The Curator of Schlock #361 by Jeff Shuster
We Are the Flesh
We are not amused.
Edwige and I have looked for a place to hide. We’re outlaws now.
I found an abandoned mall on the outskirts of Pittsburg. I’m thinking starting a campfire where the water fountain used to be. I’m going to roast me some weenies since I found some hotdogs at an abandoned Nathan’s in the food court. Hot dogs don’t really have a shelf life.
This week’s Arrow Home Video release is 2016’s We Are the Flesh from director Emiliano Rocha. I really don’t know what to say about this one. Is it an art movie? Yeah, kind of. Is it a sick movie? Do you find graphic depictions of incest sick? The movie is a French-Mexican co-production if I’m to trust the limited information I can find online about this production. It is a Spanish language film, with English subtitles available.
The movie begins with a strange gentleman named Mariano living in a dilapidated office building or apartment building. One gets the impression that this movie takes place after the globe has been devastated by a third World War or something to that effect. Mariano lives a life of quiet solitude. He gets fresh eggs from a neighbor who passes them to him through a slot in the wall. He’s busy working on a Papier-mâché project that will convert his lonely living space into a fake cave. Mariano is living the dream.
His peace and quiet is disrupted when two young people dig their way into his apartment. They are Fauna (María Evoli) and Lucio (Diego Gamaliel). Fauna asks Mariano if they can stay there for a while. Mariano offers them a raw egg. He agrees to let them stay if they’ll work for him and, naturally, help him build more Papier-mâché caves. Mariano then serves them a boiled egg.
And then the movie becomes all kinds of inappropriate. Mariano keeps questioning Lucio about Fauna, asking him why he hasn’t slept with her. Lucio takes offense to this as Fauna is not his girlfriend, but his sister. Mariano serves Lucio and Fauna steak. Lucio doesn’t want to eat it because he’s a vegetarian. Fauna chows down and gets really sick. Foaming-at-the-mouth sick.
Mariano is furious at the two of them because they stole an eye dropper of his. He forces Lucio to eat his steak or he won’t help his sister. That conflict gets resolved somehow, but now Mariano is obsessed with getting this brother and sister to have sex and this is about where I stop my synopsis.
Did this movie have to go there? I know. I know. I’m a prude.
I think some reviewer somewhere referred to We Are the Flesh as transgressive cinema that will never be accepted by the mainstream. Sure. I think I forgot to mention that there’s a cannibalism scene toward the end of the movie (because the stuff leading up to it makes the cannibalism seem tame).
Jeff Shuster (episode 47, episode 102, episode 124, episode 131, episode 284, episode 441, episode 442, episode 443, episode 444, episode 450, and 477) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.