What a goof this is.
I’m not familiar with the book but I assume part of the intention was the display of a certain edge. A sexual edge, and it had to be disturbing too in an unconventional sense.
So much of what we dream is constantly being pushed to becoming more edgy through cinematic experiences. It is the behavorial push that tags itself unto us, the same way these men here get tattooed with car symbols to enhance their thrill.
You’ll find “Fight Club” as a direct evolution of this, more sophisticated because it nests itself in a narrative experiment.
So what is this? It’s an essay on movie-sex. Pay attention to where this starts: a movie set. Part of the seduction in the cars is through the cinematic tracking shot. Club members recreate crashes from dead actors and go through pains to make them as authentic as possible (down to costumes). There’s some talk about the ‘technological replacement of the human body’ and even penetration of a body wound. This has nothing to do with real sex my friends, the human kind, entangled with love and our everyday living. For that go see “9 Songs”. No, this is about the simulation of it, and the thrill in the simulation, which reflects our own thrill in the watching of it.
Elias Koteas dies during one of these exercises. His accident is recreated for the final scene. It has to end there: when the simulators simulate the simulated. That’s as much narrative as you’re going to get.