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House of Flesh Mannequins
House of Flesh Mannequins (2009)
  • Director:
    Domiziano Cristopharo
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Domiziano Cristopharo,Domiziano Cristopharo
  • Cast:
    Domiziano Arcangeli,Irena Violette,Giovanni Lombardo Radice
  • Time:
    1h 40min
  • Budget:
  • Year:
Sebastian, a loner artist, photographer and filmmaker spends his days in the seediness of life's elements. Taking pictures, photographing violent acts and spending a lot of time watching homemade films filled with jarring imagery, Sebastian also happens to be his building's landlord. He has also suffered an abused childhood, being subjected to sleep deprivation and constant home videos. Things begin to change for him when apartment tenant, Sarah Roeg, begins to take interest in his work and Sebastian himself.
Complete credited cast:
Domiziano Arcangeli Domiziano Arcangeli - Sebastian Rhys
Irena Violette Irena Violette - Sarah Roeg (as Irena A. Hoffman)
Giovanni Lombardo Radice Giovanni Lombardo Radice - Mr. Roeg
Roberta Gemma Roberta Gemma - The Wife (as Roberta Missoni)
Raffaella Baracchi Raffaella Baracchi - The Past
Armando Pizzuti Armando Pizzuti - Snuff Victim
Jerred Berg Jerred Berg - Tommy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hal Alpert Hal Alpert - Older Gentleman
Diego Artioli Diego Artioli - Paramedic
Lucia Batassa Lucia Batassa - The Present
Edoardo Beghi Edoardo Beghi - Party Guest
Drevon Cooks Drevon Cooks - A Dwarf
Jeff Doba Jeff Doba - Cop
Michael Garamendi Michael Garamendi - Children's Brother
Lejla Hadzimuratovic Lejla Hadzimuratovic - Stepmother

House of Flesh Mannequins (2009)
I must have been at the same screening as the previous reviewer. I am in no way affiliated with the film or A Night Of Horror film festival ... and certainly wouldn't be ashamed to be as I thought the exact opposite of the guy that made the previous post.

The film is uncomfortable at times, shocking at other times and sure it is low budget too (money doesn't just fall out of the sky into an artist's lap, y'know) BUT it is highly original and a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

Good to see a film that also has something to say, I think seeing this film was a rewarding experience. The filmmaker's took a chance and attempted to do something different and while the film is not faultless, it certainly isn't a failure. Not for everybody, not for the faint of heart, not for those that want a big budget Hollywood schlock-buster, but if you want to see something unique and different you could certainly do worse
How to sum up the movie in a few words? Pornographic, slow, humorous (though not on purpose) acting and graphic. The movie depicts actual performances of bodily mutilation and sexual acts.

Sebastian the main character is a budding film maker who has suffered an abused childhood at the hands of his psychologist father. He now works for a shady news stand guy taking pics of gruesome events - children molested, bodily mutilation and car accidents.

The basis of the movie is that Sebastian meets a young (apparently 18 but clearly not) neighbour who becomes interested in his work. The movie is interspersed with Sebastion visiting violent peep shows and filming people.

I'm not sure whether Domiziano's acting in this movie is terrible or if he is playing the part of a damaged man too well. It was definitely an awkward performance. If anyone has seen any of his other movies I'd love to know.

Irene is probably the best of the actors in the movie and comes across pretty convincingly.

Many of the other main characters are over the top and spew forth their own profound worldly advice on the state of the world which comes across as silly.

Anyone looking for a slasher film will be sorely disappointed. This can only be described as an art house horror film. It is broken up into chapters, with slatherings of pornographic acts (masturbation/sex) and violence (piercings, razor cutting and drilling into body parts).

I would gather that some in our audience - we were honored to have the lead actor in attendance - left the film early out of a mixture of boredom and disgust.

I would have to say that this was a terrible film and that it did not meet my expectations of a "horror" film.
There are several ingredients that make a movie good. Now some have already commented the movie. I want to particularly mention Irena. She embodies for me extremely well "the good demon". She manages to combine charisma , eroticism and intelligence in a person. The quality of the movie is undoubtedly increased by it. I don't admire actors too much. With her I make a rare exception. She is beautiful and a great actress. This has not only shown in this movie. But also in the many small and bigger film roles that she played already. She has a special talent to play a dangerous, potentially demonic woman. Maybe I can admire her talent also in other formats. Why not be a demon in Supernatural, or even an archangel?
It's been the talk of all Cult films lovers and Artsploitation's fans, for over a year,thanks to a very controversial Film Festivals run,that made many -apparently- walking out of the screenings horrified and,others love this film, like crazy: like a new "Manifesto"of a certain re-birth of the greater Euro exploitation/Genre's Cinema of 1960's/1970's. I just loved this film, despite its (few) flaws,and I do agree with whomever Awarded it,along with his incredible lead actor! I cannot hide to be a fan of that type of Films, especially of the Euro's from 30/40 years ago: they had just a different class,and were exceptionally 'visionary' and 'inventive'. People like Argento(in his first films),Fulci,Lenzi,Martino really knew how to mix mystery and pulp,sex and decadence with a narration rich of resources,like sophisticated angles,cinematography,editing and soundtracks! And I always believed some of the greatest Directors must have examined those films carefully to work on their most innovative styles. In fact those flicks were completely ahead of their Time,not because of the very often lurid content,wild storytelling or nudity, but mostly for how they were filmed and brilliant.They did define an unforgettable time! Cristopharo's film has all the elements of the movies of that Time, and even more! Besides having an incredibly unique art direction,costumes, make up and intense photography, its story never fails to surprise, to shock, to emotionally 'test' its audience! Never saw something like this before, maybe because back 30 years ago, it would have been impossible to film certain sequences that instead this feature showcases so fearlessly, you gotta give them credit to explore what's been never presented before (at least to my knowledge!). There are a bunch of real life S/M fetishists and body modifier's performers, mutilating themselves for real,people eating glass and swords, cutting their genitals and so on.. Even a few porn actors were hired to contribute real sex acts,which were though artistically filmed,and part of a key idea. Not for everyone.It's true! But, if you may just follow the movie, which will take you,surprise after surprise,for a walk among love and death, inside the sick mind of a child who's never really grown up, since he had been terribly abused: an experience, so worth watching,because of its efforts towards freedom of image and a stand against all hypocrisy,too common today, in anything we are fed with! HOFM,while creating sensational images, becomes highly lyrical. It is like a look at the "interiors" of someone abused and abandoned to his frightening life, without mercy,so emotional Like "Shame" of the great McQueen, this shocks because it's just telling the truth. However "Shame" may be shot with more of a mainstream approach and bigger budget, both films have a lot in common! HOFM may not always be as fluid, has some plot holes, some moments that stretch credibility, but it remains indeed one of the most convictive,unique and stylish film, I have watched lately! It's truly brave! It took me to Hell and back! I am amazed of how much it still haunts me! We're definitely closer to a much higher quality of filmmaking, mixing,almost hyper-realistic tones, with a more natural,emotional strength, that could surprise even the most skeptical! Cristopharo is certainly, after this, a new personality in international Cinema, i can only hope he'll be able to maintain at least these high levels of integrity in both the narration and his visionary expression:he's able to make work astonishingly well, some of the oddest material ever filmed,and-this must be said too- some parts of his own script,not so clear, or excessive! Maybe,this is really the only flaw i could point out in this movie. HOFM benefits also, besides,of a brave director and,of,an extremely talented and dedicated crew,of an exceptional lead actor. Domiziano Arcangeli plays this role as it lays, with so much emotional transfer and much "naked" intensity, that it is not difficult to imagine his private life must have not been that easy, either! Unless he's one of the best actors of these times, someone must know certain "ugly" places very well himself, to be able to so perfectly convey all the demands of his Sebastian,while,perfectly nailing and realistically reproducing all the sadness, fear,anger,and even the shock of a human being who's been mercilessly abused,and displayed like a mannequin himself! Some must not know, nor care to know of how an abused person can still be or survive! Arcangeli instead indeed does care "enough": his performance becomes the soul of HOFM, he's not only effective,and haunting,he's an unforgettable presence too! Then, there's the beauty,ambiguity of Irena A. Hoffman, so gorgeous,sexy, burning, to be able to create a phenomenal 'antagonist' to Arcangeli! She's wildly intoxicating playing the new neighbor, living in some crumbling building, who starts spying on Sebastian,maybe just because she's only a tad bored with her grim life ( a blind father, who's also often drunk, played with darkness,by star Giovanni Lombardo Radice,and a cocky boyfriend, who looks like a model and behaves like a douche bag). But she will bring several twists to the very narration of the film,instead, becoming some sort of Femme Fatale... The rest of the principle cast isn't even nearly close,to the level of Arcangeli and Hoffman.But there's the circus of Freaks, let me tell you, some of the most beautiful women, I've ever saw, unfortunately,at times, just briefly shot,performing some hallucinating acts,or a few guys, who look like just coming out of an asylum, or a crack house. But, they all work so greatly in their ensemble, by giving to this film, just the right amount of credibility to make you want to take a dance with the darkest place on earth and mind, making you believe, you may not be even watching a movie anymore: the tragic message of this cruel story may break your heart, after all! Believe it or not, this movie manages to break your heart as well! A must see!
"House of Flesh Mannequins" is a nostalgic homage – and sure amused – that winks at the classic films from the 70's. A movie set that look like a stage (and the film itself is divided in 3 Acts), searched costumes and hairdos, cinematography of Mirco Sgarzi that recalls with personality the atmospheres of the best Fulci and Argento's movie. This is cinema made from who loves the cinema, a movie rich of winks and citations that the most expert (but not only them) will be amused to pick: from Lynch to the surrealism of the 30's, passing trough Fulci and Cronenberg. International porn stars and regular actors working together for the first time with extreme body art performers used in the torture scenes. Everything is real, but at the same time, everything is done for the purpose of creating a movie, which is anything but real. The movie presents a compelling case against the use of gratuitous violence on TV as well as the self-righteous, sanctimonious ways that society chooses to confront children's issues.

I just watched this movie, and, was touched , frankly almost stunned, by Domiziano ARCANGELI's performance : was simply the nature of the character who so compulsive, damaged, broken up, and teared apart by an abusive past he can never leave behind, as if he was almost incapable to shake it off: it is ultimately that morbid perversion that makes eventually the movie itself become such an over all powerful depiction of the pity ( and of its truly provocative means) since it appears to be pretty impossible today for many to detach from that dangerous hidden indulgence we all- in different ways- spend by consuming either P*rn, or violent, forbidden material, or mere mainstream voyeurism, such as Reality TV, a phenomenon, the movie targets very cleverly : if all of a sudden, someone becomes famous and wealthy, maybe, even by just exploiting themselves, and/or their lives, then in that case, some may even be able to get away with murder, while, instead, the really frail, abused ones, not so accepted by most, like Sebastian ( which Domiziano Arcangeli brings here to life, with an almost disturbing realism, power, thanks also to his unusual traits, and deep, mysterious eyes), generally end up paying the bill for most, here meaning in particular, a corrupted, disjointed, and, ultimately so unfair society, that has become increasingly insensitive, and dangerously closed, almost as a perpetual enemy to any form of more personal, genuinely honest consideration over real existential torments, but also, so inconsiderate toward all people who allow themselves to be vulnerable, and, so even simply more human, to the point of poignantly creating such profound, insightful questions over the whole plot of this movie, which ultimately I have found so beautifully poetic, and extremely well made: a real punch in the stomach for most, that doesn't for once feel simply as your typical attempt at scaring audiences with scenes, but, that may be certainly, and by far, some of the most realistically raw, brutal, and shocking piece I have ever even seen before, always keeping a lyrical tone that's sublimate by a great, ground breaking direction from dark Domiziano Cristopharo here delivering controversial or graphic material as in form of a poem, a bit like in Pasolini's "Salo". Irena A. Hoffman is a powerhouse: her performance is just fantastic and her looks are honestly so gorgeous that can melt your heart, while breaking your dreams of being a man. She succeeds to bring to life a new type of 'femme fatales', and, she's gritty and unapologetic. All the rest of the cast is a mix bag of interesting faces from the underground, from pornographic movies, and so called "modified performers" who for real cut themselves in real time and it's raw, visible, absurd, and at the same time, somewhat genius: they all deeply touch the subconscious of those still interested in truly understanding what's between good and evil, and, to those who'd still like to connect with this movie, while, leaving home any sort of moralistic Puritanism, trying instead to embrace its deep story, with empathy, and, human consideration for all of those who suffer while surviving lives way darken than even the above, and, way passed and beyond the edge of those we may be simply more familiar with, and, always asking ourselves not to immediately label them, as simply bad, or atrocious, or just way too far from us, but, again to tune in into a movie that is simply asking us to listen to all: i believe you'd be surprised what a moral lesson "House of Flesh Mannequins" is capable to deliver within its darkest lights and trembling, shaking grip to reach out to our feelings.