Thursday, September 15, 2016

ATROZ (2015) (Blu-ray Review)

ATROZ (2015)
Limited Collector's Edition 3-Disc BD/DVD/CD 

Label: Unearthed Films 

Region Code: A/1
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 79 Minutes
Video: 1080 p HD Widescreen 
Audio: Spanish DTS-HD MA 5.1, 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1, 2.0 with Optional English Subtitles 
Director: Lex Ortega
Cast:  Lex Ortega, Patricia Leih, Carlos Padilla, Julio Rivera, Carlos Valencia

Lex Ortega's Mexican import Atroz (2015) opens with a dour montage of how he sees life on the streets in Mexico City, a place of filth, crime and where thousands of murders go unsolved every year, it sets a specific tone for this in-your-face slice of extreme Mexican cinema. A detective named Juarez (Carlos Valencia) arrives on the scene of a crime where a young girl has been run over by a car, her body is covered with a tarp, but what appears to her ruptured brains are splattered from beneath the tarp and across the road. The drunk occupants of the car have been detained in the back of a police car while the detective searches the vehicle, inside he finds a handgun which he immediately slips into his jacket, right away you get the feeling that even the cops are a bit crooked down there in Mexico, no one comes out of this clean. The detective also also finds a video recorder which he opens and watches, what he finds on the video is shocking and repugnant, what started as a brutal traffic crime turns into the investigation of a a pair of serial killers who have documented their murder-spree on video cassette.

As we watch the footage the movie takes on a found footage aesthetic and the video shows the pair of men stalking and abducting a transgender prostitute whom they torture and eventually murder, but not before they mutilate her in graphic and gory detail. From here the movie alternates between the graphic interrogation by the Det. Juarez and his men and more video footage of what the pair of serial killers have documented on their video recorder, and what we view is some very rough stuff. 

One of the videos recovered documents a short lived relationship one of the men named Goyo (played by director Ortega) had with a stripper, which begins with some period sex and ends with them wrapping their faces plastic wrap, even the consensual sex is extreme in this movie. However, Goyo snaps when he discovers she is no longer on her period, disappointed she is bloodless he beats the woman to death before having sex with her bloodied corpse.. 

A later video shows Goyo years earlier at home in his teens, his parents have discovered some hardcore gay porn in his bedroom and question their son's sexuality. What could just be an embarrassing coming out moment with mom and dad turns into a horrific episode as his abnormally vicious father goes beyond the pale to humiliate his son by raping him with a dildo, while his mom and sister watch. It would be hard to say that this is the most graphic scene in the movie, the whole damn movie is a brutal exercise in gore tolerance and discomfort, but there are certain levels of discomfort and this is where my threshold seemed to be as a viewer. The scene goes a ways towards informing how the serial killer was created in part through the humiliation and degradation at the hands his psychotic parents, whom he turns against in a brutal scene that is filled with rage and copious amounts of disturbing genital mutilation. 

The movie is dark and brimming with awful images you won't soon forget, Director Lex Ortega's vision of Mexico City is very dark and more brutal than anything I've seen in recent memory. I definitely won't be planning a trip to Mexico City anytime soon, particularly if those crime stats are accurate. 

Atroz arrives on a Limited Collector's Edition three-disc Blu-ray, DVD and CD from Unearthed Films  in a n attractive gatefold digipack package. The movie and special features are presented on both Blu-ray and DVD, plus a third disc containing the soundtrack tot he movie. Extras on the disc include the original Atroz short films, a series of making of featurettes, and commentaries from director Lex Ortega in both English and Spanish.  

Special Features:
- Atroz: Original Short Films(14 Mins) 
- Crowdfunding Video (4 Mins) HD 
- Behind The scenes: Music and Sound Design (4 Mins) HD 
- Behind The Scenes: Practical FX (4 Mins) HD 
- Behind The Scenes: Production (4 Mins) HD 
- Unearthed Trailers: Atroz (2 Mins) HD, American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock (3 Mins) HD, American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore (2 Mins), Sheepskin (1 Min), Francesca (2 Mins) HD, Flowers (2 Mins) 
- Behind-The-Scenes Image Gallery (47 Images) HD 
- CD Soundtrack 

Unearthed Films' brand of extreme underground cinema is always a hard watch for me, but I always appreciate how visceral and brutal their output is, even if I don't see myself revisiting it anytime soon. There's an abundance of stomach-churning gore with moments of shocking necrophilia, incest, and some scatological stuff, the movie is a marathon of human depravity. If you are a hardcore gore whore who loves extreme cinema this one should be on your radar. More casual horror fans might want to have that vomit bag ready, this is brutal stuff.