Film Review: Black Metal Veins (2012)

Lucifer Valentine is the twisted fuck behind the Vomit Gore films. He is a sick and demented filmmaker that is even polarizing within the underground community. It’s pretty entertaining to watch the Facebook Groups go crazy with conversation when his name comes up. Even fans of the most extreme films can take issue with his work. I am not one of these fans, despite the fact that some of his work has been one and done when it comes to views from me.

I haven’t seen all of his films, so I’m definitely not an expert. They are also hard to come by, whether you are going through Unearthed or Black Lava. While I don’t ever need to see Slow Torture Puke Chamber again, it is actually the film that introduced me to this crazy ass label, after viewing the first AGP film at a screening in Texas. For me, Black Metal Veins is definitely not in STPC territory for me. It falls more into the Perfect Child of Satan category, one where I can see some style and social significance within the film.

If you are researching this film, you will find some conflicting information online. It’s listed as a documentary on IMDB. If you read reviews, however, you will find various statements regarding scripted sections of the film. There is debate and controversy surrounding the validity of certain aspects of this film. I’m sure this very secretive director wouldn’t want it any other way. So with that being said, giving it a watch just to see if you believe it all may be worth your time.

As far as I’m concerned, it barely matters if it’s one hundred percent real or fifty percent real. Of course, I don’t think you should be able to call something a documentary unless it is all real; but, that, of course, will just open up more debate about the validity of a documentary filmmaker’s bias, argument, editing, etc.. So again, I don’t care. What I do care about is the importance of this film. It is a brutal piece of dark realism that really makes a statement about the world of drug addiction. If it was one hundred percent fake, I would still at least watch it once just for the message.

It is, however, very difficult to watch. The people in the film are spiraling out of control. It is worse than watching a car wreck. It is a slow and painful deterioration that punishes the viewer as well. Anyone who has dealt with addiction, whether it be themselves or loved ones, will have even more trouble getting through this film. It definitely reminded me of some people in my life, forcing me to re-live tragedy. This is why I think this film is so powerful. It can not only teach the people who lack knowledge about this part of society, but remind those involved (or once involved) where they do not want to return.

All of my favorite parts of Valentine’s style are in this film. The minimalist approach to lighting and setting, with the occasional flash of style is there. The music, of course, is unsettling and subtle. The close up camera work at key points in the film is also especially haunting. Sadly, the parts I don’t like are there too. Whether it’s vomit, trashy characters, or gross sex, he always ¬†manages to find something that disturbs. Or maybe he just pisses me off. I don’t know. He is just as polarizing in my head as he is in the underground world. So I would say that I think this is his best work. His portrayal of drug addiction and the psychology behind it is so real and saddening that it impossible to not be emotionally effective. It is still, however, a piece of work that I probably won’t watch again. In this case, it will not be out of the disgust I took away from STPC, but out of a different kind of fear¬†of which I do not want to return.

Author: Steven Paul

Born and raised in Michigan, slowly dying in Florida. I’m here to keep you informed about everything in the world of indie horror. I also specialize in all genres of exploitation, cult, and extreme cinema. As part owner and Editor of Film and Television for Beneath the Underground, it is my responsibility to provide vast amounts of information for the horror fan and an outlet for the filmmaker.

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