Movie Review: Behind the Cross
Review By: Tj Fowler
My good friends James DePaolo and Doc Rotten in the states recently referred Finnish film maker Tomi Kerminen my way to review his semi-short film ‘Behind the Cross’ in which he also stars.
In his email to me Tomi says, “Well you can say that it is experimental, aggressive art or avant-garde movie, or snuff film from beyond. Some people say that it is Dada & Anti-Art.” That’s a whole lot of contradictions and labels all in one right there. He also tells me I just have to see it. Boy what an eyeful I got.
The film starts out with various girls talking to the camera in what appears to be some form of a interview for maybe a dating website in which the girls are describing themselves and the type of man they like. I was thinking well maybe we are getting a horror film about dating websites and torture porn something in the style of Hostel except with an angle towards preying on girls meeting people from the net. Then after this we see a woman walking her dog in a field where they find something wrapped up in a tarp or something…then suddenly a man with no eyes bursts from the tarp screaming and yelling. Then we switch again to a priest, played by Tomi himself, torturing captive women and jerking off various times in the movie. We see a man kept as a pet pig by the priest, we have scenes skipping to a boy crucifying what looks like the priest but no idea where this kid comes from, we have a kidnapping scene, we have the priest killing people, we have blood going everywhere and we also have a lot of confusion.
Behind the Cross seems almost like a bunch of scenes pieced together that have no cohesion as to a story. We really have no other explanation of the girls at the beginning of the film giving their interviews…the kidnapping scene later in the film has no relation to these videos at all so I don’t even know why the interview scenes were at the beginning. The rest of the 38 minute film is filled with strange things like this with no explanation or reason. We see towards the end of the film the scene again of the woman with her dog in the field finding the priest with no eyes. I am not sure if the film maker here was trying to go with the Pulp Fiction style of film making in having a bunch of out of sequence scenes form a overall story in the end or not. I couldn’t figure it out and if he was I still didn’t see any kind of reason to what was happening or going on.
Also, the angle of the supposed holy man really being an evil guy I think has been played out over the course of horror. I get it. Sometimes people don’t like religion and the church can have bad people in it that makes a good subject matter for movies and news articles. I also know we have seen this before in horror way too many times. How about we see something about a good person from the church for a change.
I really thought after the intro to Behind the Cross I was going to get a cool little indie Finnish Horror Film but all I got was scratching my head in confusion. It almost seemed that the film maker was trying too hard to be weird or different just for the sake of being weird or different instead of trying to make a good story.
On a side note, I did like the music in the film as I felt it fit the intro and the feel the movie was trying to convey. The narrator quoting Bible scripture was a nice touch too even though I couldn’t pay attention to him due to all the weirdness going on.
For anyone interested in the bands or composers in the movie they are: Primescore, The Twilight and O.B.S.
I would give a number rating but I’m not sure it would be accurate. I’m not sure if I missed some sort of message that went over my head or if the movie just didn’t have one at all.