Advance Screening: Disgorge, Mexico – The Movie

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By Laina Dawes

David Hall is an interesting fella.

He would have to be in order to put together Disgorge, Mexico – The Movie, based on the 2008 album by Fuck the Facts. Along with his partner, producer and cinematographer David Cardoso and their film production company, Handshake Inc., Hall has put together an invigorating, yet disturbing, 42 minute ode to the 2008 release by the Ottawa-based band.

I could simply describe Disgorge, Mexico – The Movie as visually stunning yet disturbing, as Hall definitely has an aesthetic and a well-formed point of view that matches the brutality and not-to-be dismissed splendor in the chaotic madness of Ottawa’s Fuck the Facts – and brilliant in not only the fact that similar to Hall and Cardoso’s previous film (based on Today is the Day’s Axis to Eden), it is clearly obvious that Hall knows the music and its nuances inside and out.

Jess, a woman leading a seemingly mundane life, has a lover, Holly, and suddenly finds herself in Disgorge, Mexico where she gets into some shady shit. Through the use of stunning, thoughtfully-executed cinematography and of course, the grindcore / experimental music of Fuck the Facts, Hall captures the nuances of the story and perhaps a glimpse of who Jess really is. What could be seen as almost banalities in the story, Hall turns them on their head, creating visuals that compliment the music, creating more jarring images and thoughts. The more unsettling parts are captured in an almost ironic manner – just stopping short of grossing you out, but still conveying a message that in hindsight is more powerful than you first realize.

This was filmed in and around London, ON, even though when you think of Mexico you think of hot, sunny beaches. Instead, in Hall’s film you get acres of snow – but there is a reason for it. “Disgorge, Mexico the place and Disgorge, Mexico the metaphor became entwined…this weird little village where love is sick and love goes to die, and also a place for crimes against love are punished and celebrated,” explained Hall via email. “I knew very early on that I wanted the village of Disgorge, Mexico to be a very evil and strange place, and somehow came up with this concept of a cult of lesbians who have all slashed their own eyes out.”

But is this for everyone? I can’t answer that. The metal scene, like every other scene created to celebrate a specific form of culture – popular or not – carries the burden of catering to two kinds of people: Those who not only listen to the music but also think long and hard about its intricacies, and those who use the music as an emotional catharsis to expel personal issues, i.e., those who only want to hear aggressive, hard-hitting beats and heavy riffs as a form of escapism from their mundane lives. Those who call women ‘whores’ online (but never to their faces – otherwise they would never get any ‘pussy’) and revel in the fact that metal is a predominately white, middle-class, ‘boys only’ club.

It is that difference that will determine who will ‘get’ Disgorge, Mexico and who will not? Do you want to think? Think about the interplay between the visuals and music, peruse the story and whether Hall and Cardoso have successfully laid it out or not, or even if a storyline is even necessary. Like every movie, it begs for interpretation but in this case the answer is entirely up to you – what you believe in and who you are as an individual.

Handshake Inc. is currently working on a feature-length movie for Jucifer and music videos for Sigh, Daughters, and Hail Of Bullets are in production. The Disgorge, Mexico – The Movie download and DVD will be available soon, but you will also be able to catch the film and catch Fuck the Facts live next May at the 2010 Maryland Deathfest.

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.