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Martyr
The Death of St. Eulalia

USA 2011
produced by
Jac Avila, Percy Johannes for Pachamama Films
directed by Jac Avila
starring Carmen Paintoux, Mickael Trodoux, Natacha Petrovich, Veronica Paintoux, Erix Antoine, Jac Avila
written by Jac Avila

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Camille (Carmen Paintoux) has come to New York with her DJ boyfriend Julien (Mickael Trodoux) - and she's bored, because while he is out working all day, she's got nothing to do. Then her friend Elisa (Natacha Petrovich) suggests she should model. Elisa just happens to work for a photographer, Tadeusz (Jac Avila), who is always looking for new models. It doesn't take Camille long to find out Tadeusz is a bit of a pervert with bondage- and SM-fantasies - but that doesn't turn her off one bit, she actually feels challenged by that and encourages Tadeusz to go further each session. There is just one line Camille would never cross: To have sex with Tadeusz (and she knows he wants to), because she's in love with Julien.

Julien though is less than thrilled about his girlfriend's newfound hobby, and mixing reality (she poses nude for a photographer) with jealousy-induced fantasy, he thinks she's cheating on him. He begs her to stop modeling for Tadeusz, but Camille won't listen, his begging only makes her all the more stubborn.

Eventually, Camille stumbles upon the story of Saint Eulalia, a 3rd century virgin martyr, and she becomes totally engulfed in the story, and wants to reenact her most gruesome pieces of torture, with her in the role of Eulalia of course. Julien becomes increasingly worried as signs of torture begin to show on her body, but she only mocks him (and later Tadeusz) with her menstrual blood.

Camille finally bails out of the Eulalia photosessions, mainly for Julien's sake, but that only makes things worse, both between her and Julien and between Tadeusz, Elisa and Tadeusz' girlfriend Gabrielle (Veronica Paintoux). After a few days, Camille returns to Tadeusz and asks him to continue shooting her. This now leads to the final fallout between Camille and Julien, and she soon moves out of his place and in with Elisa. Camille insists that Elisa will be incorporated in future Eulalia shoots as a co-star, and she also brings Tadeusz the nails she wants to be crucified with in the finale.

Somehow, Julien learns about the crucifixion shoot, and packs his roommate's (Erik Antoine) gun to rush over to Tadeusz' place ...

Click here to open the Spoiler Pop-up!

 

A nightmare of a movie - and that's exactly what Martyr is supposed to be.

Basically, Martyr is a film about the intentional (yet playful) descent of a woman into her private hell, and it's told in a very unspectacular and (despite tons of nudity) almost sleaze-free way. And it's exactly that subtle approach that makes the film so disturbing (and fascinating): Here is a woman who likes pain, who likes to be tortured and humiliated, who is not the victim but the engine of what is done to her - and we, the audience, feel for this person, are made to see her point ... and then are made to see her (self-imposed) crucifixion.

Now one has to understand that this film is not for everybody because of its subject matter alone, but if you're only a little bit interested in sadomasochistic relationships and the like, this one is quite simply a must-see.

 

Oh, and if my review at all got you interested, you may want to get the movie from here: http://movies.vermeerworks.com

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD