Join Ray, Tori, and Shawn for a short, impromptu episode where we discuss Pascal Laugier’s 2008 masterpiece Martyrs, as well as the New Wave of French Extreme Cinema that Laugier’s film is often associated with. ALSO, we lost a legend this week, and we pay tribute to John Saxon. Saxon left his mark on the genre film world with many films, and we’ll talk briefly about those, as well as one you may not have heard of before!
Also, here’s that short fan-fiction mash-up of Martyrs and High Tension I wrote a few years back. It’s posted on my account with the Horror Amino.
After the events of High Tension Marie escapes the hospital she was remanded to by killing a nurse and several orderlies with a scalpel and a length of cord from a lamp. She regains control over her body and wanders the French countryside, afraid to talk to or befriend anyone. She knows The Killer inside her is never far off.
Marie is found by Etienne, who after witnessing Mademmoiselle’s suicide upon learning what Anna saw beyond this plane has been chilled into a panic. After the events of Martyrs Etienne took a small portion of their philosophical group with him and struck out to re-create the experiment, only in a slightly less-extreme fashion. His thinking is the road the Martyr travels to glimpse the other side may directly affect what they see. Under Mademoiselle the group relied on suffering to afford their subjects’ a glimpse; Etienne would try something different.
They set up in an old barn in the countryside and begin looking for subjects.
Marie stumbles across the barn and at first thinks no one is there. She attempts to use it for shelter from a storm but soon meets Etienne and his people. She warns them that she carries an evil inside her that she cannot control. This intrigues Etienne and he has his people overpower Marie and bring her to their makeshift lab.
When she awakes Etienne tells Marie Anna’s story. He says he thinks they can help one another, that he wants to try to separate her mind from The Killer’s and use him as the guinea pig for his new experiments. She agrees, “But only if it hurts him”, she does not care if it hurts her as well.
Marie undergoes sensory deprivation and this allows Etienne to isolate her mind so she doesn’t feel pain. Then he uses pictures of Alex to trigger The Killer who immediately frees himself and begins to kill Etienne’s co-conspirators. The Killer works his way through everyone, but when he is down to Etienne Marie manages to briefly take control again, just long enough to take a gun and shoot herself in the head. She doesn’t die immediately, and as Etienne comforts her in her final moments Marie whispers something to him. She dies and Etienne slowly gets up and leaves the house. As he exits he sees one of the people from his group is still alive. This person asks him what Marie told him and Etienne replies, “She told me that the next world is worse than this one. She said in this new world The Killer inside her will be a god and she a mouse.”
With that Etienne picks up a knife and cuts the survivor’s throat. Still bloody he takes the knife with him as he gets into a car and heads toward a town in the distance.