Free As Dead(DVD) - Free As Dead [Decimation Social - 2016]Free As Dead is (as far as I’m aware) the first film foray from Frenchman Romain Perrot- most known for his walled noise project Vomir, as well as spastic folk & rant project Roro Perrot, and avant funerary chapel projects Trou Aux Rats & Free As Dead. Here on Perrot’s Decimation Social label we have a region free DVD, and it’s certainly a crude, ghoulish & ugly slice of ultra lo-fi art house horror- think a shorter, more nonsensical, corrupted, and unsettling take on Begotten- and you’ll get a rough idea what to expect.
The version of the film I have comes in a monochrome card slip sleeve- though I know there is a DVD & photo book edition of the release, also on Decimation Social. The disc takes in four different versions of the film- we get the main black & white cut, which comes in at just over the twenty-minute mark. A 17-minute color version- which presents things a lot clearly & defined. A drone version- which is the most corrupted version, and a early sketch version. We also get a few trailers too.
Though I’ve watched all four version of the film- I’ll just cover the main cut of the film here, as the other versions are pretty much presenting the same material again- with different filters & music over the top. So let's try & describe what we have here…the film runs for twenty minutes, and is filmed in an extreme low-grade black & white- which at times completely obscures what is going on( hence the colour/ cleaned up version is worth checking out). The film basically features Mr. Perrot, his infamous oriental love doll(which will be recognisable to longtime fans of his work), and possibly one other gown figure. It starts with him awaken in a basement/ crypt, then we get shots of rattling chains, dirty walls, and staircases. As the film progresses he puts on a monster mask, and we move into more ritual & at times perverse territory. It’s difficult to detail the exact flow/ story here- as it unfolds in a non-linear manner.
The film is soundtrack by Free As Dead, with help from Andy Bolus- who also helped in the films making. I’ll have to say of all the Perrot projects, I’d always found Free As Dead the least rewarding- as basically it’s him dicking around with church organ wonderings, Halloween noises, moans, and trying to be creepy( but mostly failing) dirge noise elements. But for the film, I was surprised how much it worked- really heighten the feeling of unsettling & unbalancing here.
The Free As Dead film is another bizarre off-shoot/ curio from Mr. Perrot- if you enjoy his sonic work, it’s well worth checking this out. Also if you enjoy extremely lo-fi art house horror fare, I can see you been both intriguing & a little puzzled by it. So certainly it’s not for everyone, and if you’d expect a more film structured ‘film’ you be most disappointed…just enter into it as the nonsensical horror-tinged art film, and you’ll enjoy it.