O Animal Cordial
ALT | Altered States
When two would-be thieves horribly botch a holdup of his eatery, harried restaurateur Inacio (Murilo Benício) abandons the forced congeniality instilled in him by the service industry in favour of unhinged ferocity as he takes the perpetrators, as well as his patrons and staff, hostage. Already an environment in which knives are constantly sharpened and lesser creatures rended limb from limb, the increasingly claustrophobic restaurant proves remarkably conducive to a pressure-cooker atmosphere in which simmering tensions and slow-burning desires are brought to their respective boiling points.
As the players size one another up and succumb to their most animalistic instincts (the meat-slapping sound design of an outrageous sex scene may convert some viewers to vegetarianism), the tables are constantly turned to dizzying effect. Likewise, hints of Dog Day Afternoon, The Exterminating Angel and Salo are to be savoured in Gabriela Amaral Almeida’s carnal, grisly Grand Guignol confection.
"This is a unique little tale of survival… Almeida has really crafted something special here. Friendly Beast is weird and uncomfortable and strangely alluring in its experimental nature… Everyone’s knocked down a peg or two on the food chain. Food is both a comfort and a terror. It’s fascinating to watch it all unfold."—Kalyn Corrigan, Bloody Disgusting