Suicide (2001) | Dirs. Raoul W. Heimrich & Yvonne Wunschel | 84 min.
Every day in October, a recommendation from John D’Amico of a horror movie or TV episode available for free on YouTube. Enjoy:
What’s the point of horror? Ok, so if you’ll take anything away from this quixotic project, it’s that horror comes in all shapes and sizes. But what’s the point of that kind of horror? You know, the kind that journalists and politicians fret about, that you only ever see at 3 AM. That Gabe Lewis stuff. Torture porn, exploitation cinema, extreme horror—call it whatever you like. It’s a very weird subgenre floating around the margins, complicating and even poisoning the well.
I’m not a fan of this stuff, but they are often examples of exceptional filmmaking techniques, so, student of film that I am, I muscled through a few Guinea Pig movies, studied up on Cannibal Holocaust, and even made it through Men Behind the Sun. You get hypnotized after a while. Revolted and fascinated. You know the feeling. If anything is going to shed light on this stuff, it’s Raoul W. Heimrich’s Suicide, the most stripped-down example of the form.
It’s the story of some filmmakers who make their money filming suicides (ever notice how many extreme horror movies are about filmmakers?). We see each death in gruesome detail—some imagery will never leave me, particularly a haunting and anatomically explicit heroin overdose—and each seems to get more bizarre than the last.
So, what’s the point? I don’t know. But it’s something to think about and something to experience. Maybe it allows us to turn over rocks in our brain, visualize horrible things and exorcise them. Maybe it allows us to stare death in the face and survive. Maybe it’s just an endurance test. Maybe it’s just gross and fascinating. Either way, it’s a shade of the rainbow.