Released: Nov 01st, 1999
Running Time: 70
Director: Joey Strange
Company: Dead Alive Productions
Cast: Ben (I), Joey Strange, John Durante, Jacob (I), Others, Cory, Marina Vain
Critical Rating: Not Yet Rated
Let's face it, folks, we're traveling quickly towards a new millennium, which brings with it a new belief system among the younger generation (basically those 30 years of age and younger). Old values are quickly being tossed out and replaced by new beliefs based on ancient ones (i.e., the whole "modern primitive" shebang, complete with tattoos and body piercings). Yes, it's a different view of life; yes, not all people think of bloody Clive Barker movies when pondering hanging from hooks in high places; and yes, it's not for everyone.
Back at the reins again is director Joey Strange, winner of the 1999 AVN Award for Best Specialty Tape -- Other Genre, who -- surprise, surprise -- also takes his turn at a vertical body suspension. During his interview, he's asked the typical whys and whats which led him to do this.
"You have to wake up one day and say to yourself, 'Hooks. I want to hang from hooks.'" Sure, that's what we thought, too.
Here, Strange returns with a documentary format, with three segments showcasing each individuals's reasons for the suspension they are performing, intercut with separate interviews of the piercings (John Durante, Cory and Jacob).
The first segment features L.A.-based performance artist/photographer Marina Vain (who was also in Strange Life: The Breech). Her entire stomach is pierced with rings and then laced up into a flesh corset. What motivates her to do this?
"I like the rush. Nothing else comes close to it," smiles Vain.
The second segment features Ben, whose suspension is a means of soul-searching ("I did it to test myself," he admits).
Then, it's Mr. Strange himself. A series of thick steel hooks is inlaid across his back along his shoulder blades, with several more along his arms. His forehead is also pierced in three separate X's, and his cheeks skewered, adding to his human-pincushion look.
Strange's endorphin-riddled body then glides across the length of the studio floor. But wait, you're wondering, where's the blood? This being a Joey Strange feature, the big fun starts when the needles are pulled out, and the crimson streams start flowing.
Ending this ditty is a performance by TSD, a traveling body suspension group which includes -- along with John Durante -- Alan Falner and Sean McManus, both of the underground suspension classic The Marionette (also in Strange Life: The Breech). TSD's show, taped at the 1998 Fetish Ball in Los Angeles, includes a four-man pull: Literally, four men (Durante, McManus, Brian and Ironworker John) attempts to pull each other across the stage by the hooks in their backs in a bizarre type of tug-of-war.
A cool soundtrack by Nuclear Blast provides excellent accompaniment throughout.
To those whose clientele is into this kind of stuff, or for those who just wanna watch, highly recommend this slice-of-real-life documentary.