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Nails

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Nails is a stunningly graphic tale of the descent into madness of a lost and haunted soul. The debut film of director Andrey Iskanov Visions of Suffering, Philosophy of a Knife this Russian horror gem takes you on a halting journey of paranoid depravity. Set among the grey concrete apartment buildings of a run-down and soulless town in Eastern Siberia, a mentally tortured assassin for the Russian government becomes disenchanted with life as a killer. He retires to his seedy apartment and, hearing voices in his head, he decides to experiment with trepanation. By drilling holes in his skull, he hopes to be able to see beyond the veil of everyday reality, a reality he can no longer endure. With each nail he drives into his skull, he gets ever closer to the demons on the other side. What awaits him is pure insanity and has awful consequences for himself and those around him.

Review

Nails is a visual feast, exploring what the cybernetic fusion of human imagination, mechanical camera, and open exploratory eyes can create. --dreadcentral.com

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Alexandra Batrumova, Andrey Iskanov, Svyatoslav Iliyasov
  • Directors: Andrey Iskanov
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Russian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Unearthed Films
  • DVD Release Date: August 16, 2006
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G5R980
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,013 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nails" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 10, 2007
Format: DVD
Nails (Andrey Iskanov, 2003)

If you haven't yet heard the name Andrey Iskanov, you should have. Russia is not a country that's been known for its horror films over the years, with its best-known directors all living up to the stereotype of heavy, slow dramas. Iskanov intends to change all that, and Nails, his first feature, does a fantastic job of throwing down the gauntlet.

The story concerns a hit man (Aleksandr Shevchenko) who is subject to strange, unsettling visions. After reading about the process of trepanation, he decides to see if it might help him; rather than go the normal route, though, he decides to pound a six-inch nail into his skull. Rather surprisingly, the technique seems to offer him some relief, and he goes on about his life. As with any temporary measure, though, he builds up a tolerance, and pretty soon he turns to somewhat larger, more destructive implements...

Nails couples the body horror of David Cronenberg with the surrealist sensibility of Jan Svankmajer. While it's probably jumping the gun to say a (relatively) new director is on the same level as those two, I think Iskanov certainly has the potential to have his name mentioned in the same breath once he's got a larger body of work under his belt. (Those who would argue that the cheese factor of Nails would stop this comparison from being valid, let me direct your attention to Rabid and Alice, respectively.) Simply put, the kid's good. Very good. I grant you, Nails is not for everyone, but for those who find that sort of thing amusing, this is a film you absolutely must see at the earliest opportunity. **** ½
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. Shroyer on December 31, 2009
Format: DVD
I got this movie for Christmas as a gift from my grandma. She understands I love horror as well as anime and manga and I had asked for this film as well as Visions of Suffering for this year's gift. I just watched the movie early Wednesday Morning and was floored, it was if I had dropped LSD and watched my TV come to life.

How to explain this film? Well Let's say Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch met at Cannes and decided to remake Eraserhead with an assassin instead of a guy with big hair. The plot structure is not linear, more of an arc. An assassin, played by the director's resident composer Alexander Schevchenko, is having nightmares about his previous kills and decides to solve his problems by hammering 6 inch nails into his head after reading an article about a man who had over 500 nails in his head and suffered no problems whatsoever. It works. . . too well. Suddenly we are thrust into this day glow colored world where the line between reality and fantasy blurs in gory fashion.

Having seen "Philosophy of a Knife", the director's pseudo documentary on Japan's Unit 731, I knew what to expect just not how it was presented. Mr Iskanov is becoming the Russian arm of the Splat Pack, a group of directors in the US whose films are extremely violent. But unlike Eli Roth or James Wan and Leigh Whanell whose films are more show than tell Iskanov is more of the artistic cousin of the pack filling his film with surreal imagery reminiscent of the Brothers Quay or Luis Bunel's "Un Chien Andlou" The gore is there, oh yes it's there in spades, but it is an afterthought,and has no real purpose. The star of the show and the audience's focus is the visuals and story, allowing us to get involved like never before.

It is a shame that Mr. Iskanov's films are not more widely recognized as those of his foreign counterparts like Dario Argento or Takashi Miike. If you haven't seen this movie, pick it up. I guarantee that you will never be the same.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carl Heiden on July 17, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Production values are a little scant, and the first ten minutes I viewed with some unease. Gazing over at my Amazon receipt hoping it said: "used". BUT! As the film marched on fear was replaced with admiration. This great storyline was not wasted. The director does a terrific job of creating an intense psychological atmosphere. I was impressed at the way my biggest criticism (low budget) ended up giving it a certain charm. The primitive element of the presentation added layers of animated paranoia. This movie does not take itself seriously and there is an element of humor that carries throughout. There are some bonus psychedelic visuals that are artfully presented also. I don't know, Maybe I'm just a sucker for a guy hammering nails into his head. But I would be very interested to see more from this young Russian director.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By CLINT BRONSON on February 2, 2008
Format: DVD
To tell the truth I only saw some of this but what I saw was
really bizarre a manikin spitting up blood a man obsessed with
putting nails in his head and a girl who loves wearing water
goggles while hitting her victims with a hammer??? Again
I have not seen but 20 min of this so can't really review it
but wanted my HORROR Bros(you sick devils know who you are)to
be aware of this. From what I saw if you love SCHRAMM-ERASERHEAD
JACOB'S LADDER-TIDELAND-MEATBALL MACHINE-VISITOR Q and THE BEGOTTON this might be up your alley.........WEIRD
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spookoftheatre on September 1, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Oh no. The words to cross my mind when I started watching. I was tempted to turn it off after 5 minutes due to the handheld film quality and awkward opening sequence. I wanted to stick with this one however because I knew it was basically a homemade film created with no budget. This is pure Guerrilla film making here folks. Andrey Iskanov had a vision and I would say he executed it quite well. Needless to say the movie did get better and managed to immerse me into its surreal atmosphere. Thats what this film does best. I enjoyed the whole atmosphere of the movie due to the unconventional lighting effects,musicand the plain sometimes dirty interior. The characters descent into madness did seem strange in the calmness of it all. Never did I feel shocked or horrified by what he was doing. Whether or not thats what Iskanov was trying to achieve I am not sure. The only real nagging turn off was the few cheesy CGI scenes which could have been left out. It did break the atmosphere at times. Over all it was good to me and a great example of what can be done with no budget and a vision.
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