My respect for Dustin Rowles, who created the film site Pajiba, went up tenfold when I met him at IFFBoston this year, then another tenfold when I read his recent reviews for Jackass 3D and Saw 3D. From his Jackass 3D review:
Approximately mid-way through Jeff Tremaine’s chef d’oeuvre, Jackass 3D, a severely obese man dressed in only clear plastic wrap saddled an elliptical machine and began an ordinary exercise routine. As the minutes passed, however, this beached-whale of a gentleman began to perspire. Soon, his diaphoresis was collected in a small plastic container, and another man who goes by the name of Steve O retrieved a Bounty paper towel and wiped this corpulent man down, careful to sweep the towel between the many folds of adipose before, finally, collecting the wetty excretions that had amasssed in between this man’s buttocks during his exertion. Afterwards, Mr. O carefully wrung the contents of the paper towel into the container and imbibed in this man’s fecal-flecked perspiration, only to be so overcome by the putrid savoriness of the man’s sudor that he expelled the contents of his stomach, triggering others in the room to regurgitate the morning’s buffet of eggs and Hollandaise sauce. As this took place, I sat rapt with attention, choking back my own dry heaves, applauding the bravery of the young man so dedicated to his craft that he would drink another man’s excretions.This is a new world order, and Jackass is our master.
From his Saw 3D review, aptly titled “A Series of Understatements“:
Another thing: After he was diagnosed with cancer, Mr. Kramer might’ve been better served in fulfilling his bucket list instead of meddling in the lives of others. With the proper diet and self-care, he probably could’ve extended his life for a few months, or even years, instead of meeting his untimely death. A power saw is such an unfortunate way to go out. Nevertheless, that Mr. Kramer would leave a tape recording in his stomach providing instructions to his accomplices, in addition to a series of tapes and envelopes he left to both an accomplice and his ex-wife, leads one to imagine that Mr. Kramer perhaps had too much time on his hands. Who thinks of all these things? Mr. Kramer must have had a very skilled trusts and estates lawyer to assist him in these matters.
This is it. This is the limit that a film can go. It will fucking break you. And the strangest part is … it’s brilliant. It takes torture porn to places it never, ever should go. It’s the ultimate torture porn — to the nth degree. It punts torture porn into Friday of next week. It eats Irish torture porn babies like cubesteak. And by pushing things that far, it completely and utterly eradicates the genre. Torture porn is dead, and A Serbian Film raped its corpse.