SURGERY Review – A Short Film About Torture
Starring Starring Nicholas Ball, Jamie Lee, Samuel Clemens, Lara Lemon
Directed by George Clemens and Samuel Clemens
Most short films start to fade from your memory as soon as the credits roll, but Surgery is not a film you’ll be forgetting in a hurry. After opening with some beautiful areal photography of rural England, the story than abruptly cuts to showing a man being tortured in a barn, so the juxtaposition is clearly not lost on the viewer.
We see the man squirm and struggle as his mouth is sewn shut and nails are driven into his head, while a radio plays classical music in the background. The tormentor surgeon, who is played by actor Nicholas Ball, who will soon be seen in The Krays: New Blood, dances and hums along with the rhythm, without expressing any compunctions over the fact that he is literally mutilating another human being. This harrowing opening is likely to be burned into the viewer’s memory, and it alone makes Surgery far more memorable than even most feature films.
But that’s not all, because after a while the torture stops, and the man wakes up in hospital, and it seems like Surgery will have a happy ending after all. It’s only then when we learn that things are not as they seem, and instead of coming to an end, his pain is only just beginning.
But don’t worry, it’s revealed through a twist that he’s actually the bad guy, so he apparently deserves to slowly be tortured to death. This is clearly a morally ambiguous story which does not try to take the high ground when it comes to justifying right and wrong, so don’t go in to Surgery expecting a lecture about morality. Instead, go in expecting to see a man being horribly tortured for almost ten minutes straight, and you won’t be disappointed.
If you’re looking for a short film with brutal torture scenes which doesn’t preach to its audience about morality, you won’t be disappointed with Surgery.