“I know how the heart works” says surgeon, Juha.
As an anatomical pump, he surely does, but his love lacerated heart, cut to the core by the sudden death of his wife, gets an unexpected CPR from an SM practitioner in J-P Valkeapaa’s gorgeously perverse, DOG’S DON’T WEAR PANTS.
Juhah constantly dreams of his wife’s drowning and his failure to resuscitate her. His conscious hours have him functioning as a surgeon and single parent to his teenage daughter, but he misses his Mrs. acutely, spraying himself with her perfume and masturbating into her clothes.
Consenting to his daughter’s wish for a tongue piercing as a birthday present, Juha accompanies her to the piercing premises, wandering off into its precincts when the piercer advises him to not stay for the procedure.
Unbeknownst to Juha, the establishment also houses a dominatrix dungeon and he is attacked by Mona, a black latex clad woman for his trespass. In mid suffocation as Mona presses her crop into his carotid, Juha experiences a romantic reunion with his deceased spouse, an ecstatic near death experience that creates a constant craving for Mona, a dark desire that turns into a magnificent obsession.
He begins a series of sessions with her where he is stripped – dogs don’t wear pants after all – leashed, and put through obedience school. He is the willing recipient of humiliation as long as he is rewarded with asphyxiation that triggers the joyous apparition and spousal arousal.
Torn from trauma, DOGS DON’T WEAR PANTS could be merely titillating but Valkeappa’s talented touch turns it tender and tantalising with an aura of raw truth by finding the right balance in all of the stories and relationships: between Juha and Mona, Juha and his daughter, Juha and his wife.
Juha’s dangerous addiction to suffocation is reciprocated by Mona leading
them both down a wild and crazy path towards emotional enlightenment, through increasingly escalating episodes of pleasure and pain.
Krista Kosenen and Pekka Strang are mesmerising as Mona and Juha, in performances where the eyes have it, the filmmakers focusing on the face, emphasising the exploratory nature of the narrative rather than the exploitative.
The tone and weight of the story is several shades of dark and the humour is black. It’s kinky and kooky, mysterious and spooky and shows how fraudulent and feeble films like Fifty Shades of Grey are.
Visceral cinema, DOGS DON’T WEAR PANTS is an unforgettable journey that takes us from the dawn of a heart in darkness to where mourning is broken.
DOGS DON’T WEAR PANTS isAvailable on VOD from 1 July via
Google Play, iTunes, Fetch and Umbrella Entertainment