I thought that I was a fairly seasoned gore hound, I was under the impression that I couldn't be shocked, I was wrong!
From the opening sequence of a bloody and battered young girl squealing and screaming, limping as fast as her brutalised body could manage, to get away from as yet undisclosed terrors, to the closing sequence which I had to have explained for me by my sister's fiance, as my hand was firmly up in front of my face, because frankly I couldn't watch any more, Martyrs is a thoroughly engaging and compelling examination of human suffering.
What it isn't however is enjoyable. This film was far too brutal, gritty and nasty for me. A Saturday night ought never to involve watching a young girl tied to a chair in a dirty warehouse being slapped around her already bloody and bruised face.
By an hour or so in, though I felt violated by this film, I still felt that I could deal with it, then the movie shifts gears and from the last half hour goes down a hithero (to me anyway) unexpected path and that was when I started to really struggle. The last third of Martyrs is one of the most terrible, horrible, awful, vile things that I've ever put myself through, yet it is substantially less gory than the hour which preceeds it, there is no way of me explaining how this is possible with spoiling things for you, so you shall have to take my word for it.
Though this wasn't for me I have given it four stars because in many ways it is a brilliant film. It is incredibly original and sumptuously filmed and edited with a rawness that lends an extra veneer of grit to a movie which is already rotten with cutting edge ideas and envelope pushing concepts.
I would thoroughly recommend this to people who enjoy utter darkness, rawness and brutality in their movies. I shall return to collecting Troma films, safe on the knowledge that there are limits to what I consider to be entertainment