Dustin Wayde Mills is good at two things: balancing extreme gore with beautiful cinematography, and continuously giving you the strangest boners you’ll ever have.
The Slit Mouthed Woman is Mills’ take on the old Japanese urban legend. There are a few variations of the story, the most popular of which concerning the vengeful spirit of an unfaithful lover who’s disfigured by her jealous husband. She wanders the streets, wearing either a scarf or a surgical mask to cover the bottom half of her face. If you’re unfortunate enough to come across her, she’ll ask you, “Am I pretty?” Being that this is a Japanese tale, neither “yes” or “no” lead to a particularly happy ending; she either kills you or cuts your lips into a Glasgow smile to match her looks, depending what mood she’s in. Women, huh?
Mills’ version of the story gives the vengeful spirit a much more titillating background story involving a lesbian lover and an extended scene of hotel lovemaking. If you’ve seen any of Mills’ other films, you know nudity is a heavy part of their appeal, and I think the majority of gore hounds are okay with that. However, what I liked most about this rendition of story is how sexuality isn’t just thrown in for an obligatory scene where big bouncing breasts suddenly appear (like in that Carpenters song) and confuse the narrative by interrupting moments of terror. Rather, the nudity works with the terror in a way that almost elevates the film to high art. Eroticism is integral to Mills’ reimagining, and he manages to weave that trait into the villain without turning his work into a cheesy amateur porn film.
You’ll jump, you’ll shriek, you’ll break the pause button on your remote. Regardless, you won’t be disappointed.
Both the standard and extended versions of The Slit Mouthed Woman are available on Mills’ Patreon page. It will be released on Blu-ray along with a selection of other shorts this month at BigCartel.com.