While Flowers is coming up in my series of Unearthed Films reviews, I thought I would take a look at another film from the same director first. Phil Stevens is an artist and director that is building a quick and impressive following in the indie scene. His films are dark and ominous. He uses haunting sound and disturbing practical effects work to create a truly memorable viewing experience for any fan. I am truly impressed by his work, and believe he is someone to watch in the world of independent and underground films.
Lung II is the second film from Phil Stevens. It is a film that really fucked with my head too. From the opening sequence, his impressive gore effects grabbed my attention and had me captivated. It featured some brutal bodily dismemberment that will have fans of extreme cinema drooling. The fan of practical effects will also find a true appreciation for this film. It isn’t just a film full of scenes where guys dig through guts. It is a film with multiple interpretations of death, portrayed through numerous scenes of dark depravity. There is even a scene with “creature” effects that fall somewhere between my two favorite directors named David: Lynch and Cronenberg.
The film was also set to an unsettling score. This score, while unsettling, was also really good. It sounded light years ahead of most of the independent film soundtracks out there. I would love to hear more about the people behind the sound, because they did an incredibly professional job. Their work helped this underground masterpiece sound like a film with a much bigger budget.
Shot in black and white, this film also had something to say on a stylistic level. While many viewers of extreme cinema may want their bloodbaths bright red, Stevens manages to create more disturbance with less color. This film is reminiscent of Eraserhead in this regard. It is not just the black and white, however, that helps me to make this connection. It is also his methodical camera that creates a similarly claustrophobic atmosphere. The strangely unnerving music also adds to the “Lynchian” effect, helping the viewer feel completely isolated from the real world.
I do not feel like I am going out on a limb when I say that I may have already found this year’s Tantrum. If you don’t already know, Tantrum was my favorite indie release of 2015. I believe this film will draw the same type of audience. It will turn heads and blow minds. The visuals have stuck with me long after viewing, and I consider it a must-own film for any horror fan. It will get my money because I am a fan of dark art-house cinema and disturbing gore. Aside from all of that awesomeness, this film also leaves room for plenty of interpretation. The events and imagery are inexplicable at times, which make me want re-watch it like crazy.