The title of this Brit horror anthology film, Little Deaths, connotes the French euphemism, "le petit mort" which explains the theme: sex and death.
The first tale in the trio is called House and Home, and it features Luke de Lacey and Siubhan Harrison (I swear, these are not internet-generated porn-star names) as an upper class couple who enjoy bringing in strays to feed, and then inflicting pain upon them. Holly Lucas plays a homeless woman who becomes a catalyst for the twist, and it's an evil, evil thing. The second story is called Mutant Tool, and it's about a mad doctor (played by Brendan Gregory) whose sinister experiments spiral out of control when one of his patients (Jodie Jameson) on a top secret wonder drug becomes an insatiable nymphomaniac. Last nail in the coffin is Bitch, directed by Simon Rumley (who did the well-regarded recent feature, Red White & Blue). Bitch is the story of a couple: dominate Claire (Kate Braithewaite) and submissive Pete (Tom Sawyer), and follows the fallout after what happens when their dynamic shifts much to her dissatisfaction.
Fortunately, the arrangement of the anthology is done in such a way that tension builds and mounts to a, for lack of a better word, climax. Rumley's story is perhaps the simplest, but as he does in his feature work, he makes much ado of (almost) nothing. The acting is the star here, and Sawyer and Braitwaite bring the power. The first story, House and Home, definitely sets the tone when philanthropic Richard turns misogynistic and rapes the hapless homeless lass in a fit of fury. The second story is definitely the one for the grue and gore hounds. The totally sick scientist and his patent-pending pabulum are grist for the mill of murder after Jen gets a taste (for blood, naturally). Enter (a-hem) a beastly creature dripping with a jism-like substance, and suddenly it’s check-out time (AMA, of course!). Bitch alludes quite literally to dogs, and in the dark realm which master and pet exist, let's just say… every dog has his day.
Each 25 minute manifesto of mayhem stands on its own merit, without the usual interstitial trappings (sorry, no Crypt-Keeper or Jake Winters here). Since I seldom read any supporting press materials before watching anything I review, I didn't quite realize at first that Little Deaths is indeed an anthology… but eventually, I caught on! (There are title cards to separate the stories.) There are no extras on the DVD.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson