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Nails - Last Exit Entertainment Print E-mail
User Rating: / 5
Written by Richard Taylor   
Thursday, 08 September 2016

AKA: Gvozdi, Cruel Behaviour, Head Full of Nails, Szögek, Гвозди

Directed by: Andrey Iskanov
Written by: Andrey Iskanov
Produced by: Andrey Iskanov
Cinematography by: Andrey Iskanov
Editing by: Andrey Iskanov
Special Effects by: Andrey Iskanov, Victor Silkin
Music by: Andrey Iskanov, Alexander Shevchenko
Cast: Alexander Shevchenko, Alexandra Batrumova, Svyatoslav lliyasov, Andrey Iskanov, Irina Nikitina, Igor Orlov, Victor Silkin
Year: 2003
Country: Russia
Language: Russian (English Subtitles)
Color: Color, Black and White
Runtime: 1h

Distributor: Last Exit Entertainment, Unearthed Films

Enter into the world of Andrey Iskanov, a place where bizarre visions blur into reality and hallucinogenic madness reigns supreme. Hailing from Russia, Iskanov has made a few films which impact has not seen much recognition and it’s a damn shame because the man's twisted vision deserves more praise. They’re just so fucked up and in your face it screams bloodthirsty creativity. Iskanov has also directed Visions of Suffering, the infamous Philosophy of a Knife, and his latest project being Ingression. Facing numerous challenges and frustration, Iskanov has pressed on and brought forth his vision regardless.

The awesome Swedish indie releasing company, Last Exit Entertainment, have re-released Nails as well as an amazing limited 3-disc DVD edition of Philosophy of a Knife, which I understand is sold out, or soon to be. Iskanov's Visions of Suffering is also slated for an upcoming director’s cut release through Last Exit Entertainment.

I'm not sure what type of underground indie film scene Russia has but I've watched the work of a couple of the directors from there, including a great gore/horror director by the name of Alexander Sharoglazov, who did Zombie Infection (review here), and others, plus I really enjoyed the short by Victor Murzikov titled Elmer’s Justice. I also enjoyed a fantasy/action film titled Nightwatch (2004) from that country, directed by Timur Bekmambetov. It seems the talent pool is concentrated in Russia. There are some great original ideas coming out of there and I'd love to see more.

Iskanov's Nails is definitely a mind-warping skull-fuck (literally and figuratively speaking). I keep reading Tetsuo, Eraserhead, etcetera, but everyone is inspired by something and through their inspiration they create something original. Nails may not be that shining star to end all, or be all originality but it has some very different visuals and a style I have never seen. It’s shot very soft with a hazy almost dreamlike display, and relies on very bright and similar hazy colors, like vibrant reds and greens. It is definitely graphic and disturbing in particular scenes but would not be classified as a gore movie. If I had to classify the film I would say it’s an experimental movie filled with torturous visions.

This is Iskanov's baby, he has practically done everything and it works fairly well. The music is an avant garde plethora of sounds, eerie synth and creepy voices. When you watch Nails and realize what is going on, and how the fuck could anyone witness such bizarre things, you start to realize why and how some of this off-the-wall shit is happening. It brings to light a very cool perspective. The ending clearly explains things for those who are absolutely fucking lost with the concept of the movie, and almost explains things a little too clearly as to say, you are dumb, this is what was going on but I understand why this was done.

There is some nasty carnage in this one including a brain surgery on oneself, extraordinarily long nails (hence the title of the film) being inserted into the cranium and a power drill burrowing its way into a forehead, plus a bunch of other crazy shit. The plot is not of big concern, it’s mostly in the delivery, the atmosphere, the aesthetics, the vision and the visceral means and delivery of the content. Basically, a hitman is seeing mind corroding pictures in his brain of all the people he has assassinated and nothing seems to smooth it over. He reads some info on altering his brain in some rather extreme ways and experiments trying to free his mind from the mind altering sickness.

Nails is a dark, surrealistic hell ride of visual degradation and mind numbing chaos. You have been warned. It’s not for everyone but if you’re into low budget experimental and existential cinema then this will whet your appetite. Special thanks to Last Exit Entertainment, a great company, with some superb indie titles. Go to and check out what they have to offer the underground movie collector.





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