Sunday, January 31, 2016

On Tender Hooks

Director - Kate Shenton (Gimp)
Starring - Kate Shenton, Tam Smith, and Charlyne Chiaponne
Release Date - 2013
Genre - Documentary
Tagline - "An eye-opening documentary exploring the world of human suspension"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     I am closing out the month with 31 days of no fucking horror movies and February can not get here quick enough.  As I write this sentence I now have 10 hours left before I can watch another horror flick.  This month has been the month of exploitation but I have been able to squeeze in a few documentaries.  All of them were great to watch so I decided to end the month with another documentary.  This time I checked out On Tender Hooks sent to me from my friends over at MVD.  This documentary focuses on human suspension which I have no interest in.  I have seen a few documentaries this month on topics I knew nothing about so I thought this one would be enlightening and fun.  It was not.
     This documentary follows filmmaker Kate Shenton as she takes a look at the underground movement of human suspension.  For those of you that are unfamiliar with human suspension, this is the act of shoving giant fishing hooks through your skin and then hooking yourself to a rope and then hang from the rafters.  The documentary follows Kate as she explores a group of individuals that do this regularly and why they do it.

      Documentaries have a great power.  They can convey so much information and educate so many on so many topics.  This month I have watched documentaries on a strip club owner, a christian wrestling organization, and a punk band from Tennessee.  None of these documentaries made me feel uncomfortable like this one and to be honest, I have no idea why anyone would want to do something like this.  What is the benefit of hanging on a hook like Pam from Texas Chainsaw Massacre?  The interviews in this one is very insightful and in depth speaking with many ranging from experts at suspension to new comers.  All share different experiences.  Sadly, the interviews were one sided.  It was interviews from people who were open to suspension and not those against it.  I would have loved to hear a medical standpoint of this.  What are the long-term side effects of having your skin stretched for so long?  The documentary flows smoothly but is very one dimensional.  The documentary does not change topics and continues on the same subject from beginning to end but following different people.  This documentary would have had more impact if it was shorter due to the repetitive nature of the doc.  Finally, this is a simply edited documentary that has no flash or flare which is what they were going for but due to the repetitive nature of the documentary it would have been nice to see a little more flash.  Overall, On Tender Hooks is a documentary on a skin crawling subject that fails to capture the true shocking nature of the film's subject matter.  The documentary is far too long for the way it was shot and it tries the viewer's patience.  It deserves at least one watch.

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