Saint Bernard

A Random Series Of Scenes

by Nadia Kuin

0.5

THE QUICK SELL
A classical musical conductor unravels into the abyss of insanity.

RELEASE DATE
14th May 2019

DIRECTED BY
Gabriel Bartalos

WRITTEN BY
Gabriel Bartalos

Running Time:
1h 37min

 
 

How does one review a film that’s really just a random collection of confusing, grotesque and often horrific scenes?

There’s no storyline as such just 90 mins of a character meandering through insanity. The objective I assume is to make the viewer as batty as the character. 

Jason Dugre who plays Bernard spends almost the entire film aimlessly running around, crawling, falling over or looking baffled, sometimes several of those things at once.  I’m not sure there was any actual acting in Saint Bernard but if there was it was awful.

The opening scene of an oven ready chicken about to parachute out of a plane should have been warning to me about how utterly bizarre Saint Bernard would go. And not the quirky kind of bizarre, the kind of bizarre that makes you worry for the sanity of anyone who put their name to this piece. 

Is it called Saint Bernard because of the characters’ fondness for religion? His spiritual ways or his love of candle making? No, it’s because throughout the entire film he carries around ,in a bag, a mutilated head and spinal Column of a St Bernard – nice. 

Of course one couldn’t write a review without mentioning Static Boy; the weird potato creature who loosens it’s bowls during its one and only scene.

Or Bernard’s uncle chasing him around with a massive erect trunk like appendage, or the blood squirting severed limbs, or the fighting presidents, or the dragon, or the….

Saint Bernard was written, produced and directed by Gabe Bartalos, who we’re told is a master fx artist who worked on blockbusters like Gremlins 2 but this torturous visual affair is nowhere near that league, in fact it’s not even playing the same sport. The effects here (with the exception of the cigar smoking character) look cheap and awful, they would be laughably bad if they werent so sadistic.

The only actor that’s in the least bit convincing is Warwick Davis (“Solo: A Star Wars Story“, “Star Wars The Last Jedi“) who grants Bernard “more time”  and I genuinely wish he was here now to give me my 90 minutes back. 

If you cared to try to figure any of it out you’d maybe see clues towards child abuse, drug addiction, early age trauma and other such delights, there are metaphors as well of course and I’m sure even more (completely unintentional) meanings would become apparent if you were to stare at it long enough. But the real truth is St Bernard is physically grueling.

Flashing images, randomly spliced scenes, terrible sound and a nonexistent storyline make this visual massacre feel like an art installation.

Art is subjective of course and maybe you’ll have more luck wading through the tar-like insanity but I’d urge you to watch something else. Literally anything else. Watch paint dry

 

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