Director: David DeCoteau
Release date: 2004
I guess that it is just about time that I reviewed a DeCoteau film. I have, lurking in my collection, I’ve Been Watching You – which will need reviewing at some point – and Ring of Darkness – needing a ‘Vamp or Not?’ – but for now we concentrate on this.
Now for those who don’t know, DeCoteau is a prolific horror director who is also openly gay and, as a result, does like to put a homoerotic edge into his films. Even in this, where the concentration is on a sorority with a bit of rampant lesbianism, he manages to get buff guys posing in open shirts or lounging around in black shorts. Trouble is, of course, that it is nothing but low level (and very softcore) sexploitation, there is no great furthering of gay cinema in his works for his works are, as far as I have seen, piffle.
This begins with a guy (with black shorts) and a girl getting it on. Now the nudity in these films is… well it isn’t, there is always underwear in the way. Be that as it may they are having a good time when someone comes in – we only see a leg. The girl apologises and runs and is pursued. She runs from the house – the sorority house of Beta Alpha Tau (BATs), just check out the sign.
Why were her actions a problem and is our blue neon faced pursuer the main vampire? Who knows, the film reveals nada about this later but, assuming the pursuer is the vampire, it is pretty darn ineffectual. This girl in underwear can out-dodge the chaser willy nilly. Eventually, however, she gets to the building roof and takes a tumble.
Cut forward in time and Christine (Jennifer Holland) is attending a new school. She shares a room with Reagen (Kate Plec). Christine is majoring in chemistry but takes a psych class taught by Ms Masters (Barbara Crampton). In there she meets Josh (Storm David Newton). Masters goes on about psychic phenomena and then a floating pen writes Christine on the white board (unseen by the class it seems). Christine freaks and runs. Josh chases after and they talk about inane things and then she bumps into Masters who says her reaction was understandable!
What we later discover is that this probably is in context of the fact that Christine’s parents died recently. Anyway Masters does some psychic testing and discovers that Christine is very psychic – Hell, her eyes flash purple as she puts candles out by thought alone! Masters tries to recruit her as an agent to infiltrate BATs as they may be evil… as it is Reagen wants to join the sorority and Christine gets drawn in after Josh (who declares that he is saving himself for marriage) stands her up.
Masters gives Christine a cross as protection but then singularly fails to tell the girl anything about what she knows… talk about working in the dark. Later, when Christine questions the evil of the sorority and sorority leader Devin (Michelle Borth), Masters says that she should look in the cellar – a suggestion that is then ignored for the rest of the film.
“Where are the vampires?” you might ask and, other than the question mark over neon face at the beginning, it would be a fair question. We seem to get a crash course in lesbian temptation, Devin and her friends can go out in the sun and the cross, whilst annoying to Devin, is soon disposed of. Certainly Devin can cast spells on folks and get what she wants. Little of this is (specifically or at all) vampiric. That will come, for 30 seconds at the end of the film.
It is all centred on the initiation into the sorority. Devin produces fangs and, after a quick psychic blast by Christine, Masters can stake her. It is somewhat of a damp squib as the whole vampiric appearance weighs in at not a lot of time at all. As for Christine is she good, is she bad – she flip flops in attitude more than a freshly caught fish gasping for air on the deck of a trawler.
There is a vampire coda set in a coffin but that is too little too late. We have sat through MTV style cuts, poor film stock and some of the lamest acting I‘ve seen for quite some time and the money-shot, so to speak, is subsumed by being short, uninteresting and boring. As for lore, not a lot is known. Devin has psychic powers and likes to corrupt. She has been around for 400 years. That’s about it.
It is not a good film, with a mixed up story, poor locations, bad effects (given its relative newness) and really poor acting. One to avoid, methinks. 1 out of 10.
The imdb page is here.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Director: David DeCoteau