created by Kevin Chicken
When a director makes several of my most intense fetishes (female baldness, bodymods, tattoos, submission/forcing/debris, transformation into an art object) the central theme of a film and convinces me almost all along the line, and it is also a debut work, my respect for him and all those involved cannot be great enough. "Perfect Skin" is one of those very few films that, when I read the description and looked at the first photos, sent me through like a violent electric shock followed by a hot wave. And of course, fears immediately arose as to whether the film could actually live up to my expectations.
Because it does, "Perfect Skin" has become my absolute favorite among S&M films (especially because it deals with passions and abysses that go far beyond "normal" S&M and can be assigned to the field of "Debris*". "Perfect Skin" is also assigned to the genre of "Torture Porn", although in this case the "porn" aspect is not presented in a sexually penetrative way - but all the more the viewer's head and the soul of the protagonists are "fucked". Since I can't know how this film will affect people who don't share my fetishes, I'll point out right away that this film recommendation is decidedly subjective in nature.
What worse thing can happen to a true artist than not being able to live his art? London tattoo artist Bob (Richard Brake) experiences this nightmare when he falls ill with Parkinson's disease; a disease that causes his hands to shake uncontrollably, so that tattooing will soon be impossible for him. This realization makes deep inside him the desire to complete one last great life's work overwhelming: To transform a woman with perfect skin into a canvas tattoo artwork.
Fate brings him together with Katia (Natalia Kostrzewa), who comes from Eastern Europe and is housed penniless in a friend's apartment. Aimless and hopeless, she steals from her friend and gives herself over to the intoxication of a licentious night. Bob sees in her the embodiment of his living canvas, forgets all inhibitions and brings her into his power. Katia wakes up in a cellar dungeon from which there is no escape. Bob makes her realize that she has no option but to submit.
So Katia gets into a whirlpool of fascination, reluctance, despair, rebellion and hope while she loses more and more her normal human appearance under Bob's hands and through her head shaving, tattoos, implanted horns and suspension becomes an ever more extreme fetish (night)dream, to which with every day that passes the way back to a normal life becomes more and more impossible - which makes the question louder and louder: "Does it even make sense to fight against it?".
The film thrills me above all with its absolute authenticity: both the characters and the performances of the actors are absolutely believable, intense and go to the heart. At the same time, Kevin Chicken's debut work is ambiguous in such a way that it keeps the viewer guessing until the last scene (and beyond) how everything will develop and what this outbreak of darkest desires will ultimately do to its protagonists, how it will shape, change and perhaps break them.
The fact that Bob, despite all his deeds, also appears sympathetic and that one wishes him, who is also quite extremely a victim of fate, to be freed from his inner demons (in my case by wishing Katia to accept and enjoy her role as his life's work), speaks for the terrific script and acting.
When Bob finally crosses all boundaries and others are also drawn into this maelstrom of the most extreme obsessions and destroyed, however, icy coldness also spreads through the veins again and again. How much one wishes Bob had not only become a victim of this horrible disease (especially for the artist), but had also found a woman who would have been willing to give herself to him voluntarily in this way. Two people who in this intense way realize and share an erotic work of art and a connection of such greatness, and in the process grow beyond all limits of human existence and feeling, this thought virtually intoxicates me.
All the actors master the acting tour de force with such bravura that you can actually forget you're dealing with just a film. The actors give their characters a depth and credibility that commands my utmost respect. Especially if you move in such circles yourself, you recognize an incredible amount.
People who don't have such fantasies, passions and fetishes will probably have a hard time understanding the motivations of the characters, especially Bob's (as you can see from some reviews and the disappointing Rotten Tomatoes rating of only 40%). Whereby I wonder what people expected who watch this film and are then disappointed). I, on the other hand, as an intense-extreme fetishist, can completely empathize with the inner worlds of the protagonists.
Would the film have worked if Katia had volunteered to be the canvas of Bob's obsessions? Perhaps, but in an entirely different and probably far less crowd-pleasing way. Thus, in this psychological drama, both basically become tragic victims of fate who don't really have a choice.
I enjoyed this film very much and was absolutely captivated from beginning to end. The melodic driving industrial soundtrack underlines the images perfectly in my opinion. Personally, I would have liked everything to go further and the design of the tattoos are not really to my taste, but definitely anything but ugly. The only real disappointment is that the "Behind the Scenes" only offers a shot of how a cast of Natalia Kostrzeva's head and torso is made). So it remains open what was special effect and what was real during the shooting - but of course this makes everything a lot more exciting.
A very personal dream of mine: That one (or more in unison) body-art/mod-artist transforms me over the years more and more into a living, bizarre fetish-alien work of art and the whole thing is documented on film. Maybe one day this will really happen.
All photos © Kew Media Group
*Debris: A very intense and hard form of submission and (partial breaking) of a S&M slave. Whoever is interested in this kind of play should google Debris-X. I am fascinated by Debris - but only if it is not mere abuse of an aimless person.
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Why I of all people write a blog about passion, sex and everything around it? Because until a few years ago I myself was still incredibly clueless, preferred to put myself in cuddly dream worlds and was a sweet, yet inconspicuous sexually almost completely inexperienced cutey.