alexandra Batrumova as The Girlfriend
Andrey Iskanov as The Priest
Victor Silkin as The Phone Repairman
Svyatoslav Iliyasov as The Man in Black Beret
Irina Nikitina as The Girl for Rape
Alexander Shevchenko as The Man in Glasses
Dmitriy Skripnik as The Drug Dealer
Zoya Makarova as The Old Woman
Igor Orlov as The Man in Black
Yukari Fujimoto as The Girl in Black
Alexander Kravchenko as The Man in Black Beret`s Alter Ego
Anna Subotina as The Female Corpse
Igor Anikin as The Show Man
"Angst" was the original title for "Visions of Suffering"
Visions of Suffering, like Nails is another one of the HalluCinoGeNnN series of surreal, psychedelic, gore movies. As with its sibling, it will eventually be released on DVD by Unearthed Films, but again I have been lucky enough to see a preview direct from Andrey himself.
I expected that, at some point during my time of reviewing movies, I would have to cover a film that was difficult to explain. I didn’t expect something that would so utterly defy explanation. I didn’t expect Andrey Iskanov’s Visions of Suffering.
So, while Mr Iskanov dispenses with the traditional movie formula, I will eschew the standard Horror DNA review format and merely try to convey some of the VoS experience. Don’t expect to be any the wiser by the time you finish reading this, I am still in a state of confusion after viewing the film.
The central character is The Man in Glasses (Alexander Shevchenko), who is tortured by nightmares when it rains. When the dreams get too much for him, he tries to call his girlfriend for help, but breaks the phone. Who better to fix the phone, than The Phone Repairman (Victor Silkin)? This is no ordinary telecommunications expert though, he is also an expert in the ways of ghostly creatures called Vampires (yes, I know vampires are traditionally bloodsucking undead, but in VoS they’re haunting ghosts that cause nightmares, OK?).
Anyone who finds out about the existence of Vampires, or even passes on information about them, is doomed to be tortured and killed. To accomplish this, the Vampires send their very own hitman, The Man in Black (Igor Orlov).
So, The Man in Glasses manages to contact his girlfriend and arranges to meet her in Delirium, the weirdest nightclub you could ever hope to find. It is a highly unusual place where addicts and weirdos gather. There are all manner of narcotics for sale in the club and, if it takes your fancy, you can pay to beat the shit out of the female staff. The Man in Glasses crosses paths with The Priest (Andrey Iskanov), who is having his own troubles with his faith, his girl and bad dreams when the rain comes…
Now all that might sound reasonably straightforward, but that’s because Andrey Iskanov gave me an explanation of the story. None of it jumps straight out of the movie. As with Nails, there is hardly any dialogue, which makes it very difficult to have a coherent narrative. However, where Nails concerns only one central character and location, Visions of Suffering introduces many more characters and moves between the home of The Man in Glasses, the nightclub and unidentified rooms which could be in either location. With little dialogue to tie the events together, cogency goes out of the window.
The film’s strengths lie in the imagery and the special effects. As a horror fan, I really appreciate how well accomplished the gore scenes are, from the old woman who eats her own fingers to the strange metal thing that flies around and drills through people’s heads Phantasm style. There’s also some great effects work during a dream sequence where jellyfish-like creatures are hanging from trees and menacing The Man in Glasses. Tie these in with a more structured framework and we’d be looking at one hell of a good movie.
Grading: This is a tough one, as it’s hard to say I liked the movie, but then it’s equally hard to say I didn’t. So middle of the road it is, I give it a C.
Picture, Sound and Special Features.
Not rated, as this was a screener copy only.
Movie - C
Video - n/a
Sound - n/a
Special Features - n/a
Overall - C
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