Still of Damien Lloyd-Davies from On Tender Hooks
On Tender Hooks
Slamdance Film Festival
Director: Kate Shenton
A minute or so into this documentary following a freak show glass-eater as he performs his first human suspension, I said to my self, “I can’t fucking deal with this.” “Oh god … oh god …” became my mantra as I watched the suspension technicians insert meat hooks into Damien Lloyd-Davies in preparation to hoist him into the air by the skin of his back. We hear Ozzy Osbourne wailing in the background as Damien rises into the air, hanging several feet above the ground from the hooks in his back. Then the film fades to black—at least for me, because I passed out cold. I came to as the end credits rolled—apparently I had slumped over onto the audience member to my left and had missed the end of the film. As the house lights came on, I assured the concerned citizens that I was OK, despite being drenched in sweat. While my involuntary behavior can attest to the heavy nature of the film, I assume the intended effect was to provide insight into the subculture of human suspension. Whatever Shenton’s intention, On Tender Hooks was effective as art—in my case, a bit too effective.