Modify: Turn that Shock Value Up to 11

25 01 2011

I recently sat down with some family and close friends to watch the documentary Modify. Moments in, they were all screaming in terror at the graphic images of plastic surgery, including full body lifts, replacing breast implants and standard face lifts. Most of them refused to look back at the screen or were covering their eyes as children do during the softcore porno scenes with their parents.

We made it exactly 10 minutes before the group called it quits and went back to watching Season 3 of LOST. Though the film has a harsh intro (really imagine how films rapidly cut between shots, building up suspense, building anxiety. Now top that off with real life gore and it’s more than the average numbed-by-videogames-and-the-internet person can take), I watched it earlier by myself and really …. it just gets worse. Sure the images are more subtle, less blood, and overlayed with interviews, but I, who on a regular basis assisted in people having their jaws opened and their teeth ripped out, actually got light-headed and had to look away.

So the point: it covers a spectrum of body modifications. Really, anything goes. It starts small, noting that anything from personal grooming, exercise, tattoos and piercings are modifications, then moves to scarification, suspension, branding, implants and anything that even the least judgmental person might consider mutilation. The film just stops short of self amputation but I suppose they wanted some people to make it all the way through.

If you want gore, fuck SAW and watch Modify, or you could take this documentary seriously (as I did my best to) and see as it explores how many people find freedom and beauty in designing what they consider to be the ultimate canvas.

Stewing in jealousy from some of the amazing mods in this film,

Eric

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