Film Review: Cannibal Suburbia (2008)

SYNOPSIS:

Disturbed entertainers Donkey Punch Disco and the Secret Mango take us through three tales of violence, comedy and feces situated in the Melbourne suburbs. The first story revolves around a disastrous party, the second is a tale of psychotic doppelgangers and finally we have a gory explosion of terror as an unlucky sleaze hound experiences painful tortures inflicted by a nameless girl. This first feature length film from Pleasant Productions is packed to the brim with questionable humour, gross out moments and pushes bad taste to new territories. Cannibal Suburbia is directed, written and produced by D.A. Jackson and Jean-Luc Syndikas.

REVIEW:

When you set out to watch a film like Cannibal Suburbia, you might want to check your sensibility at the door. It starts very oddly with Donkey Punch Disco and Secret Mango as they prepare to read from a book called Cannibal Suburbia. Donkey Punch Disco is dolled up in clown black face makeup and Mango moans about as he is fed raw meat. A stocking over his head and cut up ping pong balls for eyes makes for a pretty odd looking pair. Prior to he feeding we watch as Disco chops, grinds and blends pig parts, pig intestines and a full pig head into bits. Alot of it really doesn’t make much sense in effort to present an intro that is just entirely off the wall.

A tied up captive held beneath a metal siding tries to escape as Disco pisses on him…..what does it all mean? I’m not so sure, but its purpose seems to be to segue into the tales read from the Cannibal book.

The film plays out 3 tales of which have no real storyline to them on the most part. the first tells of a party that turns into a drug filled, murderous, careless attendee disaster. I didn’t really get the whole purpose here besides showing how a bunch of party goers can mess up a good afternoon. The first short was the weakest of the bunch and really was more like watching someone video tape a drug party. Different scenarios were placed to coincide but there connections were pointless. I can appreciate a story if the parts are just not there for filler, but in this case it felt “all” filler.

The 2nd story follows 2 friends who have a strange obsession with pulling pranks in the neighborhood. The pranks are pretty lame and feel too immature for the age of the actors. Pissing in a water melon and leaving it on doorsteps, or applying grease on patio are devious but fall more into that was lame category. The pranks are more of a setup for one of the boys fascination with having a doppelganger that may or may not exist. When he finds one….. they follow this twin back to his house.

Of course they have to prank the twin a few times but eventually find that the twin is in fact a psychotic murderer. Not only that, but a 3rd dork version doppelganger also lives in the house and feeds on flesh. A battle begin when they fear for there lives and are discovered by the Doppelgangers.

Alot of this though provides the story background excuse to have parts and bodies laying about the place. It never really excels much past that idea and keeps you wondering if the material might get any better.

The 3rd provides more of a torture story when a local player picks up a strange girl from a local bar and is knocked out unconscious. Essentially he awakes tied to a chair while the girl continues to inflict levels of pain and suffering upon him in varied steps. This quickly becomes the “torture p*rn” section of the film that while not having much of a reason besides her being psycho …… is still a bit more familiar to our sense of current horror crop scenarios popping out left and right.

The film is directed, written and produced by D.A. Jackson and Jean-Luc Syndikas. It has won an award for “best guerilla underground film” and has a quality that places it as a standalone piece for the absurd. I can’t say I enjoyed it much, though it was oddly constructed and had some interesting editing flavor added to it here and there.

I think the team would do well (and maybe even walk away with a Takashi Miike feeling) if they refined there storytelling more. Odd is ok, if it has direction and maintains interest. Cannibal Suburbia tends to lose its interest with flipping back and forth between genre styles. Even with the odd beginning, they could have carried that forth in bizarre but effective directions. For now, I’m leaving it at a “fallen short effort with good intentions”.

Cannibal Suburbia (2008)

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