A squad of unsuspecting cops stumble upon a Black Mass in an abandoned building. What they encounter is a literal Hell.
For those who haven’t heard the hype, Baskin is Can Evrenol’s First feature length movie. It has been touted as the most disgusting and depraved movie you will see. After seeing his short extremely crass and vulgar short “Turn Your Bloody Phone Off” I didn’t have much hope for this movie. However, I am pleasantly surprised at the quality of Baskin.
Baskin follows 5 police officer on their fated trip into hell. It’s starts as a flash back and then moves to a diner where there is some character development, some dubious meat, and some baffling symbolism. As the diner scene plays out, it is easy to see that these cops are far from saints. I would go so far as to say as they are downright unlikeable. But they are thinly fleshed out as the bully (Yavuz), the father figure (Remzi), the son figure (Arda), the unexplained nervous one (Sabo), and… well the other one (Apo). At one point the timid waiter laughs at their vulgar stories and Yavuz goes “Tommy DeVito” on him. Most of the other officers encourage the tirade as well as the physical altercation afterwards so it really hammers it home how unpleasant they really are.
Still, the movie has a great slow burn for 50-ish minutes where it culminates in their spooky destination being revealed. Ironically, the movie lost me once the “horrifying scenes” started to take place.
Don’t get me wrong, the movie is artfully shot, the physical effects are gut wrenching, and the acting is on point (I particularly like the creepy and superior vibes that Baba/The father gave off). But what it gains in atmosphere and technical proficiency, it looses in your ability to connect with the characters. These people are terrible. One minute they are talking about sodomizing a cross-dressing prostitute and the next they are talking about God and faith. So why am I supposed to connect with terrible people when terrible things happen to them?
This might be dismissible if the world made any sense but, unfortunately, there are to many dream sequences and too much arcane symbolism to really get a sense of why they are being punished. In fact I’ve been mulling over the symbols presented and I’m not sure if it is simply a cultural disconnect or if Evrenol was just trying to shove creepy and disturbing “mysticism” into the film just to up the creep factor.
My biggest issue with the movie is, despite how indecipherable it was I still managed to see the major plot points a mile away. I watched it with subtitles but, aside from the exposition in the first few minutes, you really won’t be lost in the basic plot. The synopsis is dead on and the ending is both inevitable and predictable.
Overall, I don’t think I would recommend the movie unless you just like gore for the sake of gore. I might recommend it to people who can stomach torture movies and are just interested in the technical aspects because the shots and colors used are actually quite beautiful in a grotesque way. Just don’t expect to garner any sort of meaningful takeaway.