Nikos Nikolaidis  

Greek director of extreme movies that are part art-house, part filth. His characters are often inexplicably immoral and murderous, and his character arcs shift with unpredictable changes of motivation, making even his more conventional crime movies feel somewhat surreal. These movies involving groups of criminal acquaintances include 'Sweet Bunch', 'The Loser Takes All', and 'Wretches Are Still Singing' where a group of insane friends from the 50s get together for a reunion, except one has adopted a habit of raping and murdering women. He also made twisted and bizarre films with perverse and imaginative titillation, the most famous one being 'Singapore Sling', as well as a post-apocalyptic trilogy involving both bizarrely insane people and governments. The only one of these not reviewed here is the more relatively conventional 'Morning Patrol', a mood piece with amnesiac survivors randomly killing other survivors in a world where the powers-that-be try to track and control murders. His movies are so uniquely odd, they always leave you wondering what the movie was really about. Died in 2007.

Of Some Interest

Euridice BA 2O37  
Nikolaidis first film is like a much more surreal Repulsion with underlying allusions to mythology. Euridice is stuck in a hell waiting for her Orpheus, except that, in this movie, she is unaware of her situation. The hell is an apartment surrounded by ominous dangers including gunfire sounds, mysterious visitors, and various shadows and people that taunt her through the windows and cracks under the door. Via dream-logic, there may or may not be another person in the apartment who may be her alter-ego, or simply a time-loop shadow of herself. There is an ambiguous lover (Orpheus), and a lover on the phone looking for the previous tenant, with stories that haunt her vague memories and that intrigue her. While she waits for a transfer from a hopelessly bureaucratic hell, she passes the time with strange games involving doll-sex, suicide and self-molestation by her own hand. A mysterious movie full of dream-logic and puzzling images of goat-heads and evisceration. Leaves you with questions and dreams even though it doesn't really gel together or reward the audience.

Singapore Sling  
Brings to mind the demented and perverse sex from Thundercrack blended with film-noir, and twisted comedy that only the insane would find funny mixed with some John Waters trash. The plot concerns an insane girl and a demented person whom she calls her mother who may be a hermaphrodite or just a mad woman with a strap-on that speaks half her sentences in French. Together they kill and eviscerate maids, play kinky S&M sexual games and role-plays with each other, often involving the mother sexually abusing this insane girl with a decisively kinky sense of pleasure, and re-enacting their murderous triumphs, some of which may have involved their deceased father. One day, an obsessed detective comes looking for a missing girl and falls into their hands. Normally I would just categorize this as pointlessly bizarre and twisted, seeing as it involves insane people having vomit sex, food sex, a golden shower while being electrocuted, hermaphrodite sex, kink involving intestines, and rape with a knife. But the performances here are so gripping, convincing and amusing in an insane way you could swear the actresses were recruited from a real mental ward. For the twisted only.


See You in Hell, My Darling  
This feels like Nikolaidis's follow-up to Singapore Sling. Although it isn't as extreme, it also features two insane women role-playing acts of murder and sexual depravity. The difference is that this one is surreal in both its imagery and its constant shifting to different story-lines. There's a body in the pool that may or may not be dead, they talk about murders and suicides that may or may not have happened, murders appear to have happened but then the story shifts again to another melodramatic tale, whether it is betrayal between siblings, implied incest, rape, poison, etc. Using dream-logic, a mysterious man may be a stranger, or a lover, or a husband, or their father, and scenes in a pool that turn into an ocean with an ubiquitous dead body, rapidly become very surreal. As opposed to a Robbe-Grillet creation though, this one doesn't really take apart the mechanics of a melodramatic pulp murder-mystery, so much as hop from one implied pulp story to another, as role-played by two women that remove their clothing every chance they get, as well as vomit constantly (which seems to be a Nikolaidis fetish). This is a confusing parade of sleaze and surreal melodrama, but an unrewarding one.

Zero Years, The  
The third in a post-apocalyptic trilogy by Nikolaidis dealing with women surviving under governments that have become so insanely twisted as to be surreal. The first was Euridice, the second was the more conventional and moody Morning Patrol, and this one completes the trilogy named "The Shape of the Coming Nightmare". In this one, he seems to have spliced the 'political sci-fi' with his more perverse outings of random twisted titillation to the point that it's impossible to see this as a political statement. Four young women are chemically controlled by the government, made to become sterile or forced into experimental impregnations, and then forced to perform sexual services that include putting on a show, or severely beating up men for some government sponsored S&M. Nikolaidis injects his usual fetishes of vomit, and adds other twisted touches such as punishment with raw eggs, invisible rapists that are called 'children', 'over-beating', practicing cross-eyed fake orgasms, and weekly fake births involving blood. I don't believe anyone can interpret this one with anything resembling a political reality that we know. Bizarre dystopia filth with unfunny, black, strange humor reminiscent of Singapore Sling.

1999- by The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre Table of Contents