Film Review: ATROZ (2015)

Film Review: ATROZ (2015)

Mar 20, 2016

IMDb: Atroz (2015) (aka Atrocious)
Director: Lex Ortega
Stars: David Aboussafy, Laurette Flores, Aleyda Gallardo

ATROZ (aka ATROCIOUS) comes to us from director Lex Ortega (Mexico Barbaro) in Mexico. This film was produced by the famously infamous Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust). This is going to be the first American release of the film. You are also reading the first American review of the film…lucky you…I think.

This film focuses on tapes confiscated from two men after they cause a car accident. The viewer follows along as the police watch these mysterious tapes, only to learn that they are the home videos of two ruthless serial killers. These videos are sexually perverse, brutally violent, and full of realistic gore. It is impossible not to look at this film and think of the August Underground trilogy. It has the feel of August Underground, with the sexual perversion of Mordum, and the gore effects of Penance. This is a film that was obviously influenced by the found footage genre, while mixing  in numerous hard core examples of extreme cinema. It even  manages to cross between sub-genres, due to the fact that the police are watching multiple tapes. In fact, if this was not a singular film, it could almost be viewed as an anthology of extreme cinema.

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For instance, the opening tape would fulfill the needs of the fans of the snuff genre. It is reminiscent of underground films like Nailed Down or Boy Meets Girl. It then moves through more sexually depraved sequences that will surely remind the viewer of A Serbian Film or Madness of Many. Beyond these genre films, this film contains gut wrenching segments that will stand out in your mind like the most brutal scenes from Death-Scort Service and Snuff 102. There are numerous comparisons to be made, and this film is a nice example of every single one of them. It is gross, depraved, and highly disturbing.

Surprisingly, the film also manages to speak to a bigger problem. It possesses a message of realistic horror in the Mexican society that it so darkly portrays. In the trailer, it talks about the fact that a disturbing number of murders in the country stay unsolved. The idea that serial killers can be lurking around every corner, killing with impunity, is a highly disturbing concept. This is definitely a film that fans of horror and underground cinema will eat up. It even has a wider message that may be appreciated by people outside of the genre.

As a film, it also has some style. It has great shots in the city streets. The opening credits even stand out to me as a nicely stylized aspect of a low-budget film. Outside of the home video segments, this is a filmmaker that truly had a vision for his portrayal of the city in which he filmed. He showed the chaos, poverty, and desperation that could be indicative of any city in the world. He even managed to speak to the social ills and political corruption that run rampant throughout the world.

The only negative I had with the film was the almost incomprehensible ending. I had to take a time-out from this review and re-watch the second half of the film. I was not sure if I lost something in translation or it was just edited in such a way that made it confusing. As it turns out, I just had to pay a little more attention to the conversation at the end. There is a conspiratorial twist ending in this film that is actually pretty cool, you just need to watch for it. The viewer that has trouble following foreign films, subtitles, etc. may miss out on something pretty special here.

You need to give this film a chance if you are a fan of extreme cinema, sexual perversion, gore effects, and even murder mysteries. This film even has enough social commentary and mystery behind it, to interest the fan that needs “deeper” subject matter. In the end, I find this to be a very strong Unearthed Films release. It is a good thing Biro keeps finding films of higher quality; however, the real credit needs to go to the filmmakers that are out there giving it their all. Lex Ortega shows true dedication to his art with this film, while managing to shock and appall even the craziest of fans.

Trailer: