La Petite Mort II: Nasty Tapes is a 2014 splatter horror film, written and directed by Marcel Walz with additional writing from Annika Strauss. The film is a continuation of the gory horror thriller La Petite Mort (2009), also written and directed by Marcel Walz (check out our review of the first film here).

The film follows the owners of the infamous “Maison de la Petite Mort” as they complete their daily work. After the shocking events in part one, you’ll never guess what the new owner, Monsieur Matheo Maximè, is up to, but it involves torturing for money at its very worst.

Contrary to its prequel, La Petite Mort II decides to drop any inkling of a story to instead present itself as a “documentary Blu-ray” sold by the murder club displaying vignettes of previous services provided to their happy clientele along with testimonies and some behind the scenes interactions between staff. Although the premise of the first film was paper-thin at times, its sequel’s lack of real narrative is certainly noticeable throughout. This absence of direction relegates the film to what the original narrowly avoided—torture porn. Nevertheless, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as many films that fall under this category, such as numerous titles in the Saw series, still deliver an enjoyable experience to some viewers. However, the bitchy interactions between the club’s staff that break up the scenes of torture become slightly monotonous at times, rarely adding anything beneficial to the overall production.

When a film falls into this category, its saving grace is its implementation of some grisly practical special effects and it’s assured that La Petite Mort II delivers in this department. Provided this time by Megan & Ryan Nicholson, the effects exhibit an undeniably savage realism to the torture. A multitude of scenes featuring unspeakable acts of sadism is delivered by the hands of latex-clad beauties for all to discern, executing far more inventive punishments than spotlighted in the first film. Despite this, these effects have an overall sterile feel to them when compared to their predecessor, lacking the visual veracity of practical effects that wizard Olaf Ittenbach, who provided the effects in La Petite Mort (2009), is notable for.

In terms of cinematography, La Petite Mort II contains varying levels of technique, from gritty handheld shots to more polished and stylized sequences. While this inconsistency can be jarring at times, it ultimately serves to enhance the unsettling atmosphere and disorient the viewer.

Falling slightly short of the original, La Petite Mort II: Nasty Tapes is still an interestingly unique and unapologetically unsettling cinematic experience that achieves challenging societal and cinematic norms. With its magnificently naturalistic levels of gruesome special effects and respectable performances from the cast, this 84-minute behind-the-scenes look at your favourite murder-for-pay club is sure to satiate fans of the original and gore-hounds alike!

La Petite Mort II: Nasty Tapes (2014) is available to pre-order from Unearthed Films Website here

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