Have you ever seen a movie that’s not really a movie? I don’t mean like a collection of skits, I mean like a bunch of random stuff lumped together yet sort of tied together, but not, if that makes sense. Ever seen a film shot on 16mm and 35mm film and hooked together then upgraded? If you answered yes then, simply put your lying, because its never been done before. Well I take that back. It was done in 2013 but just released in 2019. Its called Saint Bernard. It was made by FX creator Gabriel Bartalos and its easily the strangest thing I have ever seen in my life.
The film centers around a music conductor named Bernard. Bernard loves his music, and in fact always dreamed of being able to conduct a symphony. He gets his chance, throws out his hands to begin and drops a whole ton of drugs on the floor in the process. That’s not a good way to begin things so he transforms into a giant snake like creature and floats off to his car to escape. Then he finds the head of a St. Bernard which he places in a sack and begins to carry it around with him. From there things begin to get weird.
We see some skydiving chickens, stick figures made of hair, a Dammed concert, a monster cop or two, an ogre, even a cactus penis. It literally makes no sense yet all the sense in the world at the same time if you pay close enough attention. Now when a film is one weird scene after another, and makes Eraserhead seem logical that may be hard to do, but what Bartalos has done is used his mastery of FX work to tell the story of a troubled an from his own point of view.
Bernard is a messed up guy from the get go. He was born with the knowledge of all the sounds of the universe and trained to become a music conductor by his uncle since he was a little kid. As a child of hopes and dreams he grew into a mentally abused man (he had a rotten family) and a drug addict. We are meant to see the world through his eyes. Which if you’re a screwed up junkie high as a kite on hallucinogenic things are going to certainly have a warped perspective. Giant worms, and killer brains of hair are not real in our world, nor are they in this film. There simply how Bernard sees the world. It’s a walk through the mind of a drug addict fueled with doubt, fear, and paranoia, and if you take it at that value its fascinating. If you don’t take symbolism into account your just watching bad acid trip loaded with insane special effects, and I have to praise the effects, as they are top notch especially for a small budget film.
Made in 2013 but aside from few circuit showings Saint Bernard is finally seeing the light of day thanks to the amazing folks over at Severin. They have once again done an amazing job with the transfer, and this one was probably not as easy as, like I stated earlier was filmed in both 16 and 35mm film. They matched it perfectly and the result is amazing. The audio and video look fantastic. They even included a making of featurette.
Fans of art house, horror, and just weird in general should definitely pick this up. Even if you aren’t into the symbolism of the film you will definitely have a good time, as this is the weirdest thing you will watch. Add this one to your collection today
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars