Monday, November 26, 2012

Movie Review: Pleasures of the Damned

 The budget to make this film was $2000.


 The horror genre is unique in that an awful horror-film can be considered a success based on just how bad it was.  You cannot do that with other genres.  A bad comedy is just not funny.  A bad drama is boring.  A bad horror-film, however, can be HILARIOUS.

 Pleasures of the Damned is what happens when some guys with a minimal budget, a minimal amount of special effects know-how, and a lot of time on their hands decide to make a film.  IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE BAD.  That is the whole point, and its appeal.  It is a parody, a spoof, something to watch while drunk with friends just to see if they can appreciate just how awful this film is.

 The set-up is great.  In the 1970s an Italian film-maker makes this film, Pleasures of the Damned, and then spends a few decades in prison before he can release it.  Now, the film has been re-mastered and released to the public. 

This is the only nudity in the film, so enjoy it.
 Which is of course a lie.

 A bunch of guys, most in cheap wigs (and not like "oh it's too bad they didn't spend money on a better wig" but "OH MY GOD THAT IS OBVIOUSLY A CHEAP WIG), are a Satan-worshiping biker-gang.  I don't think there is a motorcycle in the whole film.  It's the 1970s, except many of the cars and items used in the film are modern.  The biker-gang is a cell in a larger organization that includes a more typical cult lead by an enigmatic, sexually ambiguous character who maintains a stable of followers/slaves.  I am fairly certain that at least two actors play this character during different scenes in the film.

Wigs... wigs everywhere.
 The film is dubbed-over with a painfully out-of-sync voice-track, again adding to just how successful the crew was in producing a "bad" film.  Most of the film is shot in the backrooms of a couple of houses or out in the woods somewhere, and involves a lot of ridiculous conversation and close-ups of the actors.  The film includes a schlock filming enhancement called "psycho-vision" which is warned to alter the senses of the viewer during particular scenes and comes with an auditory cue before the film goes to a red monotone and flashes a negative of the image, mocking the "trippy" film enhancements attempted in the 1970s.

Seems legit.
 All the nonsense of the film really only showcases the one scene where real money was probably spent.  This is when one of the female protagonists bites off and spits out the penis of her assailant her forced her to perform fellatio.  Making a bloody severed penis and paying an actress to simulate a blow-job and spit the FX item on to the ground is probably where most of the money was spent.

 If you have an hour-and-a-half to waste, and some friends with a sick sense of humor, this film could be a good time.

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