Two morgue workers get their kicks by performing unspeakable acts on corpses in the disturbing horror tale Aftermath, one of two spine-tingling films from Spanish director Nacho Cerda starring Pep Tosar. The second feature, Genesis, centers on a sculptor who’s unable to deal with the tragic death of his beautiful wife. As the artist sculpts a lifelike statue of his beloved, eerie things begin happening to both the statue and its creator.
AfterMath / Genesis, A 3 story anthology is composed of 1 short “The Awakening” and the 2 longer shorts “Aftermath” and “Genesis”
The Awakening comes across more as a school project that involves a student who falls asleep to find that everything has frozen. In closer inspection he see’s himself dying as he prepares for his next life. Pretty basic, not really the strength here ..but fun to see some past work I suppose. In review of the DVD extras, this actually “was” a school project that he filmed in 3 days.
The 2nd Short “Aftermath”, the controversial one of the bunch goes at it full scale. From the moment it opens up on a dead dog with his intestines ripped out, you know this isn’t going to be pretty. Now I’ve seen alot, though Aftermath stands easily among one of the most depraved, sickest explicit goriest films I’ve seen. Its’ no surprise, as this was the directors intention. As he mentions, Genesis is not supposed to be commercially viable. Which there no chance in hell it ever would be. I’m sure some intellects will look past the gore to dig out some thoughtful facade. But hey….. when we get down to it,Its about autopsies, its about necrophilia and its about shock.
To lay the foundation, we arrive at an autopsy room where 2 medics go about there sickening but mundane numbing jobs of pulling apart bodies to perform autopsies on the victims. The way they go about it is pretty cold, unemotional and equal to butchering a cow for meat. Rib bones are pulled back, Heads sawed, eye sockets injected, guts pulled out like taffy and bones broken with lock cutters to get to the internals. Another day at the office. I think if we left it alone with just that we could write it off as a medically necessary “dirty job”.
That’s the clincher. As one of the medics leaves, the 2nd has been harvesting some pretty sick fantasies. The arrival of a once cute female corpse is all it takes to set that fantasy in motion. In the after hours, he pokes and prods at her genitalia like a cat playing with its prey. Not enough, he stabs the genitalia several times before ripping open the chest cavity. Blood soaked, guts falling on to the floor he feels himself getting aroused by the pretty unsitely scene. If you haven’t guessed already perverted medic #2 whips down the drawers, climbs on top, sets up his camera and has a go at some corpse grinding. All through this unsettling little brain-mosh of a short we are accompanied by orchestral music. Nothing like necrophilia to the classics.
I was reminded of the similar approach used in “Clockwork Orange” where violence was accompanied by classical. Maybe its purpose was to give this some dignity. Guess what? I didn’t. What next? Oh ya, he pulls out the heart so he can feed it to his dog for supper later…classy stuff. Remind me not to recommend this one to close friends.
Moving on, we have one piece left by the name of “Genesis”. Now to going from the last piece your expecting more of the same ..right? Nope! Genesis is actually a love story in a slightly twisted Twilight zone sort of way. A sculptor loses his wife in a car accident. As he lives out his days, the loss of her has become more than he can cope with. His loss leads to obsession in which he painfully tries to re-create her from clay as his ultimate creation. Strangely upon finishing he notices blood dripping from the statue. This increases as he loses ground more and more. All the while his body starts to become transformed into a clay statue itself. It’s a much more tender and heartwarming short that resolves itself in the end and erases the previously memory of the humping dead bodies.
The DVD is a bit of this and that. Not a favorite but yet unforgettable. We have another case of extreme cinema to slide into next to your old “Gates of Hell” video with the girl puking her guts out. Though place this one high up top so it doesn’t work its way into the wrong hands.
AfterMath: Genesis (1994) (1998)