Rewind Review: 2012’s ‘Excision’ Cuts Deep

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Excision is jaw-dropping Horror Drama, a bold feature debut for Writer/Director Richard Bates, Jr.  This film premiered at Sundance in 2012 and Anchor Bay released the DVD in October of the same year.

My reaction upon reaching Excision’s gut-wrenching conclusion: “Ho-ly shit!”

Read my review after the jump.

Official Synopsis:  A disturbed and delusional high school student with aspirations of a career in medicine goes to extremes to earn the approval of her controlling mother.

Just FYI, that synopsis barely scratches the surface of the roller-coaster that is Excision.  I wonder if the weakness of this description has something to do with why so many people (myself included) missed the boat on this one in 2012.  Truth is, Excision will fuck you up.

18-year-old Pauline is a curious young woman on the verge of sexual maturity.  Nothing strange about that.  What is unusual is her erotic obsession with blood.  When she closes her eyes, Pauline imagines orgies of corpses, running her hands over and inside the bleeding bodies…  until she has a raging, toe-curling orgasm.  Her fondness of blood leads her to plan her first sexual experience to coincide with her monthly menstruation—a decision that proves devastating to her suitor who is quite unaware until its… too late.

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 Pauline’s fetish isn’t the only thing that’s bizarre and somewhat off-putting.  Vixen AnnaLynne McCord is nearly unrecognizable as the acne-plagued, frizzy-haired, androgynous loner who’s always on the outside, both at school and at home.  Pauline is such a mess it almost hurts just to look at her.  And not because she’s ugly; rather, even the most jaded Horror aficionado will feel some empathy, or worse, identify with her.

 Because Pauline is awkward adolescence personified.  She’s an alien among her peers and stands in stark contrast to her attractive, well-maintained family members.  She’s a square peg, a stray dog, a freak.  Even if this doesn’t describe your specific adolescence, you knew someone like Pauline.  Perhaps you felt sorry for her and wish you could have somehow reached out.  Or maybe you bullied her and regret it.  No matter your frame of reference, it is impossible to watch Pauline’s drama unfold without being deeply effected.

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And in the end, it is our connection to Pauline that makes the film’s conclusion so utterly devastating.  This blogger’s jaw hit the ground with a thud.

While no one outshines McCord, Traci Lords is actually fantastic as her controlling, conservative, ultra-tense mother.  Ariel Winter also shines as Pauline’s afflicted younger sister.  And while it was just a bit-part, I couldn’t help but be delighted seeing John Waters playing a priest.

I’ll be excited to view Richard Bates, Jr.’s next effort, whatever it is.

If you are a Horror aficionado, I suggest you rent or buy Excision immediately.

4 out of 5 Skull Heads.

 Super bloody NSFW Trailer: HERE  

Release Date

October 16 2012

Studio

Anchor Bay

Director

Richard Bates, Jr.

Writer

Richard Bates, Jr.

Starring

AnnaLynne McCord, Traci Lords, Ariel Winter, Roger Bart, John Waters

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About Saucy Josh

I write a blog for intelligent Horror movie aficionados called Blood and Guts for Grown Ups: https://bloodandgutsforgrownups.wordpress.com/ View all posts by Saucy Josh

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