“I AM TOXIC”— Waking Up

“I AM TOXIC”

Waking Up

Amos Lassen

In “I Am Toxic”, a man wakes in a world ravaged by biological warfare with no memory of his previous life. He sees bodies being thrown from the sky and is saved by a stranger from the attentions of a flesh eating crazy former human being. A savior takes him prisoner and he  faces an insane and bloody race to survive. Themysterious stranger providied little information but his “savior” fills in the blanks and speaks of dried beings ruling the wastelands and feasting on whatever meat is available.

.This is a Spanish-language dystopian sci-fi film set in 2101 Buenos Aires. From director Pablo Pares, this post-apocalyptic adventure is  gruesome in both its imagery and context.

The man, Perro (Esteban Prol), doesn’t have a clue what’s going on. He’s bewildered; he doesn’t know where he is or who he is. To make matters worse, he’s just watched a zombie-like figure eat another man.The film is totallyweird. In a wasteland resulting from a “bacteriological war” in the Northern Hemisphere, Perro is in search of safety and shelter, but quickly finds himself under the rule of a rogue family.    

Because he has next to no recollection of anything, only flashbacks which begin to occur more frequently as the film progresses, and which the context and content within becomes more apparent, the viewer is placed in the position of learning and growing with Perro as he pursues the truth. He could be anything, he could be nothing. The terror, both physically and mentally, which Perro endures, is conveyed in a realistic, yet frightening manner. 

The film is bleak and negative until the zombie/dry figures appear and then it becomes almost ridiculous.  However, the zombie presence and existence has an aroma of slavery and sexual assault in their ownership and abuse of Iris (Fini Bocchino) – the young girl forced into their group and who is muted because they cut off her tongue. Thid holds a greater importance than it might seem at first.  

Perro pursues the truth behind his existence over the course of maybe a day or two, leaving the story to be slightly thin perhaps. There are no nuances of anything feeling rushed or shoehorned here. Blood, guts and gore are everywhere but not presented in an exploited manner. This is a film which entails such an enthralling, yet sometimes gruesome and sickening story, but one that can importantly be read as a text on toxic masculinity too.  

Barely a word is spoken. In fact Iris, we are told, has had her tongue removed by the guys because they got sick of her talking, another reason for that murderous look on the face of the actor.

You don’t need to know any more about the plot .

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