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Dark Lotus - Sinema Saliba Print E-mail
User Rating: / 9
Written by Chris Mayo   
Monday, 15 February 2010
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Directed by: Matthew Saliba
Written by: Matthew Saliba
Photography by: Mario Carangi
Editing by: Martin Gauthier
Special Effects by: Eric Thivierge
Cast: Kayden Rose, Martin Plouffe, John M. Thomas
Year: 2009
Country: Canada
Language: N/A
Color: Black & White
Runtime: 12 min

Distributor: Sinema Saliba

Official Website: Frankenstein Unlimited
Official Myspace: Frankenstein Unlimited

Matthew Saliba is back again -- this time orchestrating and contributing to an anthology series called Frankenstein Unlimited.  Each participant in the anthology were to create a short inspired by Mary Shelly's Frankenstein novel.  Saliba's contribution is entitled Dark Lotus.

Once again, Saliba chooses to use a medium that fans of his have grown to enjoy with his previous efforts, She Was Asking for It and Vampyros Lebsos -- the medium of still photography set to music.  Dark Lotus opens with a fetus ripped from its deceased mother's womb via caesarean section.  Saliba regular, John M. Thomas (The Manipulator and the Subservient, Pandora's Paradox) plays the doctor, who unearths the fetus and plants it face-down in a tub of dirt (ala David Lynch's The Grandmother).  Shortly thereafter he is confronted by an angry mob for his abominable actions.  Equipped with various chains, pitchforks, shovels and pickaxes he is murdered by the mob and the leader (Martin Plouffe) douses him with quicklime, in a cool homage to Fulci's The Beyond.

We flash forward several years later and our planted fetus has been born from the dirt into a woman (Kayden Rose), who is now a dominatrix performing BDSM, "spider catches fly" style shows.  Her latest sadomasochism participant is none other than the mob leader who killed her (let's say) "father" and little does he know the monstrous Hell he is about to face for his previous, murderous input.

Dark Lotus is a dark and poetic sado-noir style film shot beautifully in black and white which greatly enhances the guise of a 1920's film.  The lighting and photography encapsulates the viewer with another truly engrossing experience from the director.   Kayden Rose as well as the sharply dressed lynch mob also lends largely to the successful ambiance of the film.

A strong horror theme is also present after the womb-ripping -- there's also some undead imagery as well as a hint of Tetsu towards the end of the film.  Fans of Matthew Saliba's Vampyros Lebsos will definitely be pleased by this continuation in still photography that is Dark Lotus, as well as fans of subversive arthouse cinema.   Not to mention, the soundtrack boasts the works of Billy Corgan, Zombi, Garbage and even Leonard Cohen.

Dark Lotus is available on Matthew Saliba's Frankenstein Unlimited.

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