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REVIEW: ‘Snuff 102’ brings to light a tragic reality in the Paris of South America.

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A female journalist becomes fascinated with snuff films after learning about a captured serial killer. This inspires her to write about violence itself. As she learns more about snuff films and the people who make them, she quickly finds herself as the next star of a sinister production.

“Until which point are you willing to watch?”

The quote above says it all. When a movie starts with a low-res video of a cruel animal experiment, it’s already on the fine line between being an extreme film and being edgy. You will have to decide should you chose to continue watching this. Suffice to say, it ain’t a pleasant watch, not even for an extreme horror film. However, it does paint a real picture of human trafficking in Argentina.

The story starts with grainy black and white footage of a shadowy figure hacking his latest victim in a bathtub into pieces. There are frequent close and distorted shots that create a sense of dread and claustrophobia. In bright contrasting colors, we see our heroine, Victim 102, tied, gagged, and covered in blood. She and the other victims of the killers are never named in the film.

Victim 102 interviewing a film critic about the methods and motivations behind snuff films.

The film then cuts to only a week ago, the footage now in black and white. Inspired by news of a captured serial killer, Victim 102 convinces her boss to let her do an opinion column on violence itself. The next day we see Victim 102 her start an interview with a film critic, portrayed by Eduardo Poli, about the sexualization of women throughout history, misogyny, pornography, and the value of human life.

The poster for Snuff 102

“Do you choose your morality?. . . Morality ends up in the privacy of your house.”

We see the torture of Victim 102 and two other women intercut throughout the interview. The color of the film switches on and off as scenes of past and present intersect with each other. Actor Rodrigo Bianco plays the masked captor with raw brutality. He unleashes his sexual sadism onto all the women but acts especially cruel towards the pregnant woman whom he refers to as Victim 100 (played by Andrea Alfonso). After a while, the torture quickly becomes drawn-out. The blood and horrific acts get boring. What the hell? This made me realize that this film is relying too heavily on blood and sadism to tell its story.

Meanwhile, we get to know the pornstar, also known as Victim 101 (played by Silvia Paz). Desperate to make ends meet, Victim 101 performs a sex scene with a fellow addict, portrayed by Salvador Haidar. She takes drugs before the scene and experiences the entire shoot half-conscious. Afterwards, she begs a stranger (revealed later to be the masked man) to let her work for him.

“After removing censorship with help from the digital freedom of technology, we can begin our puzzle with dismembered bodies.”

Returning to the present, our heroine manages to escape while the masked man kills the pregnant. She hides in the bathroom with the Victim 101. The final intercut shows Victim 102 finding photos of the critic enjoying the masked man’s spoils. To save his writing career, the critic holds Victim 102 captive for the masked man with his gun.

With no further interrupting cuts, the final stretch of the film manages to get back my attention. Victim 102 escapes while the masked man is distracted killing the prostitute with a machete. A chase ensues throughout several decrepit rooms, and we see her hop out of a window of an abandoned church.

Victim 102 (Yamila Greco) finally sees daylight.

Victim 102 runs into the nearby woods, but the masked man quickly follows behind. Of course, we can’t have her free just yet. Our survivor trips, giving the masked man one last chance to kill her and save his precious films from being discovered. Victim 102 garners enough strength to free herself by striking the attacker with a rock. With her abuser dazed, she puts an end to her horror story with several blows with his machete.

Out of the many tropes of the film, making the female characters nameless is my favorite. It shows us all that sex trafficking and femicide is not something that happens to an unlucky few. It is a real horror that happens to so many women of all ages, especially in Latin America where machismo instills a very rigid and sometimes violent form of patriarchy. According to the Women’s Office of the Supreme Court of Justice in Argentina, one woman is killed every thirty-two hours.

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4

With low footage quality and the gritty presentation, 'Snuff 102' brings you a frantic, chaotic experience that is not for everyone. It portrays the horrid reality of the countless women and girls trafficked in Argentina. However, with plenty of odd editing choices and a very drawn-out torture scene that keeps cutting out, it would have been better as a short film. Also, anything portraying actual animal cruelty gets points knocked off in my eyes. Period.

Alex Marroquin
Alex Marroquin is a budding Peruvian American writer and occasional artist from the San Francisco Bay Area. Along with successful short stories, his first horror novella, Savages for Revenge, was just released as part of the Unholy Trinity: Volume 2 anthology in December of 2019. He hopes to bringing back the crude, bizarre, and campy genres of horror from that nearly vanished from the screens and cheap paperback print after the 1980’s. In addition, Alex is an editor for HellBound Books, a publisher specializing in extreme, bizrarro, and erotic horror.

Guillermo del Toro is finally directing Carlo Collodi‘s classic ‘PINOCCHIO.’ For real. We swear.

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