Sebastian's Unholy Flesh (2020) Poster

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Dakota Ray's Most Unified Film Yet
Fromthedepthsofhell6631 October 2020
Sebastian's Unholy Flesh is the seventh film from Denver based filmmaker Dakota Ray (The Dark Days of Demetrius, American Antichrist) and in terms of content it is his most demonically charged one yet. There has been supernatural elements in many of his previous films, but with this one the whole film takes on a hellish tone that makes this the most experimental in feel yet. Ray stars as the titular Sebastian, a demon in human form who is on a mission to get control of Lucifer's ancient unholy book. Anyone who has this in their possession has the power to bring about the destruction of mankind. The book had been hidden away for countless years, its re-emergence sees not only Sebastian, but also other dark beings out to get it for themselves. This manages to have the most world changing plot yet, but at the same time tell this story in such an abstract way that it is often happy to let this plot fade into the background as the camera just soaks in the nasty atmosphere of the various locations. The entire film has had a purple tint applied over it making everything seem otherworldly. Ray's films have always felt like they take place in a meaner reality where life is dirt cheap, here that feel is even more intense. If it were not for the plot of trying to bring about the end of life on Earth I could easily accept that the whole movie took place in literal Hell. All of the film takes on a dark feel due to the purple tint that drowns everything.

Often the format of Ray's films will be several different storylines taking place over each other, and that is almost the case here. In addition to Ray there are a few other familiar returning faces. These include Fred Epstein (The Dark Days of Demetrius, The Acid Sorcerer) as the soul eating serial killer The White Spider, and Nick Benning (American Antichrist, The Acid Sorcerer) in a scene stealing role as the demon Nezaah. The look of this character, and the distortion used on his voice made him a great addition to the dark world of the movie. Due to the experimental design this at times can became a little bit hard to follow, yet throughout the tone is very consistent, and it never lost the unique mean spirited atmosphere even with the reduced reliance on dialogue. Sebastian's Unholy Flesh is not really a film that is that easy to write about, first and foremost it's an experience, and you need to let it wash over you. It may be light on actual story telling but this is Ray's most unified feeling film yet, it seemed like there wasn't a single shot here that felt unneeded. At times the feel can be exhausting, but it creates an atmosphere through direction, editing, sound design and images that not many films, especially indie ones can achieve. Sebastian's Unholy Flesh was released on DVD on October 24th.-The Rotting Zombie UK
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8/10
A battle for the ultimate power.
MikeMvrd21 November 2020
Another entry by director Dakota Ray giving another dark chapter to tell to it's audience. This involves several demons going for the ultimate dark power. The overall tone of the film will keep you feeling unsettled but with curiosity.

Dakota performing the lead role doesn't divert away from the story but become more intracate allowing more of challenge involving several other characters involved. The mood lighting should be taken note giving a vast tone of the feeling of hate. This films adds more in view of subject.

Dakotas films almost feels like a chronology of a divided version of Dakota himself sharing properties such as Greed Hate Temptation Obsession all play a large critical factor in which he does well in telling. Dakota reaches past boundaries from comfort showcasing the sheer true nature of what a human being is capable of let alone feel.
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10/10
Sebastian's Unholy Flesh is like a disturbed nightmare brought to life and embossed onto film. It offers a genuinely perplexing, frightening atmosphere
chaoswillrein1 December 2020
It's pretty much common knowledge by now that the horror genre has seen a huge upsurge in popularity. While for decades, horror movies were seen as second-rate genre fare that catered to the lowest common denominator among film fans, blockbuster adaptations of existing properties such as Stephen King's It, and original franchises like A Quiet Place and The Conjuring have made absolute for- tunes at the box office in recent years. While this is of course a good thing, and helps brings the genre to the attention of brand new audiences, it has to be said that many of the new breed of horror movies are somewhat unadventurous, rarely straying far from a generic Hollywood template in order to give the best chance of raking in the cash. However, there is no shortage of independent film-makers working in horror to- day that, not confined by the shackles of the studio system, are free to present their visions to us exactly as intended. One of these is Native American, Denver- based auteur, Dakota Ray. Ray has been on the scene since 2014, having previously released movies like American Scumbags, American Antichrist and The Dark Days Of Demetrius; his latest nightmare comes to us in the shape of this year's Sebastian's Unholy Flesh. The new movie shares many of the traits of Ray's previous releases, in that he per- forms an amazing amount of the crucial roles himself - being responsible here for no less than writing, editing, directing, art direction, visual effects, sound and of course appearing in the lead role too. Flesh also shares Ray's familiar set of cohorts in the shape of Fred Epstein and Nick Benning, as well as S. Donatello, L.B., and Svetlana Lilith, plus newcomer Dr. Ullrey (a real-life professor at the University of Denver). Clocking in at an hour and twelve minutes, one thing that immediately marks Ray's seventh film as unique is the fact that it was filmed entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic era. The movie centers around a trilogy of evil entities, that each wish to gain for them- selves Lucifer's own Unholy Book. Following a universal shift resulting in his demise, the dark one's powers were sealed into the book; Sebastian, the first entity (Ray), wishes to use these powers to succeed Lucifer as the universe's greatest evil and bring about the end of humanity. However a shamanistic serial killer known as 'The White Spider' (Epstein) desires the tome just as strongly, and enlists the help of demonic entity Nezaah (Benning) to obtain it for themselves. Their plan is to destroy Sebastian, and separate his remains into nine pieces, one for each of the De-

monic Gods. The dense lore of the film aside, Flesh shares several similarities with Ray's previous work - there is the cast of returning actors; the metal soundtrack (supplied this time by among others by rock band Oroboro, and sounding a little more hard rock/less punishing metal than some of the other films); the dirty, stylized visuals with heavy use of colored filters - purple in this case; abuse of living creatures (very) convincingly portrayed on screen; and Ray's own narration, supplied in typical Hellish, sinister tones. Performance wise, while Benning and Epstein go all in for the melodramatic at times, the whole cast are clearly committed to their respective roles across the board. If you're new to Ray's films, then do not expect to find the kind of mainstream appeal offered by the aforementioned new kind of box-office horror juggernauts. Perhaps even more so here than with some of his previous films, Flesh pretty much eschews a sense of traditional narrative; while the story provides an important backdrop for the events unfolding on screen, the feel the screenplay develops is the important thing here. The purple haze through which events are seen gives the film a cold, eerie, unsettling atmosphere; this is bolstered by the amazing sound design, the soundtrack being permeated by constant ambient white noise, dark choral singing and ominous whisperings. What sets Flesh apart from many recent horrors, as well as long-standing proper- ties like the Nightmare On Elm Street series, is a total absence of any sense of humor light; given that the film deals with characters who are utterly evil in nature, with no redeeming characteristics, the fact the viewer is assailed at every turn by overwhelming bleakness serves to really imprint the movie onto the senses. It's fair to say that there will be as many interpretations of and reactions to this movie, as there are viewers; some will immediately hate it, some will be confused, some will dismiss it as pretentious nonsense and others will be astounded by the atmosphere of utter, pervading evil that Ray conjures up here. The whole film feels otherworldly, as though it exists in some weird off-kilter parallel universe that is beyond normal human understanding; even a scene of animatronic spook house figures is lent a creepy, unsettling vibe by Ray's visual and aural bag of tricks (some of this could be attributed to his penchant for the infamous Green Fairy, Absinthe, the consumption of which is actually given quite a lot of screen time here). There are nods to classic horror this time too, both in dialogue (The Exorcist) and visually (shades of Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Begot- ten and Salem's Lot). Like much of Ray's work, this is a film to be felt and experienced rather than followed at every turn; some will claim it unwatchable, but I would bet Ray is slyly aware of this and could not honestly care less. Those willing to experience the film with an open mind will gain the most from it; Sebastian's Unholy Flesh is like a disturbed nightmare brought to life and embossed onto film. It offers a genuinely perplexing, frightening atmosphere that you will never experience in a mainstream horror movie, and I for one find that cause for celebration.
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1/10
The Dakota Ray Starter Pack
cgearheart29 January 2021
Here is how to make a Dakota Ray film

1. Color the film with one specific over saturated filter. He's most likely going to use red next time since he's already used green, blue, and purple.

2. Have everything divided into chapters so your audience knows kind of what's going on.

3. Have everyone narrate literally everything but have none of the narrations be beneficial to the plot.

4. Invest half of the film's budget on drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and vape cartridges. Once your out of money, scrounge up your buddies and get them high and drunk.

5. Have the main character be an overpowered edgy Gary Sue with an affinity for killing and Satan. Also, make sure Dakota Ray plays the main character.

6. Metal music everywhere, on a loop.

7. Dollar store props!!

8. Nudity, but not so much that it distracts from Dakota Ray because this is his movie, and it's about him. Don't you forget that, because if you do, you will certainly be reminded.

9. Drug dealer serial killer villains who most likely have fetishes. It's option to cast Fred Epstein in this role.

10. A lot of violence, but you must make sure that it's not shown too much because this is a low budget film. If your violence looks realistic, you've spent far too much money on prosthetics and makeup and not enough in drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol first, realism second. Party on.

11. Make sure you hype the s**t out of it like it's nothing Dakota Ray has made before.

12. If you write a review, make sure it's romanticizing the film and thoroughly inflating Dakota's ego. Anything less is slander.
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