Victoria propels through an discarded and tragic life of torture and suffering. Her parents sexually abuse her as a child and into her adulthood where she finally is able to desperately flee in search of a new and hopeful life, but Victoria’s destined to fulfill a life with more suffering, even worse than while under the abusive and ever watchful eyes of her family. The anguish built structure of her being leads Victoria to an endless amount of pain that grows inside her, sprouting a vast and treacherous sea of meaningful existence, and blossoming into a eye opening, or eye gouging, experience in which she’ll never forget. This is her journey through the gateway of hell to the inevitable rebirth of pain and puke.
Considered to be the “most controversial” film made in Denmark, director/writer/editor/special effects artist Kasper Juhl’s experimental horror film “Madness of Many” goes through four chapters of Victoria’s detestable existence and transformative suffering. There’s never a time when she’s safe, being dredged through the scum and the dirt for all of her life. The former prostitute and drug addict doesn’t ever rehab or recoup from her time as a sex slave, a human pin cushion, or a human fluid dumpster as her story, mostly told off-screen in a monologue accompanied by grotesque and digestible imagery, is considered to be a rise of a phoenix through the clout of ashes.
However, Victoria is not alone. Numerous other women, some representing Victoria in various stages of her life and others just in an akin to Victoria’s situation, are affixed to the same suffrage and, in the same fashion as many Unearthed Film’s features, self-induced vomiting is a big part of their torment (and about 1/4 of the visual story). “Slaughtered Vomit Dolls” and films like it, such as “Madness of Many,” have never really been my cup of hot bloody spew stew, but “Madness of Many,” by far, has better visual effects when considering the torture and the gore amongst the spew-splattering titles. Much like Victoria, the viewer has to suffer through drawn out portions of the narrator’s exposition in order to set up and enjoy Kasper Juhl’s effectively realistic sinew and gut-churning effects.
I must admit there’s a certain poetic underlining and parallelism to Juhl’s film; a sort of an art-house, coffee shop “fung shui” complexity about suffering that can only be told through the Juhl’s telling of Victoria’s devastating story. The actor portrayal diminishes much of that structure that merely falls into the category, for most of the viewing experience, of interpretative dancing told in the eloquent genre of doom metal and deep underground horror cinema. Yet, Victoria’s plight is never a matter to be cheered for, never a route for hope, and certainly never a situation anyone would envy. “Madness of Many” is not, and I repeat, not a feel good movie. Its not a kid’s movie. Hell, it’s not even a movie for most adults. Certain breeds of human would consider the Kasper Juhl’s film in their niche of subversive cinema.
Produced by Hellbound Productions and distributed fittingly by Unearthed Films and MVDVisual, “Madness of Many” delivers controversy; perhaps not in the States, but for Denmark, I’m sure and will cause much controversy for the weak stomachs who find this title in their possession, going into a viewing without the heads up of what they’re getting themselves into. Juhl’s only English film to date isn’t glamourous popcorn horror with a recognizable cast and it’s replay value is next to none, but if the gore and shock genre is the game you’re willing to play to perverse over, then the “Madness of Many” would be right up that twisted alley.