You know that feeling you get after a night of heavy drinking and partying? The horrible headache, the weakness in your limbs, and that feeling of mild self-loathing as you ask yourself, “Why…why did I put myself through this?” That’s how I felt after watching Flesh City.
And just like the morning after a kickass party, I don’t regret a goddamn thing. Flesh City is the sort of experimental Cronenbergian fever dream that manages to be stimulating without worrying much about storyline or character development. We can pretend there’s a solid story happening, but there really isn’t—this is pure visual entertainment, like a 90-minute “Nine Inch Nails” music video.
In short, a city full of degenerates gets infected by an alien creature who latches on to victims and connects the population with—you guessed it—flesh. We spend most of the movie with one of the alien’s latest victims, a man who was attacked while exploring an underground tunnel with his girlfriend. He appears to be operated on by some sort of doctor, but the extent of what was happening to him wasn’t quite clear. He spends a lot of time fleeing….something.
Like I said, the story really doesn’t matter; if you stick with this movie for the full run time (took me three days to get through all of it), it’s probably not because of the narrative.
One of the highlights of Flesh City, other than the continuous shock-rock spectacle, is the music. Flesh City features several music videos, which begin to play at seemingly random moments for no reason at all. It reminded a bit of MTV’s Beavis and Butthead, only with a horror wraparound. I suppose the random nature of these music video breaks may rub some viewers the wrong way, but I for one loved the weirdness.
One of the music videos that really stands out is by a character called Womb Envy, and the imagery will be forever scarred in my mind. The video features Womb Envy on stage, masturbating with a broken glass vial which gives a close-up view of her…errr…inner beauty? And I thought Marilyn Manson circa 1996 was edgy. All hail Womb Envy!
If you like fucked up shit and have an hour and half to spare, I recommend giving Flesh City a view. Hell, make a night of it and invite your friends to bond with you over the outright madness. You won’t feel any smarter for having watched Flesh City, but it’ll give you something to talk about for days.