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Brutal - Brutal( DVD/ Blu Ray) [Unearthed Films - 2018]

Unearthed Films have a great track record for releasing extreme, yet often highly creative & thought-provoking films from around the world. And here with Brutal they done it once again- the 2018 Japanese film is probably one of the most intense, bloody gruelling, and unforgiving love stories you’ll ever have come across- it sees a male & female serial killer going about their murderous ways- then later meeting to form a very disturbing bound.

Brutal is the first feature-length film from Takashi Hirose- who before this did a selection of shorter films taking 2011’s Bandaged, 2012’s Moratorium, and 2014’s Return of the Golden Lily. I say feature length, but I should give that caveat- it comes in at an hour & seven minutes, IMDB sees this as a feature length, and I guess I do too. And I think it’s fair to say Brutal very much lives up its simple, yet effective title.

The film is laid out in three chapters- each one lasting around twenty or so minutes- first, we have Man- this introduces us to a chubby & extremely unbalanced male Japanese killer- who we see with a series of women that he viscously beats, stabs & then decapitates.  Next, we have the second chapter- women- and this introduces us to a more controlled, yet no less brutal young female killer- who has a penchant for rapidly stabbing her  male victims in the crouch. The final chapter is where the pair meet, find each other's depraved secret, and full in love- in a very intense, bloody & brutal manner.

Much of the film's runtime is taken up by the attacks each killer carries out on their victims- and these are extremely gruelling, unflinching, and intense. Yet this is not like some kind of fake snuff film like say the August Underground series- as there is plot development and story arch, as well fleeting moments of more emotional & thought-provoking content too.  I won’t dig too much deeper into the plot, as while it’s not complex, it’s a film I think works best seeing it & not knowing too much about it- so the surprises/ unsettling twists work more effectively.

If  you are on the look-out for a serial killer flick that grabs from the off with it’s brutality & intense nastiness then Brutal will certainly appeal- with extra sprinkles of emotion, pathos, and urban moodiness nicely adding to the film's depth, and ultimately longer lasting appeal. So, in conclusion, another winner from Unearthed- Brutal is available in either Blu Ray or DVD formats

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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