Thursday, August 3, 2017

A sex object from another world

One woman's husband is having an affair with her brother. Another woman, seen having sex in the movie's opening scene, shows up at a hospital to be treated for a mysterious injury she tries to pass off as a dog bite. We've already got enough grist for any dramatic mill, but The Untamed -- directed by Mexican director Amat Escalante -- adds a bizarre twist to its sexually loaded scenario. The movie's Lothario turns out to be an alien creature whose tentacles are the source of intense sexual pleasure for all of the characters; the alien creates sensations so intense, they either become addictive or wind up killing those touched by the creature. Escalante works in a straightforward style that never calls attention to the movie's inherent weirdness. The principals in this helping of quasi sci-fi (Eden Villavicencio, Ruth Ramos, Jesus Meza and Simone Bucio) play characters living in a limbo between the mundane and the extraordinary. Add the tyrannical mother of one of the characters and you have a domestic drama with a wild card (the alien) that may represent an unleashed helping of id. The Untamed won't appeal to every taste -- especially those who think the idea of sex with an octopus-like alien slithers toward the repulsive. Despite its deadpan treatment of an implausibly weird premise, the movie's gamble (mixing the unquestionably strange with the drearily familiar) yields mixed results.

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