Thursday, November 29, 2007


This is one of the fabled horror films that is pretty much impossible to acquire (unless you’re willing to drop a hundred bucks ordering a used copy from someone on Amazon). If you go to horror discussion groups like I do because I have no life you’ll occasionally see someone speaking about it in hushed, awed tones, like they got one step closer to something divine by the sheer virtue of having watched it. Now that I’ve finally acquired a copy of my very own through questionable means, I’m beginning to understand how they all felt.

There really is no other movie like this one. It’s essentially a filmed nightmare; there are no spoken words, and only a plot in the vaguest terms. What we get instead are a series of haunting images, opening with God disemboweling himself, releasing the Earth Mother from within him (none of this is explained within the film, mind you, I had to wait for the end credits to find out who these people represented), who then impregnates herself with him and gives birth to Son of Earth, both of whom wander a barren landscape until being attacked and destroyed by an unnamed group of people.

Just listed like that it sounds like an incredibly pretentious play that would likely have a total audience of five multi-lingual snobs with bad facial hair, but it is absolutely saved by the amazing visual and audio style. You know how every good horror movie has those shots within them that are just perfectly evocative of pure dread? Shots of blood dripping down a leg, or a group of cloaked people walking against the moonlight, stuff that is pure horror, and looks wonderful. This film, essentially, is a collection of those shots without any worrying about the plot getting in the way. The film is in black and white, with an overexposed negative, a grainy look, and numerous scratches to almost give it the look of a long-lost silent film print that someone just discovered in their garage. The sound is also incredible; with no spoken dialogue or music, it instead relies entirely upon sound effects, like running water or dripping blood or insects buzzing by, to give an aural feel equivalent to the visuals.

That said, the film does have a pretty big flaw, and that is its length. It’s a good deal shorter than an average movie (IMDB lists it at 78 minutes, though my copy was only 72), but it drags out too much towards the end. It would have been a masterpiece at thirty minutes; at 70+ it’s only good. Still, anyone who wants a visual representation of how to push the limits of what a no-budget film can do should definitely check this film out. Just good luck finding it.

Rating: ***

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