La Noche del Virgen | Spain | 2016 | Directed by Roberto San Sebastián
Logline: A desperate young man goes home with an older woman only to find himself caught up in an elaborate and nightmarish birth prophecy.
You think you’ve seen it all? Oh no, think again. There are still wonderfully dark, festering corners of nightmare filth waiting to be scooped up and flung at the screen, all in the name of extreme entertainment. This is one night you won’t forget in a hurry. Prepare to be shocked, prepare to be offended, prepare to be appalled, but most importantly, prepare to see one of the best horror movies of the year, because this onslaught has its tongue rammed so far into its cheek there’s an ulcer.
Nico (Javier Bódalo) is at a New Year’s Eve party, waiting to rendezvous with some mates. He invades the personal space of a couple of women on the dance floor, only to be met with a drink flung at him and vomit on his shoes. But then he meets Medea (Miriam Martín), a cougar on a mission, and before he knows it he’s standing in her darkened hallway, all fingers and thumbs. Medea warns him not to step on the cockroaches as it’s bad luck. Crunch. Oops. Too late. This mess is going to come back and haunt him something awful.
To describe Medea’s abode as unkempt would be a huge understatement. Her bathroom alone makes “The Worst Toilet in Scotland“ look positively pristine, if you know what I mean. But Nico doesn’t really mind. He just wants to get his rocks off, and it seems fairly obvious Medea is up for accommodating his lusty agenda. That’s until she falls asleep on him, and he’s left to his own perverse devices.
To describe this movie as simply a dark sex comedy would be doing it a grave injustice. This is the kind of oily black, inspired comedy of errors that will appeal to those that get their kicks from the most heinous of gags. If you can imagine the fiendish, absurd extremities of Takashi Miike, Frank Henenlotter, and early Peter Jackson, even Pedro Almodovar, rolled into one gleefully unsavoury, and at times hilarious, delight, then you might get to grips with the wild proclivities of this scatological gem.
The two central performances are awesome, as it is, essentially, a two-hander. Almost the entire movie takes place in Medea’s apartment, so you could even call the movie a chamber piece. Ha ha, yes! The art direction is superb, and the special effects, courtesy of an outfit called Bacon FX, are outstanding. It’s a triumph of splattery design.
In fact, I’ve not seen as much bodily fluid ejaculated, projected, discharged, and excreted in a horror movie since, I don’t know when. Keep a barf bag handy, or at least a box of tissues, as you may find yourself feeling the urge to wipe your clammy hands. But it’s all fantastic, nasty fun, as only the Spanish can do. Seriously, do yourself a favour and get weird and dirty with Nico. Real dirty.
There are losers, and then there are Losers, and Nico is one of the latter. But he is our hero, our champion. It is this pathetic angle that gives The Night of the Virgin its true visceral edge. But, very importantly, make sure you stay to watch the end credits, for during there is a return to the New Year’s Eve television coverage which bookends the narrative, and a particular news story that pulls it all into brilliant perspective.
Yup, The Night of the Virgin is definitely one of the most outrageous, and original horror movies I’ve seen in many years.