SOCIETY

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Mike Philbin
Society
SHOULD YOU?
TIP JAR
SOCIETY- 1989
USA Release: June 11, 1992
Wild Street Pictures / Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rated: Australia: M / Norway & UK: 18 / USA: R

"It's all about fitting in."

SOCIETY was such a great 'road to Damascus' moment for me as a creative writer and artist back in the late 80's, I can hear the ancient cogs of old-father-time-reversal beckoning me to those halcyon days of visual arousal.

I had just published my erotic-horror novel RED HEDZ (under the pseudonym Michael Paul Peter) and was looking around for a movie company brave enough to shoot my script. After seeing SOCIETY, I contacted Wild Street Pictures and praised them very highly on their insanely up-chuck movie and surprisingly got a very negative response along the lines of "We are disgusted by this movie and certainly don't wanna make more films of its ilk."

The movie of RED HEDZ never got made but the recent Hertzan Chimera novel UNITED STATES (an amalgam of SOCIETY and FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR [yes that is a weird combination and readers of this twisted work of fiction will see why]) is a personal legacy to SOCIETY's greatness.

SYNOPSIS: Bill (played by Billy Warlock of Baywatch series #1 fame) is the black sheep of the Whitney family. His sister Jenny (Patrice Jennings) and parents, Jim Whitney (Charles Lucia: X-RAY, SYNGENOR, THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE,TANK GIRL) and Nan (Concetta D'Agnese/Connie Danese: HUNTER'S BLOOD, NERON), have all elevated their social status by means of a time-honoured ritual and become one with society. Even Bill's girlfriend Clarissa (Devin DeVasquez: HOUSE II, CITIZEN TOXIE: THE TOXIC AVENGER IV) is getting a bit weird. Returning home one evening, Bill finds out how weird: an initiation party is in full swing and some of the things he sees are, well...

This movie is not for the squeamish.

SOCIETY's all-pervading palette of paranoia rips apart the myth of the Beverly Hills nouveau riche.

It shamelessly plunges into incestuous families and group-sexual murder territory with gay (and heterosexual) abandon.

As a movie, it is not without its structural flaws and at one point resorts to having Bill in a mental asylum and doesn't quite sustain its bravura throughout the length of the movie.

The script (Writers Rick "R.G." Fry: BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR, DEMENTIA, and Woody Keith: BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR, DEMENTIA, SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT 4) is wonderfully corny. The direction (Brian Yuzna: BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR, BEYOND RE-ANIMATOR) is wickedly hammy. The real stars of the show are the special effects.

Screaming Mad George (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3, PREDATOR, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4, BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR) - that was the name of the special effects artist smeared big and greasy across the sexy red surrealist opening credits. I saw the movie in the local cinema in one of their all-nite horror shows (it was a half full cinema but these guys had travelled across the country and knew what they were here for). As soon as the young boy started singing the Eton Boat Song anthem acapella and the rich, red groovy oiled across the cinema screen it was a won audience and the whoopin' and hollerin' began right there until the gut-churning climax ninety-odd minutes later.

"Hey, I got the beauty spot." says one chief of justice, Judge Carter (David Wiley: WARP SPEED, ESCAPE FROM DS-3, FRIDAY THE 13th 3D, JAGGED EDGE, WHEN TIME EXPIRES), in one Dali-rape-and-body-mutilation scene of Bill's tubby buddy, David Blanchard (Tim Bartell), and that's the sort of gleeful naughtiness this movie endorses.

Three Shriek Girls

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2003 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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