Singapore Sling, 1990
Trapped in a Deadly Game of Torture and Murder!
Mad scientist Nikos Nikolaidis is on a roll in this one as his actors dash through the gorgeous black and white film, filling the spectacular set-pieces with sex-crazed histrionics. Singapore Sling is a unique creature; it is both, hard to watch as the mother-daughter duo engage in sexual perversions that would have brought a smile on the Marquis‘s (the Marquis) face and a black slapstick comedy. Beginning with burying their chauffeur alive after torturing him and incest in bondage, in a film-noir world, drenched in heavy rains and where a detective speaks to himself in a voice-over monologue, slunk against a car with a bullet lodged in his shoulder, to force feeding (gorging); Singapore Sling is cruel, non-linear, capriciously erotic, well-acted and lovely to look at until the profoundly insane women occupy themselves with extreme sexual role-play, torture and acts of masturbation like I had never watched before, as if they’re riding a rodeo bull whenever something (anything) tickles their fancy.
The sophomoric and brilliant portrayal of insanity by the The daughter, played stupefyingly and sometimes repellingly by Meredyth Herold adds to the highly confrontational mood of the film. She speaks directly to the camera, telling us things that have happened in the past just before she herself acts those moments out with her mother, played by Michele Valley like a true silent movie star of the Roaring Twenties. She speaks English with an accent and that makes her even more like, perhaps, a vampire. Their costumes are of ancient design and once we enter the stately manor, the film-noir part somehow successfully blends in with the horror house parable. The characters’ descent into the depths of the subconscious is imminent and the consequences, although predictable, come as a shock anyway; again because of the heavy theatrics and a full frontal avocado after every fifteen minutes or so.
Singapore Sling is anti-sex, unlike Nikolaidis’s The Zero Years, 2005, it is depressing, funny, psychotic, Gothic and lyrical and full of Nosferatu shadows. It is, I feel, not weird just for the sake of being off the wall but there is something in here (all film sensibilities intact) that makes you want to indulge the characters even during their most disgracefully depraved acts.
Singapore Sling is not for all and sundry, it is deranged, vicious, vulgar and iniquitous to an extent. It is also difficult to sit through, yet you do not want to press stop even as madness reigns. It is wickedly funny and the next moment the daughter is inducing vomit by putting fingers in to her throat and vagina simultaneously. Yup, I said it was fucked up.
Above all the film is surreal and once again the acting is something that warrants a second watch. It is a must for the film enthusiast to seek out this ultra-outre. However, Slin is not for the fans of Harry Potter or Games of Thrones or those whose stomachs and morals are terribly weak.
“All you want is water – you don’t even pay attention to me.” – Daughter