Ex Drummer Koen Mortier

Ex Drummer Koen Mortier
Dries is a novelist who happens to know a thing or two about banging the skins. He enjoys weekly threesomes, chain smoking and frequent cursing. Jan is a bass player who is gay and wishes death upon his mother, who, mind you, hates her clinically insane husband and has sex with boys 30 years her junior. Koen is a singer; his hobbies include throwing up blood and rape. Ivan plays guitar and as a crack head girlfriend. He is deaf and tends to his malnourished daughter once a week in an abandoned warehouse.

All these characters make up the Feminists, a primal punk band from Ostend, Belgium. They are the stars of this film, which, if you’re still reading this, is light years — no universes — away from anything you’ve ever seen in your life. The Feminists’ goal is to win a band battle called "Leffinge,” which takes place in a guttery Belgian bar. The host’s name is Stef and he is a recovering paedophile. Outside of that, it’s up to your interpretation; it’s just that kind of a movie.

Ex Drummer is not quite horror but it out-gores everything. It will make you laugh (perversely) but it’s no comedy either. There are special effects but not the kind you’re thinking of. The best way to categorise this film is perhaps as a "24-hour Freudian nightmare with oodles of vein-popping punk music mixed with blood.”

Director Koen Mortier is not your average filmmaker; he has an extensive resume to his name (music videos, shorts, vignettes). He employs every mind-bending trick of his trade here, playing with exposures, film speeds, seizure-inducing strobe lighting and rapid-fire editing. The result is something between Trainspotting and The Devil’s Rejects. There’s a ton of style and flare as well and oddly, it all somehow works. How? Good question.

This is the sort of film with so many extreme elements that it’s easy to get distracted but Mortier is smart enough to deeply root every bit of his tale to his characters instead of revelling in the shock value. It’s character-driven and yes, there is a point to it all. But a written review cannot do it any justice. Yes, it’s just that kind of a movie. (Tartan)