5/24/17

RED KROKODIL (2012)

Written by: Richard Taylor.

Italian visionary Domiziano Christopharo has delivered a number of prolific works but has still managed to fly under the radar .  Having produced the 4th entry in The American Guinea Pig series Sacrifice along with newcomer director Poison Rouge Christopharo's work for me has once again been brought into the light.  Having previously chatted with Christopharo before Sacrifice and watching some of the offerings he offered including the third in the series of Edgar Allen Poe anthologies titled P.O.E., Virus: Extreme Contamination, House Of Flesh Mannequins and now Krokodil the director's style can be considered visual and grotesque yet beautiful art.  

With Red Krokodil, Christopharo somehow finds it possible to make a hallucinating drug fiend look appealing, beautiful and intriguing at the same time.  The camera work in this is  spectacular, even the shambling apartment of the main subject played by Brock Madson has this eerie soft beauty to it despite its filthy and disgusting state of neglect and deterioration.  When the character looks outside his window we get a beautiful yet crumbling landscape which represents Cherepovets, Russia, a sense of abandonment and desolation floods the senses.

The films title Red Krokodil or Crocodile represents the name of the drug the main character in this is addicted to, a menacing drug which has ruined his life and destroyed his body in agonizing fashion.  With all drug abuse the saddest part is that everything is self inflicted, addiction has taken over and ruled the man's life and he is caught in this withering existence of confusion, paranoia, pain and delusions.  The drug Red Krokodil is explained at the opening of the movie, its a drug made in similar fashion and has the same effects as methamphetamine and has become a growing problem in western Europe. The drug is a mixture of codeine, benzine, paint thinner and hydrochloric acid and what makes it so dangerous is that the ingredients can be easily obtained. It starts with purchasing its only over the counter drugstore ingredient which is codeine.

Red Krokodil is not a fun watching experience, its a serious in depth art film with basically one character and most of the dialogue are the thoughts of the main addict going through his daily nightmarish routines and experiencing dreams, hallucinations, delusions and other mind altering experiences coinciding with his drug use.

Christopharo fills the movie with plenty of haunting scenes and the movie creeps at a slow pace unfolding with different suffering as the man tends to the different open sores and wounds he has acquired on his body from injection sites from administering the drug.  In one shocking scene he injects the drug into his genital region as he has ran out of places on the rest of his body.  He continues to look at himself in the mirror with delusions of grandeur as he sees what is not actually there, he looks at himself with a smile and in his mind he has a mouth full of nice teeth but in reality his front teeth have fallen out and his face is not as clean and crisp at he views it but sunken, drained and dried up.  There are also scenes of full frontal male nudity in this and one particular scene  has the character making love with a mirror image of himself while dreaming.  The material is deep and disturbing and could possibly fall somewhere into the category of the body horror genre.

Red Krokodil is a test of endurance and a long ride for those looking for more fast paced material.  It unfolds at a slow pace but I feel it will appeal to those looking for something more in their viewing experiences.  Its original and can sometimes float off with space-like ideas but at the same time it tackles very true material that is common in society, it has a bit of material from both worlds.

Christopharo is a visionary in the field of cinematography as Red Krokodil manages to captivate with its flawless camera work.  My only regression would be that in making things like  this look appealing you take the edge away from them, addicts and drug dealers are not beautiful things, they are grimy and their surroundings are infested with filth on most accounts.

I appreciate their struggle as with many other struggles the human race endures with various afflictions.  Red Krokodil is Christopharo's nightmarish vision of drug abuse brought to life, the slow rotting of a man who has abandoned life for this meager existence of uncontrollable addiction.

Rating: 3 out of 5


Directed by: Domiziano Christopharo
Written by: Francesco Scardone
Produced by: Domiziano Christopharo
Cinematography by: Domiziano Christopharo
Editing by: Alessandro Redaeli
Special Effects by: Roberto Vignati
Music by: Alexander Cimini
Cast: Brock Madson, Viktor Karam, Valerio Cassa
Year: 2012
Country: Italy/Russia
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 24m

Distributor: The Enchanted Architect


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