Review: Baskin



Writer/director Can Evrenol’s narrative feature debut is a force to be reckoned with. While much of the world has moved on to more sanitized, socially acceptable horror, Evrenol goes back to the basics. Eye gouging, jugular vein blood squirting, zombie half born mutant infants have never been handled more deftly and with more, well, sensitivity. The trick is to try something new, and the film maker does this with fitness.

The fact is, bestiality has been given short shrift in horror movies. Not only does Evrenol explore this nether world in the context of possessed sub-humans, he walks his talk with actual statistics. “Seventy percent of Turkish men lose their virginity to animals,” we are informed in the opening scenes as the buddy cop foursome shares war stories in the local eatery. Well, glad we have that factoid embedded in our brains. Let us see what develops.

The five-man cop patrol is well portrayed on two levels. The actors put out great performances in the early stages of the movie, setting the stage for their gory ends. They are the perfect manly enforcers who are tough as nails and seemingly able to undergo any initiation, no matter how humiliating or physically painful. In fact, one of them shows this by bullying the kid in the restaurant, as, we assume, the cop was bullied in his own day.

This is a show for the rookie on the crew who has grown up tormented by a terrible experience from his youth. In lesser films this type of sequence is shown as a dream. Evrenol forgoes that and shows the strange noises emanating from the mother’s bedroom as an actual experience. There is no waking up. Lean and mean. So in the first ten minutes of the movie we have a rookie cop with a very ugly secret and a bunch of cops who have a good thrashing coming. When someone starts off a splatter flick by being cruel, ignorant and brutish, we can hardly wait for the chickens to come home to roost.

Then comes the distress call from the old deserted house in the middle of nowhere. In a movie with a lesser setup and without great performances and cinematography this would be just another ancient trope headed for failure. But in this movie we do not care. We are so ready to see what the rookie cop saw as a child and we are so ready for the brutish thug cop to get his due that we overlook the weakness and get ready for the action.

Fully the entire last half of the movie is chock full of the most outrageous, unvarnished, unapologetic, ten commandments breaking violence one could ever want. By the end of this flick you will be searching for some explanation as to how something like this could ever come out of Turkey. Does the film maker live there? Probably not. Or, if he does, there a lot more tolerant people there than one might imagine.


Rating: 7/10

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