June 17, 2019 Derangement (Movie Review)
Every few years there is a film that transcends what is seemingly dug up from the most dastardly trenches of the human psyche. Movies like 1977’s Salò or 2004’s Saw are built upon visceral, horrifying violence and mind games that no one would voluntarily step into. That in mind, the flick Derangement sinks its claws into a variety of genres from Body Horror to Erotica, to Supernatural.
Originally released in Spain in 2016 and titled Transtorno Mental, it was picked up for North American distribution by Wild Eye Releasing and is scheduled to hit DVD through their Wild Eye Raw & Extreme sub-label on Tuesday, June 17th. Written and directed by Vick Campbell, the film opens with virulent screeching as men and women suffer in the throes of their insanity.
The black & white overlays dissipate and the film enters a beautiful and quaint Spanish town. A dying elderly woman chastises her crying daughter, Montse (Izquierdo Alexandra: El sepulturero 2009, 2 de Noviembre Dia de los Difuntos 2014), for her perceived wanton behavior. She declares that with the power of Christ her daughter might seek some guidance before succumbing to death. Oscar and his girlfriend Laura (Mery Vallès) are in the midst of an awkward breakup, she cares for him but desires to have other romantic experiences in her life with women. His machismo heart cannot handle the rejection and he spirals into tangent.
Some time has passed since the death of her mother and Montse is at a bar with her bartender friend, Ramón, who inquires about her religious state. She is still unsure of herself, but content with the possibility of self-exploration. He then invites her to a birthday party at his home later in the week. The film returns to Laura and a smoky Gothic band plays background to Laura as she dresses for the day before heading out to a club for the evening. She drinks and dances along with a few other women, though her attention is not with it. She accepts drugs from an unknown woman in the bathroom of the club before she stumbles home and the narcotics take hold.
After the death of her husband, Marta (Rosa Gilbert Luna) is afflicted with a terminal brain tumor. In a park, the woman that approaches her promising a painless death is fully aware of her diagnosis. They speak of someone who has left a mental facility and to be weary of them. The movie begins with tame and ordinary preludes but descends into a madness of necrophilia, drugs, religion, and kink in given time. Many of the effects are rudimentary but the actors are solid and result in believable characters.
Overall, Derangement has some beautiful, realistic sights of the city it is filmed in and it helps to build a setting around the chaotic movie. It handles some taboo and risqué topics without shying away though its approach is skewed and questionable. Additionally, the music is simplistic but fits the scenes in which they are chosen for though it is heavily electronic based.
Derangement comes across as though it knows what it is about but instead leads the audience into a labyrinth in which there is always something to stare at. An independent, underground film that does not bother to hide it, Derangement does not lack in shock or the bizarre, but instead lacks the plot and voice to truly come together. That why Cryptic Rock give this movie 2.5 out of 5 stars.