An American diplomat and his fiancée venture into the sordid underworld of sex and pornography in Budapest, Hungary to find out who is blackmailing them with a porno video taken of them with a prostitute.
Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his drinking, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera.
To foil an extortion plot, an FBI agent undergoes a face-transplant surgery and assumes the identity and physical appearance of a ruthless terrorist, but the plan backfires when the same criminal impersonates the cop with the same method.
Private investigator Tom Welles is hired by the recently widowed Mrs. Christian who has found a startling pornographic film in her late husband's possessions. In the film a teenage girl is apparently killed and Welles is pretty sure it's a genuine snuff film. He takes the case, first going through records of runaways finally identifying the girl and learning that she may have run off to California. There he enters the seedy underworld of pornography with the help of Max California, a porn store clerk. His principal clue is the masked man who killed the girl as he has a unique tattoo on his hand. He soon finds the culprits but there is little satisfaction in resolving the mystery. Written by
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A dark, graphic view into the underworld of pornography
Firstly, this film is hugely under-rated. For those reviewers who call this film a "waste of time" or place it in the "hall of shame", maybe they should go back to watching more obvious and simple films.
8mm focuses on "snuff" movies and follows Nicholas Cage as he ventures into the dark underworld of the pornographic industry. I'm not a great fan of Nicholas Cage (I still wonder how he ever made it as a movie star), but in 8mm felt he redeemed himself from past performances. Other actors in the film put on great performances, notably Joaquin Pheonix, and James Gandolfini (of Sopranos).
What makes the film worth watching though is the emotion, dark imagery and tense moments throughout the film. The storyline too is very well thought out although does have a few holes and untouched areas that may have helped develop the film further. There is no Hollywood ending, forced propaganda, or marketing. What you do get is graphic scenes, moderate violence, and an insight into "snuff" movies (which really is quite disturbing).
Having said that this movie is not for the faint hearted, so if you're a "puppy-dogs and ice-cream" kind of person I'd suggest watching something else. If however, you feel you will be able to stomach such a film then prepare yourself for a moving film, which will leave you feeling that little bit darker at the end.
I highly recommend this film. 8/10
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