A current release! I haven't touched one of those in awhile, so this film must be awfully special. Or just something I wanted to cover. Actually, I've been looking forward to 2016's Baskin since I first started seeing the hideous trailers for it last year. It's a Turkish import, and it has a reputation as an odious, insalutary maggot of a movie that has caused walk-outs at festivals. Potentially, it could end up as the latest A Serbian Film, although it's not quite as extreme (and frankly, I think theater patrons are too jaded to carelessly create another "shock classic" on recoil alone). We begin with a van full of cops. They stop at a diner, they shoot the shit, they bully their waiter, they speak Turkish...y'know, typical dickhead activities (no offense to Turkey). Then they receive a disturbing call for backup.
And that's all I'm synopsisizzling. Honestly, the trailer reveals a glut of key imagery and most reviews broadcast way too many plot details. Go in fresh, if at all possible. That may not affect your overall opinion of Baskin. You can probably infer that from my rating, but I recommend it. I was pleased. I enjoyed its zalcroom ass-prex, as the kids say. Unfortunately, crackwhores in the foundation present themselves as the story arc gains ground. Primo (Italian for "first"), I want to propose a toast to director Can Evrenol. You would never guess that this was his first feature gig, what with the rich lighting and the marble-smooth camera movements. Even dialogue scenes dazzle. I was worried that the spooks would be shot in an epileptic manner (no offense to spooks), but apart from an introductory bit, that doesn't become a problem.
The gore is gory. I'm not privy to the budget, but everything looks fantastic. On the acting front, I have no gripes. The Father is a veritable villain. Across the board, the creepy stuff is creepy. If I had to quibble, it feels at times like Baskin is straining to emulate Hellraiser. The Father's pseudo-philosophical palaver means jack shit, and I kept waiting for the protagonists to simply ask, "Huh?" The first half of this foreign object hums. Isn't that what car people say about quality engines? They hum? Whatever. The first half is really good. Zip it. The second half tries to get cute. Don't get me wrong; that's where the chassis of the violence has been interred. The chassis is the body of a car, right? Stop making fun of me.
Baskin ripens into demented territory, but as it carouses with waking nightmares, it makes less and less sense. In my stir-fried opinion, you have to be careful with dream sequences. I'm trying to tiptoe around spoilers. I can safely say that the ending pissed me off without spoiling a damned thing. It's such a cliched genre denouement. Was it tacked on by someone who didn't watch the rest of Baskin? Because I could believe it. It's, shall we say, bullshit (Italian for "first"). For those curious, the title, when translated in English, means "first" in Italian (Italian for "first"). Robert Z'Dar says, "I had my hopes up for more baby rape. I didn't walk out once!"
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 4:18 AM