Retro-review: New on DVD/BluRay from Unearthed Films; help me out and pick it up on DVD/BluRay here on Amazon!
RED KROKODIL (2012)
Directed by Domiziano Cristopharo
Written by Francesco Scardone (screenplay)
Starring Brock Madson, Valerio Cassa, Viktor Karam
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While drug use is sometimes glamorized in film, horror is a fantastic medium to show the absolute horrors of its usage. RED KROKODIL is a microscopic arthouse look at drug addiction and it’s devastating effects on the human mind, body, and soul.
The film opens with a crawl explaining just what “krokodil” is—a highly addictive drug that is becoming increasingly threatening to the Russian population, mainly because ingredients can be bought over the counter. They call it krokodil or crocodile because of the scaly green lesions that pop up around places it is injected. We are told, the drug is almost 100% fatal if used and the fatality happens quickly. For the rest of the film, we are witness to one man’s ordeal with the drug and this one pulls no punches in terms of the ugliness this drug makes.
RED KROKODIL is not going to be for everyone. It’s going to take someone with a strong stomach to see the nameless lead (Brock Madson) writhe around in his filthy bed, wearing soiled underwear, and coping with his body literally falling apart. There are scenes of him on the toilet, picking at his wounds, and attempting to use whatever is in his apartment to bandage himself up. This was tough for me to stomach, so I imagine, mainstream filmgoers will not be able to sit through it.
But while the gore and bodily fluids are a plenty, the story really is a tale of survival against one’s urges and one’s deteriorating mortality. It’s artsy. There are lots of scenes of our naked lead walking through a lush landscape in an attempt to find gold at the end of this rainbow of bodily fluids and that’ll just be too much for those looking for a literal story. I was able to see the surreal beauty in RED KROKODIL and those willing to look past the gore and pretense probably will too. Domiziano Cristopharo has an eye for squeezing beauty from the most dank of places.
This director’s cut is very slowly paced, to a methodical level, gross but engaging. If you’re looking for something fitting into the theater of the bizarre category, RED KROKODIL fits perfectly.
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