|Banderas as a crazy plastic surgeon.|
If you're in the mood for arthouse weird cinema, you might want to try The Skin I Live In.
Highly esteemed Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar offers you his brand of Frankenstein flick, where the creator is a skin-obsessed plastic surgeon, and the monster creation (who doesn't look anything like a monster) is a soft-skinned beautiful girl that he names Vera Cruz.
Set in present day suburban Toleda, Spain, The Skin I Live In (watch the badly made official trailer) follows Dr. Legard (Antonio Banderas), a screwball widowed surgeon tinkering with transgenesis and keeping in his remote stately mansion/medical lab "Vera" (Elena Ayana), his human experiment. He closely watches the suffering and locked-up Vera with a scrutinizing obsession-- his very own creation, guinea pig and art work.
Who is Vera? When did Dr. Legard take her in? Who is the tiger-costumed freak who entered the mansion and raped Vera? The movie answers these questions in a slowly revealing manner, in a fragmented timeline meant to disturb and gross you out. If the narrative was told in a linear fashion, you'd be more disturbed and grossed out.
|It would be advisable for human guinea pigs to do yoga.|
The Skin I Live In, filled with sex, violence and displays of insanity, is creatively sick and freakish, making you speculate with wide-eyes where Almodovar draws his art and inspiration from. Although it is essentially a horror flick, the Frankenstein aspect is almost comical. Two emotions are running parallel inside you-- horror and hilarity, therefore you only end up with occasional mutterings of "Weird...weird..."
|The tiger-costumed freak is no cheerful Tigger. He's a rapist.|
What will keep you from quitting this movie is the ongoing mystery, hooking you to find out the conclusion of the story, which turns out to be surprisingly normal-- and even hilarious. Simply put, The Skin I Live has a normal story, almost cliche-ish, but with abnormal details, presented with freaky art brimming with mental and sexual issues.
Although there is some beauty in it because it's sometimes visually artful, the story offers nothing substantial other than some sort of an important lesson: don't take drugs because you might end up accused of a crime by an insane person whose father is a genius and can turn your life into a nightmare. After watching the movie, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island sounds rather appealing.
2 out of 5 stars
Rated R for disturbing violent content including sexual assault, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, drug use and language