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Final Flesh (AGFA) Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • Final Flesh (AGFA) Blu-ray Review

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    Released by: AGFA
    Released on: June 28th, 2022.
    Director: Vernon Chatman
    Cast: Melvin, Yvonne, Kesha
    Year: 2009
    Purchase From Amazon

    Final Flesh – Movie Review:

    Vernon Chatman is the “co-founder of the PFFR art collective, co-creator of Wonder Showzen and Xavier: Renegade Angel and producer of South Park.” He’s also the man who, in the early 2000’s wrote a screenplay in four parts and sent each of those parts out to four different low budget fetish video producers to bring to life for him. These four parts were then assembled into the feature that is Final Flesh.

    The story revolves around The Pollard Family who go about their strange business just as the atomic bomb is about to blow up the world. In the first installment, two parents and their daughter wake up after having strange dreams. The mother has a bath in a tub full of the tears of neglected children (it literally says this on a label in the video!) while the daughter sits on the toilet to do her business while reading from the Koran. Later, the women birth food and the family then winds up in a fight. It gets weirder from there, as the next family wakes up to some sort of predicament involving spaghetti sauce and a toilet and odd communications from God himself. This theme of odd communication continues in the third installment where messages are spelled out to the family members by something prone to using loose change as its preferred method of getting its message across. In the last installment, lesbians get into as surrealist food fight.

    As discombobulating a viewing experience as you’re ever likely to see, Final Flesh is far more insane than the admittedly and intentionally vague synopsis above would lead you to believe. There are similarities to each of the four chapters – they each start in similar ways, they each feature a mother and a father and their daughter and they each chronicle the way that these family members interact with one another as the apocalypse looms large around them. It’s full of random dialogue, some of it brilliantly funny and some of it indecipherably obtuse, and utterly bizarre imagery, some of which may mean something but much of which probably doesn’t. It’s unlikely that we’re actually meant to understand it all, and it might actually better if we don’t.

    The four fetish filmmakers involved in the production get some interesting kinks up on screen, and there’s a fair bit of nudity here even if there isn’t any actual sex in the movie. There’s a fair bit of emphasis on food, scenes involving toilet play and defecation, some foot action and even some very light bondage (and man gets wrapped up tightly in a blanket) and monster mask weirdness. The acting is amateur level at best, but that adds to the project’s overall level of insanity, as the performers do their absolute best to play all of this deliberate absurdity completely straight, even they’ve got cryptic messages written on their own bodies and/or uttering dialogue relating to the metaphysical state of ones testicals.

    Final Flesh – Blu-ray Review:

    AGFA brings Final Flesh to region free Blu-ray on a 50GB disc with the seventy-one minute feature taking up over under 20.6GBs of space on the 25GB disc and framed at 1.33.1 and then later at 1.78.1. Presented in AVC encoded 1080i high definition and “preserved from the original digital video master,” this looks as good as it probably can, given that it was shot on low end, consumer grade equipment roughly quite a few years ago. Colors look good and detail is, if limited by the source material, better than DVD could provide.

    Audio options are handled well by the disc’s 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo Master Audio track. Optional subtitles are available in English only. Sound quality is just fine, though again, it’s limited by the original source. Still, the score has some pretty solid depth to it and everything comes through cleanly and clearly. An alternate score by Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance and Comets on Fire is also provided, again in 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo, and the compositions for this option are quite different, giving the movie a noticeably darker vibe a times.

    Extras start off with a three minute video introduction by On Cinema’s Gregg Turkington that is as weird as you’d want it to be. Also included is a video for the track "Lay and Love" music video by Bonnie “Prince” Billy that was directed by Vernon Chatman and John Lee, a PFFR film festival promo spot, nine minutes of outtakes from the second chapter of the feature, the movie’s original trailer, menus and chapter selection options.

    Final Flesh – The Final Word:

    Final Flesh will be fascinating and hilarious for some, and a very tough watch for others. As an absurdist art project, it’s pretty intriguing but as a narrative film it’s a complete mess. Still, those with an interest in outsider cinema and a taste for the strangest of the strange take note, as there will be a lot for you to ingest with this one. AGFA’s Blu-ray does a nice job with the material, especially when you consider the limitations of the source, and includes a few amusing extras to round out the package. Recommended for more adventurous viewers, it’s a wholly unique viewing experience!


    Click on the images below, or right click and open in a new window, for full sized Final Flesh Blu-ray screen caps!

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