Never prone to just staying in one comfort zone, director Matthew Saliba invokes the likes of Tinto Brass and Jess Franco in what is one of the more disturbing and despicable pieces of grindhouse fare I’ve ever seen, a short cinematic offering from director Matthew Saliba a man who has dabbled in the realms of torture, misogyny, and revenge before, but with “Amy’s in the Attic” he takes it to a new extreme dabbling in the shadows of fetish, swinging and slavery with a practice in human cruelty as juxtaposed with sexuality that leads down a path that will really affect his viewers and loyal fan base. Even I found myself cringing in some instances, especially in a big reveal during the big sex game that ensues with this group of swingers.
Saliba is a man who is constantly testing his heights and pushing his fans to see how far he can possibly go and with “Amy’s in the Attic” it’s an entirely new strata of shocking that also accounts for a truly brilliant piece of short filmmaking that I just could not get over. Saliba sticks about as true to classic exploitation as humanly possible devising a film that is a true grindhouse throwback with film scratches, a mixed audio dubbing of American and Italian language, and some scenes that are missing that only add to the mystique of the horror about to ensue before our eyes. Saliba and his crew must have painstakingly detailed the exploitation classics from the sixties and seventies to have compiled such a devoutly unique and novel piece of grindhouse art that feels as if it was pulled off a back corridor in a hidden film vault of some perverse filmmaker only a year ago even featuring some iconic songs from Donovan, Ennio Morricone, and Black Sabbath. “Amy’s in the Attic” however is a complex exploration of the limits we’ll go to satisfy our sexual craving and how far we can go before we’re enticed and how it can affect others.
With sharp performances and a stark atmosphere that just progressively shapes this from a sexual adventure in to a study in human cruelty, “Amy’s in the Attic” is a superb exploitation thriller with an array of actors who pull off some truly excellent performances. Particularly there’s Kayden Rose as the ill-fated Amy who enters in to this soiree to indulge in some sexual thrills and is chosen out of a hat at random to become a sex slave for the night at the behest of the enigmatic game master Alucard. Matthew Saliba is brutally slimy and menacing as the silent leader of the group who watches them toil in their own sexual excesses until suggesting this mysterious game that takes a downhill slide as quickly as we can muster up the attention to watch with disgust. The ultimate surprise ending is superb and left up in the air for those of us wondering if this was all one big game of revenge, or perhaps just the cruel unexplained sexual satisfaction of a man whose lust knows no limits.
Saliba continues rising as a filmmaker offering his master work with “Amy in the Attic,” a true love letter to sexual exploitation fans. The fully stocked DVD features eight five minute Making Of Segments that explores the creative process of the entire filming including a crucial twist in the film and how it affected star Kayden Rose, who was understandably uneasy and uncomfortable during the process. There are also three separate commentaries with director Saliba and the entire cast, all of whom lend their insight to the film. There are also commentaries with Saliba and his editors on a few of his other short films featured.
We get a great six minute still gallery, and of course the three shorts sans the commentaries which are “La Fin De Notre Amour,” “Pandora’s Paradox,” and “The Manipulator and the Servant,” all truly excellent shorts for the respective viewer. Director Matthew Saliba and his recurring collaborator the beautiful Kayden Rose offer up yet another truly excellent short film diving neck deep in to the grindhouse genre and Italian cinema with a disturbing and affecting gem about sexual thrills and the lengths we’ll go through to satisfy such urges. This is a masterwork and one I highly suggest for the respective grindhouse buff.