Film (1989). Wild Street Pictures. Directed by Brian Yuzna. Written by Woody Keith, Rick Fry. Cast includes Devin DeVasquez, Ben Meyerson and Bill Warlock. 99 minutes. Colour.
"Society" (as in the upper classes) is an Alien race, parasitic on humanity (as in the poor), that has been around as long as humans have, but we learn this only at the end. In the tradition of 1980s schlock/surrealist horror cinema (e.g., Re-Animator ), there is gross bad taste, but the film is unusual in the demureness of its first hour, and in its knowing and relentless use of metaphor, both visual and verbal. Bill is a wealthy teenage boy whose Paranoia (he feels alienated from his family) turns out gradually to be justified. Intimations of incest and half-glimpsed bodily distortions deepen into the discovery by Bill of Society's devotion to "shunting", a combination of cuddling, tenderizing, sodomitic rape and cannibalism deplorably unpleasant for the human victims. The alien rich are Shapeshifters capable of gazing out quizzically from their own rectums. The shock tactics of the climax struck some viewers as more nadir than peak; certainly Yuzna lacks the intensity of a David Lynch, and there is a strong element of gleeful childishness. But new cinematic ground is promisingly broken. [PN]
see also: Monster Movies.
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