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Breath of Hate (2010)

Director: Sean Cain
Writer: Wes Laurie
Starring: Ezra Buzzington, Jason Mewes, Lauren Walsh, Jack Forcinito, Monique Parent, Ricardo Gray
Certificate: 18
Cinema release date: TBC (Shown on 2 October 2010 at GZ International Film Festival 2010)

Sean Cain and Wes Laurie have created a wholly original film that will psychologically challenge, arouse and bruise you. This isn’t simply a film where old ideas are rehashed and rebranded, but rather a redefining of what it is to be a horror film in 2010. With standout performances from Ezra Buzzington, Jack Forcinito and Ricardo Gray it is transparent that a lot of blood has been sweated into this one and in Gray’s case perhaps something a little more distinctive.

Breath of Hate centres on Love (Walsh), an escort who has vowed to bow out of the business after one more job. Unfortunately for her this will not be easy as her pimp, Sonny (Forcinito), has arranged for her to pay service to three escaped mental patients, along with her co-workers Hailey (Daniels) and Jenna (Zibolis). Juxtaposed alongside this is Jed (Mewes) who is romantically entangled with Love. Sonny, a man as subtle as he is charming, reminds Jed that it’s him who chooses who gets to get their Charlies off on her face.

Breath of Hate strikes the perfect balance between unnerving, rancorous horror and dark comedy. Hate (Buzzington), the leader of the trio of mental patients, is a cruel, unrelentingly violent figure who manages to come across as both attractive for his intelligence and philosophical musings, and truly inexorable for his inexcusable limb devouring narcissism.  Like a modern day Boris Karloff, Ezra Buzzington is going from strength to strength. Here he puts on yet another fantastic performance as the villain of the piece and this time he doesn’t need to anally rape anybody with a colossus monster cock (Someone’s Knocking at the Door anyone?) to make an impression.

For those who like their characters bizarre and unstable, look no further than Cleb (Gray). Two of the biggest laugh-out-loud moments in Breath of Hate occur courtesy of him. Firstly, when he systematically fingers and sweet-talks a watermelon, and secondly when he appears in what was almost the first dinosaur rape fetish scene. Another peculiar moment is Sean Cain’s homage to Quentin Tarantino’s foot fetish as Hailey sucks on the toes of Selma (Parent) as part of a dominatrix sequence. Whilst it will please hardcore Tarantino and foot enthusiasts, it pans out a little too long for those not into the scene, rendering some viewers uncomfortable and others stimulated (this is quite the feat).  Breath of Hate manages to infuse a very twisted humour throughout but doesn’t detract from the wider nefarious picture that oversees Breath of Hate.

Despite the non-linear filming, Breath of Hate gets the balance between the obscure, borderline Lynchian, and ridiculous, spot on for the most part. Whilst it may perplex the audience on the first viewing, it only enriches the experience, in much the same vein that the psychedelic sequences did in Someone’s Knocking at the Door.

What could have fallen flat on its face for trying to incorporate too many interweaving plotlines is actually an incredibly well thought through artistic horror film and worthy follow up to Cain’s Silent Night, Zombie Night. The audience engage and empathise with Jed in his desperate struggle to save Love from an untimely nightmarish demise. Likewise the audience feel both sympathy and trepidation as Hate realises that Love, whom he sought for so long, is not as he imagined. Breath of Hate lures you in and reassuringly wraps its arms around you as it suffocates you with a chloroform laced towel.


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