It’s almost impossible to dilute writer/director Emiliano Rocha Minter’s feature debut We Are The Flesh, to reduce it to something as simple and accessible as a synopsis but here goes…

A brother (Diego Gamaliel) and sister (Maria Evoli) seek refuge in the crumbling, dilapidated, abandoned building where a demonically charismatic, rough-sleeping Antichrist (Noe Hernandez) lurks, distilling a narcotic liquor from fermented bread. Forcing the siblings to help him construct a huge papier mâché womb from scavenged cardboard in return for shelter and food, he leads them on a journey of depravity, encouraging them to commit incest for his sexual gratification, graduating to kidnap, murder, rape and cannibalism, culminating in a rapturous transcendental blood orgy.

A visually stunning, demented, grotesquely erotic, adult fairytale that’s so grubbily beautiful you’ll want to shower after watching it, there’s something almost childishly taboo-busting about Emiliano Rocha Minter’s We Are The Flesh that makes it feel like less of a provocation and more like a toddler showing her knickers at a party, but “not your average party,” as it works it’s way through a checklist of the forbidden and the transgressive.

Incest? Check. Necrophilia? Check. Murder? Check. Cannibalism? Check. Polysexual blood orgy? Check. Piss? Spunk? Feeding your menstrual blood clots to your not particularly enthusiastic brother? Check, check and double check. Rocha Minter’s film takes such perverse glee in it’s Boschian fever dream of death, rebirth and fleshy, voluptuous depravity that, like it’s cast, it requires you to abandon yourself to it, submerge yourself in it’s greasy squalidness and trust that Rocha Minter knows the way out.

Like driving past a bloody three-car pile up on the motorway, We Are The Flesh dares you to look away, is a study in sordid, cheerfully amoral, luridness that frames it’s violence, debauchery and degradation as a tongue-in-cheek comment on the base corruption, iniquity and casual decadence of Mexican society, Hernandez’s demented antagonist/savior both symptom and cure. Yet, despite its explicit sex and violence, its determination to shock and offend, We Are The Flesh never quite feels as provocative as a more conventional film like Artemio Narro’s scalpel-sharp satire I Stay With You. Featuring the kind of performances most often described as ‘fearless’ (translation – sexually explicit) the film is a visceral journey that walks the tightrope between live art and cinema, a clammy Freudian fable of two orphans damned and saved by the monster they encounter.

A moist, scuzzy, dizzying headfuck, We Are The Flesh is an intense, psychosexual wallow in the depths of your lizard brain that’s unlikely to be used anytime soon by the Mexican Tourist Board.

We Are The Flesh lands in UK cinemas on 18 November

Horror Channel Frightfest review: We Are The Flesh
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