Suitable Flesh

Suitable Flesh
Suitable Flesh
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If you know something about Stuart Gordon, film director and screenwriter, his theater work was your literal ‘out there.’ In no time after switching to film direction in 1985, Gordon started to generate a lot of interest with his oddball films. These were followed by a succession of audacious plays that sometimes sparked controversy – ranging from Re-Animator in 1985 to Dolls in 1987. Then came Dagon in 2001, a Spanish movie loosely based on H.P. Lovecraft’s short story; though he had also written more light-hearted projects such as Honey We Shrunk Ourselves and the Honey, I Shrunk The Kids TV series.

Fans mourned Gordon’s death last year but like many events depicted in contemporary horror thriller Suitable Flesh it seems that the man is still around. Joe Lynch (Creepshow) directed this movie. It just premiered at the Tribeca Festival. Suitable Flesh is another H.P.Lovecraft adaptation – thus taking its title from one of those tales.

The screenplay was written by Dennis Paoli (Re-Animator, From Beyond, Dagon), starring Heather Graham (The Hangover, Boogie Nights), Judah Lewis (The Babysitter, I See You), Johnathon Schaech (Prom Night, That Thing You Do!) and Barbara Crampton (Jakob’s Wife, The Young and the Restless), who is also one of the producers. And what happens? you will laugh out loud; get scared on seeing some scenes while wanting to cover your mouth with hands for embarrassment because hell yeah! There are more where these come from!

Reportedly director Joe Lynch saw Lovercraft’s original story as an amazing starting point for a contemporary tale. He liked how Dennis Paoli adapted it that gave it a gender twist akin to Rachel Weisz’ recent Dead Ringers redux., Instead of Edward and Daniel characters so named within the original, Dr. Elizabeth Derby (Graham) and her colleague, Dr. Daniella Upton (Crampton), will share a relationship or something that’s what really happen.

After being locked up “for killing” her young patient (Lewis) in the psychiatric ward, Elizabeth goes to Daniella for help. Flashbacks and voiceovers follow her downfall as we go through some of the events that led to it. These events are at once disturbingly sexual and dark. Since when she first met with a younger client, Elizabeth always had a weird feeling about him. He is sick saying “he runs me.” We learn that “he” is the man’s father and then later on during Elizabeth’s house call — don’t worry about certain things not making any sense yet because you’ll be glued to the screen during the second half of this movie — we discover he was indeed having some real Freaky Friday stuff going on there too. The bottom line: an adolescent spastic dude in trouble soon starts channeling another spirit; well, that guy is horny alright? It’s time for drop trou/raise skirt moment for Elizabeth et al.

This film knows how to take itself ever so not seriously and somehow winds up sucking you in by doing just that thing. First fifteen minutes comprised heated sex, decapitation, loads of bloodshed as well as surreal terror. You just cannot help but watch what seems like a train wreck of a movie veering off its own railings! But herein lies Suitable Flesh’ twist; it isn’t actually all bad after all…

Suitable Flesh premiered recently at the Tribeca Film Festival, leaving audiences gasping with delight. The film gets a bit more interesting in its second half as it combines humor and horror. At the beginning there is not that much wit but when it’s introduced Suitable Flesh takes an imaginative twist.

Naturally, therefore, Elizabeth relates her tale of woe to Daniella which results in some disastrous consequences. It is not clear what or who exactly body swapping or why we do it for are all about. We’re given clues that it’s most likely an ancient ritual that keeps playing out. That may not be all that important after all. Also by the time Elizabeth has swapped bodies with her patient several times, seems like fiery spirit loves female form (I mean really though he – because I’m assuming it’s a he – must have swapped-bodies-a-gogo with other ladies before.) They still want sex. A norm in every horror movie of this kind.

But again best to simply go along without over thinking things here; or worrying too much about some of the unusual dialogue choices for what they are worth. All tells into one another here. Graham, Lewis and Crampton are competent actors here.. In particular Lewis shows a great range no matter how twisted this might be. Direction is borrowed from styles inspired by Stuart Gordon’s films.. The gore is purposeful and well exaggerated sickeningly By the time you’re in the film’s final 25 minutes, you can’t take your eyes off this bonkers spectacle! Talking about his project once, director Joe Lynch said he didn’t just want to make “a modernized love letter to Lovecraft, but the kind of provocatively entertaining ‘sin-ema’ [he] believe[d] audiences are salivating for.” Well then folks start salivating!.

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