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with scissors. The film is banned in Italy, as the pack- aging advertises. I shall be interested to see how the Brit- ish film classification board treats it, if it’s submitted. I think the scene with the vaginal tube and the mouse epitomizes the film. The director Raffaele Picchio describes it as both a trib- ute to Bret Easton Ellis’ AMERICAN PSYCHO and a further reference to the actual crime, where one of the per- petrators called himself Jacques. What does con- flating a real criminal and a fictitious one achieve? As far as I can see, simply to blur the issue, especially since it fails to acknowledge that Bateman’s crimes in the novel may just be fantasies of his. I’d say reducing the perpetrator of a recent (1975) crime to the status of a fragment of a fictitious character belittles the real events and is bad art into the bargain. I leave the reader to decide at what point histori- cal distance might justify such trivialization.


The film is useful in help- ing to demolish two pres- ently fashionable notions. In the interview I’ve cited, the producer claims that the film deconstructs the genre and subverts conventions. If ever I’ve seen evidence that such


subversion has no merit in itself, it’s this film. And it passes the Bechdel Test, since the two rape victims talk together while they’re alone, without even a word about men. Perhaps in due course we will see a feminist defence of MORITURIS, refuting my view of the film. The Synapse Blu-ray (entitled LEGIONS OF THE DEAD—MORITURIS on the packaging) of- fers a clear image but English subtitles only for the hard-of-hearing, which means every whimper and sob and punch is underlined onscreen. A trailer is the solitary extra. To conclude, I freely admit that, as a writer, I’ve often brought the


supernatural into a realistic situation or indeed discovered it there, but I’m afraid I feel that the introduction or rather revival of zombies after the rape scenes in this film is simply one more form of trivialization, with no thematic relevance that I can discern. Finally, I confess that, when Jacques proved to be watching THE BLOODY PIT OF HORROR, I felt nostalgic for that oddity. It’s de- cidedly less self-regarding than MORITURIS (which puts a version of Christ’s final plea into the mouth of one of the rape victims, and sol- emnly states in the end credits that it’s “in memory of humanity”) and a lot more fun.


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