Now, don’t be double bluffed by the title of this movie. It’s not some Fall Out Boy inspired metaphor about the woes of relationships in some general act of symbolism. In fact, HE TOOK HIS SKIN OFF FOR ME does exactly what it says on the tin. And then some. Oh, and then some. It revolves around an unnamed man who appeases his presumed fiancé my taking his skin off when she asks him too. As he drips with exposed muscle and tendons, she is overly armoured by his new appearance. Only once the honeymoon period scabs over, they both come to learn that love can still be an open wound.
Director Ben Aston’s film doesn’t mess around (technically it does with the character dropping off bloody footprints and red marks that becomes increasingly dotted around the house). Helped by a phenomenal production team and an intensely talented SFX team, HE TOOK HIS SKIN OFF FOR ME is a vividly disgusting but greatly admirable short film. Though the initial shock (and subsequently love making) riles and squirms around, your curled toes will unfurl as the surrealist element becomes the norm and actually, quite pleasant. The main draw is the aesthetics, this richly repulsive man (ehy, at least we know he’s healthy) walking without an epithermal layer is pulsating with juicy greatness that is much the excellence of SFX team Jen Carndo and Colin Arthur. The fine details, the look of post-skin husbandry (and the skin suit hanging in the wardrobe), are greatly done.
But if you look underneath the skin (pun was ferociously intended,) the story has these finer points that flourish the tale with so much more depth than simply a gruesome special effect. Lifting off from an incredible idea and thick script by Maria Hummer. For example, as mentioned, we gradually become accustomed to our pealed man whilst the characters around him slowly turn away from him. This story unravels with strength and with brilliant performances by Sebastian Armesto and Anna McGuire really convey the pulpy bits of a love that is trying something new to stay together.
Aston wields all the elements and brings them strongly together for an oddly fun and thrilling short film that has captivated audiences and critics everywhere (recently winning the UnderWire Film Festival Best Producer for Fiona Lamptey). Astutely self-aware of its story and devouring through a series of emotions in a short amount of time, HE TOOK HIS SKIN OFF FOR ME is faultless.
[vimeo 77898342 w=710 h=400]