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Home | Film Reviews | Extreme Cinema | Film Review: Sodoma (short film) (1969)

Film Review: Sodoma (short film) (1969)


One of the “Vienna Actionists” art films by creator Otto Muehl


Otto Muehl was known as one of the most extreme “Vienna Actionists” of his time using the foundation of extremes within film. In 1969, he created a short film by the name of “Sodoma”. Registering in at about 16 minutes, this old projector-styled film complete with bleached aged film stock (that adds something a bit deeper to its sometimes hard to see presentation) is the product of filth, mutilation, fetish, and sexually deviancy. One might view it and quickly assume it is the product of some sick perverted p*rn experiment, but into review it’s a bit more artsy-experimental in that sense. While there is clearly some weird perversions going on which include gay scenes, gore, excrement, creative close ups of penile manipulation, and weird forms of body piercing-esque scenes, it’s also quite hard to see alot of them. The flashes, clips and flickering film stock roll across the screen as we watch beatings, anal trains and (some sort of) gluttonous acts. It makes you ponder..what’s that tube doing up the person’s anus and why!

Many of the scenes are reversed sepia toned and inverted so that much is not as clear enough to see the details. A symphonic score plays over “Sodoma”” in an ironic way that you might envision over a Disney piece instead. These kind of shorts are set up for impact and often don’t make much sense in the way of premise or reason/ You can almost hear the creators professing their love of art and absurdities. You might even find yourself asking, how did you decide that the film needed a segment showing a vagina stuffed with needles and yogurt (or whatever that was).

The golden showers scene is pretty bizarre to watch, but then again the woman crawling in reverse only to have a tube shoved up her anus is not far off either.

In the end, I’m not going to glorify this by saying it’s some sort of artistic brilliance. It’s a view into a society’s perversions even as far back as 1969 that makes you question where does it all stem from? Some might call it gore art, however if there was gore it was hard to tell that it wasn’t just food products being sprayed around. “Sodoma” is the kind of art that inspired films like “120 Days of Sodom” which took the idea into a full fledged cinema piece. Research shows that this was one of many more “Vienna Actionist”s films that took place during that period.

The need? not sure..

Do you need to see this? I would have to say no.

Sodoma (short film) (1969)

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