The Song of Solomon - The Song of Solomon( Blu Ray/ DVD) [Unearthed Movies/ MVD Visual - 2018]The Song Of Solomon takes the demonic possession/ exorcism movie, and liberally peppers & splashes it with brutal & gooey gore. All to create a fairly unpredictable beast of a picture- that shifts from well-researched & broodingly moody priest/ demon action, through to lingering self-torture, mutilation & all manner of bloody depravity.
The Song of Solomon is the second film directed & written by Stephen Biro- who has run the extreme horror label Unearthed Films for last 15 years. He's also a life long horror film fan and written a couple of gut-wrenching & mind scrambling biographies/ novels. The film originally appeared under the ‘American Guinea Pig’ banner, but as Biro felt it needed/deserved a larger cult horror audience, beyond the normal extreme under-ground horror crowd- he’s let it stand on its own…and I think he made wise discussion, as sure this is as bloody & brutal as a depraved slaughter-house- but there is both depth, intelligence, and atmosphere here; beyond just the normal endurance test that are the Guinea Pig films.
The film centers around young possessed women Mary- played with great evil passion, macabre glee, and body draining power by Jessica Cameron. Mary lives with her mother & father, and in the opening credits her father (a clean-shaven cameo by Biro) slashes his throat, then pulls his tongue through the cut- and we know we’re not in for a normal/ sane possession movie. From here on we get a series of encounters between first one priest than another- I won’t overly detail each encounter, but instead rundown a list of the atrocity on display- we get tongue pullings, eye gorging, gut/ innards regurgitation that are then re-eaten. A particularly unsettling scene dealing with wrist slashing & sexual ecstasy, extreme limb breakings, etc. Yet between all the extreme gore & blood-drenched effects- Biro managers to still keep a feeling of both focus & brooding atmosphere present, as through-out he introduces well-researched texts & rituals based on fact.
The effects are by two of underground/ independent horror effects legends-Jerami Cruise of Toetag Pictures fame, and Marcus Koch who has done special effects on 80 plus films. And as you’d expect the gore is realistic, at-times unrelenting, and very extreme- so as you’d hope from such a film- it will give even the most seasoned gorehound a run for their money.
The only decidedly mixed & uneven facet about the film is the acting- which moves from great & convincing, to uneven, to downright awful. As mentioned early Cameron gives a great performance- really selling the role, other worthy mentions are some of the priests -who manage to portray well the mix of holy power & blood spluttering defeat. On the lesser side of things the girl's mother is very wooden, so is the doctor, and sadly so are a few of the lesser priests too. But I guess this type of issue is always present with more extreme/ underground film-making- so you really have to try & gloss over this.
Extras wise we get two commentary tracks one from Biro & Cameron- this finds the pair offering up a chatty track, which gives a good insight into both the settings, the depth of research & detail put into the ceremonies, the films writing, and Cameron’s playing of the role- which often saw her wearing triple pupil-ed contacts. The second track is with Biro, Cruise & Koch- and as you expect this gives you a nice insight to the effects set-ups, as well as a few more interesting tidbits of info from Biro. We get an hour & ten-minute 'making of', and this was most fascinating as we see how the effects where created, as well as shooting of scene footage. We get stand-alone interviews with Biro, Cameron, Koch & director of photography Chris Hilleke- each of these run between twenty & thirty minutes, and for the most part are interesting enough. We also get eight minutes of outtakes, photo gallery & trailer. So all told it's a nice selection of extras, that really add to the depth & enjoyment of the film
On the whole, The Song Of Solomon- lived-up to, and went beyond my expectations- to effectively give us an extreme, yet well thought-out take on the possession/ exorcisms genre. If you’ve been put off by the American Guinea Pig series in the past, I’d really give this a try- as Biro is attempting to give more depth, thought & atmosphere to the extreme horror genre- and there is much more here than just a series gut-wrenching effect sequences. Roger Batty