Domiziano Cristopharo’s (House of Flesh Mannequins, Nightmare Symphony) film eROTik is what you might get if you mix a true-crime piece about Jeffrey Dahlmer with Jörg Buttgereit’s Nekromantik and H.G. Lewis’ Blood Feast. It not only blends the nastier elements of them, but it also does so in a quite graphic way. That goes for both the violence and the male/male sex and masturbation. Saying this isn’t an easy film to sit through is something of an understatement.
A man identified only as Madman (Adam Western) is getting himself off in the bathroom. Gradually we notice the hand he’s using isn’t his own, and it isn’t attached to a partner either. He shares his bed with a body decayed to the point it’s barely more than a skeleton.
All of this is presented without any dialogue and in a very matter of fact, almost clinical manner. It’s a mild prevue of what to expect in the rest of the film. It also gets its point across about the character’s mental state even before we’ve seen him kill.
We do get to see him kill, beating a bound captive to death with a hammer and dispatching a young man (Simone Avincola, No, Not in my Mouth) he brings home and has sex with. The poor guy goes looking for a post-coital snack and finds a fridge full of body parts instead. He not only gets killed but prepared for mummification.
I do wish there had been a bit of background on the main character and his actions. The lack of context weakened the film for me. Knowing at least some of his motivation to kill and especially why he’s obsessed with Egyptian lore would have made eROTik more effective. All we really have to go on is a brief voice-over of his thoughts which doesn’t tell us much.
eROTik benefits from excellent cinematography and lighting that help establish an ominous mood during its night scenes. Despite that mood though, the film is never really tense or scary apart from one scene where the killer’s movements are noticeably different than those of his shadow.
At the end of the day though, eROTik is a film meant to shock and disturb rather than scare. And it has scenes that are stuck in my head hours later so it certainly succeeded at that, unlike many other extreme films. Just be sure you’re stomach is strong enough for it before watching it.
eROTik is available from TetroVideo, you can check their website and Facebook page for details.