Follow the owners of the infamous “Maison de la petite mort” during their daily work. After the shocking events in part one, you’ll never guess what the new owner Monsieur Matheo Maximè is up to. Torturing for money at it’s very – worst.
You may remember a little German splatter film from a few years ago called La Petite Mort, a kind of Hostel-like treatment where some folks find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time and end up the unwilling participants in an underground, pay-for-torture scenario. Well, 2014 brings us a sequel, La Petite Mort 2: Nasty Tapes, again by director Marcel Walz (Klischee, Seed 2, etc), and whereas more often than not, sequels can bring disappointment, this time he really steps up his game and improves upon his original vision. And he does so by combining graphic gore along with dark, dark humor.
Rather than repeating the sometimes tired formula of unsuspecting people finding themselves trapped in a bad place, La Petite Mort 2 takes a more unique approach: it is filmed more like a greatest hits/promotional video for Maison de la Petite Mort, a place where (similar to the aforementioned Hostel) people can pay to torture and kill other human beings. We are led through the tour of the place and the various product packages offered by our dominatrix-like guides, Dominique (Annika Strauss, who you may remember from Seed 2 and Game Over, among others) and Monique (Yvonne Wolke), as they guide us through various creative torture scenes, as well as participate in some themselves. Interspersed throughout the movie, we also have testimonials from past clients (in which we get cameos from indie horror folks like Mike Mendez, Adam Ahlbrandt, and Haley Madison) as well as some behind the scenes footage where we meet the owner of the place, Matheo Maxime (Mika Metz), and his wife, Jade (Micaela Schafer), as we follow his “tragic” story of wishing he was more like her, and taking actions to correct that.
There’s a lot of gore in La Petite Mort 2, so I feel it’s important to note that where the effects in the first movie were done by German gore expert Olaf Ittenbach, the effects here are done by Ryan and Megan Nicholson; same high quality of nastiness, just a different style. Each torture scene is presented with a title card, along with the age and gender of the victim(s) and the price that was paid to do what is done to them. And wow, is there a lot done to them. One woman has piece by piece of a man’s face sliced off just to be pinned back on. In another scene, two women make sushi out the entrails of a gutted victim. A woman takes a corkscrew to a man’s genitals. Two “nurses” carefully peel off sections of a woman’s flesh and sew it together to form a patchwork blanket. And in one scene, a man tied to a wooden cross has his eyes and mouth sewn shut, then a woman holds his nose closed until he suffocates, all while the customer watches on via webcam.
Director Walz reminds the audience that there is room in horror for just as much humor as there is gore throughout this film. As I mentioned, it is put together in a documentary style, so we have a lot of behind the scenes shots from what is essentially a human slaughterhouse. At times, Dominique and Monique giggle about the lack of creativity some of their customers display, pointing out how some of this stuff isn’t even weird anymore, it’s just boring. So they try and make things fun for themselves. There’s a music video made, complete with MTV-style quick edits and dancing, while the two girls electrocute a guy.
There’s a also a silent film made of the two girls and another woman dressed as Nazis and escorting their victim to a gas chamber, complete with WWII music and title cards (you’ll notice here that all the naughty German symbols from WWII are censored out and covered over by movie-specific symbols, I assume due to legal issues). While still dealing with nasty stuff, these scenes and more are more goofy and playful than horrifying, depending on your viewpoint.
I really like La Petite Mort 2: Nasty Tapes. Having seen some of Marcel Walz’s previous movies and noticed a lot of potential within each, despite their flaws, I was very happy to see this movie work so well. He seems to have focused on his strengths with this one, putting together a story that, while not wholly original, works really well. The look of the film is great, the acting is well done, the blood and gore are disgusting and effective. It’s funny and it’s nasty and it’s a great way to spend an hour and a half. This is just what Walz needed to put out, as he has both solidified his spot in the elite of the German splatter films and begun to make a name for himself in the underground American horror scene as well. Definitely looking forward to more from this guy.