This does contain spoilers.
I’m bracing myself here. I saw a series of tweets describing the badness of “Verotika” which is currently streaming on Shudder. Now, I have little to fear from the bad films of the world….with the possible exception of “Movie 43”, my god did they have incriminating material on that whole cast? Were their pets being held at gunpoint? Did Satan have them do it as a way of winning their souls back? No, we shall not think of it. I never made it to the end of that one but I’m almost determined to get through “Verotika”.
I have my Pringles, I have my nuts, I have a deep deep desire to make some sort of innuendo about nuts but now is not the time.
Before we start let’s see what Shudder has to say for itself with the synopsis.
“From the mind of Misfits and metal icon, Glenn Danzig, VEROTIKA is an utterly outrageous trilogy of erotic horror stories culled from the filmmaker’s long-running comic series. Destined for cult status and demanding rowdy group viewings, VEROTIKA is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. A SHUDDER EXCLUSIVE.”
The thing that stands out there is “Destined for cult status”. I feel the marketing people have seen this, realised it’s a wee bit on the shite side and after a bit of harumphing via some remote calling have decided that if they call it a Cult film in the making then people wont expect much. They’ll understand it’s badness. It’s like a fine cheese, it’s needs time to mature so that people will appreciate its cheesy stink. No. Cult films aren’t made by intention. Cult films are made because people discover or rediscover a film, share the film, word gets around and it develops a place in peoples hearts and Bluray collection. If you say “This is a new cult film” then what people are hearing is “Keep your expectations looooow”.
I am saying all this before hitting play though so I may be judging it by it’s reviews on twitter and IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes and Shudder itself. So I’m ready. So ready. Hold on, I just need to get my hands on my nuts…..and play.
So this is an anthology of three stories which….what the f….French accents? I’m sorry I can’t. This is meant to be straight horror, isn’t it? Is this a parody and they just forgot to tell us? The “Allo, Allo” accents are making it very difficult to take “The Albino Spider of Dajette” seriously. It’s so languid. Oooh I think it’s the first time I’ve used that word. Checking the dictionary to make sure I used it right. Yup, I did.
The faux French polis actually said “Allo, Allo” and seem to show no inkling of shock or surprise that there is a 6ft albino man spider in front of them. Maybe it’s a French thing.
No..no…no…what’s happening here? The main character of “The Albino Spider of Dajette” has eyes for nipples and they don’t explain it. No explanation. Was this all so the character of “Morella”, the Cryptkeepr type character, could saunter in and say “Well, well, the eyes have it”? They were breasts that stared back. How could that not warrant explanation? Fine, be like that. Let’s move onto the next one.
For something that claims to be an erotic horror anthology it does seem to have all the eroticism of…well…me….and I’m laying here trying not to get pringle crumbs on my bed.
Ah “Change of Face” has a rather drawn out stripclub scene. I can only assume it’s an accurate depiction as I’ve never frequented such establishments because people. I go where the people are not.
I feel that they may have forgotten a few lines of dialogue. It would explain the moments of awkward silence found at the end of scenes and in the middle of scenes and there’s another one. How long does it take someone to read a business card after someone has just told them exactly what’s on it?
I can’t tell if some of this dialogue is intentionally suggestive, badly cliched or just bad but a cop saying “Ready or not, here I come” before walking into the strip club dressing room…I can’t keep that giggle in. It’s hard to hate this part of the anthology where shooting in front of you apparently puts two rounds into the person directly behind you. There is no logic to this and it’s awesome.
“Drukija, Contessa of Bood” appears to be another take on the story of Countess Báthory, the 16th century Hungarian noblewoman who bathed in the blood of virgins in the belief it would keep her young. Woah that bath is pretty full and that virgin doesn’t look big enough to have filled it all. Oh it’s trying to be erotic again. Nope, it’s not happening. Maybe it’s the lack of sax solo.
It’s taking a very long time for things to happen. It’s almost as though they knew that couldn’t fill 90 minutes so they’re padding it with a lot of nothing. They’re still padding. C’mon…dae somehin. How long can one person stare at themselves in the mirror after bathing in the blood of the innocent?
What I have learned from this film:
- Naked does not mean erotic.
- Not all protracted silences build tension.
- If that’s the size of the spider imagine the size of the bath.
- You should never say “Ready or not here I come” in a strip club.
- Things should happen.
- A bit of plot would be nice.
- Ingrid Pitt did it better.
Never has the phrase “Until next we meet” felt like more of a threat than at the end of this film. No, don’t do it to us. Not again. If I’d know the extent of the nothing that was happening through this thing I could have hit fast forward and saved myself so much time.
But at least I had Pringles.