Sometimes, you’re better off alone, as demonstrated by three films from the 2000s that show what can happen when pretty people hang out in groups…
CANDY STRIPERS (2006)
This is the kind of flick that makes me nostalgic for teen horror of the new millennium. Candy Stripers delivers pretty people, sex, gore, and midnight movie camp, all wrapped up in a basic “body snatchers” premise.
Actually, it’s pretty much a mashup of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Slither, and The Faculty. After a school bus blowjob and a brawl in the school gym, a high school basketball team is brought to a hospital that is unknowingly spreading an infection…in the form of big slugs that pass from one candy striper’s mouth to another.
Oh yes. Plenty of lipstick lesbian face-sucking in this one. The candy stripers seduce all the male patients and male doctors while letting out inhuman screams.
The candy stripers binge on sweets. The male victims end up trapped in cocoons.
There’s a fertilization factory forming in the basement. And it’s up to the teenagers to save the day.
It’s pure, simple horror fun, and there’s even crotch chomp gore.
DEAD MARY (2007)
Late 90s flash in the pan Dominique Swain (Devour) breaks up with her boyfriend as they’re driving up to a cabin in the woods to join their friends on a weekend getaway.
After girl talk and boy talk, the group comes together to tell scary tales of night terrors and…Dead Mary! They scoff at the idea of Bloody Mary, because Dead Mary is the real deal. So of course…one of the guys heads into the bathroom with a candle to say her name in the mirror three times.
Things quickly get out of hand. A member of the group is mutilated in the woods. The friends begin accusing each other of doing it. The corpse comes back to life and acts all deadite before the group kills it again, then burns and buries it.
Like that will stop it.
I wish I could say this plays out like an Evil Dead rip-off, but other than one chick getting demon teeth while looking for a weapon in a shed, the members of the group that get possessed (full disclosure – there is no Dead Mary) pretty much just look like themselves and do nothing more than taunt the other members of the group about how they fucked their partners.
So everyone turns on each other and begins killing each other. This shit falls apart big time, and has a horribly abrupt and absurd ending after Swain delivers her final line.
FrightWorld, the most indie film in this trio, has a gritty, grisly grindhouse look and feel, but also suffers from some of the pitfalls of indie film-making.
The opening scene and intro credits play out like a sadistic thrash metal gore video with Euro horror sensibilities. Flashing images and choppy editing reveal police raiding a crazed killer’s lair in a haunted attraction, where he tortures and mutilates young women.
Combined with gruesome, gross horror scenarios during the intro credits, this is the best horror the movie has to offer for me…and it lasts 20 minutes!
Immediately after, FrightWorld disappointingly turns into standard, low budget direct-to-video trash. A really hot guy (actor Andrew Roth, who has a long resume of indie horror films under his belt), brings his goth friends to an old horror attraction he just bought and plans to reopen.
He gives them a tour of the creepy place and the horror props. The group parties, there are classic horror movie posters all over the walls, one chick masturbates to flashes of what is pretty much a Killer Klown from outer space, and there’s a montage of everyone splitting up to go have sex.
Andrew Roth got naked just in time to renew my interest in the film, because it isn’t until 54 minutes in that we get the first kill. Something bad is happening at the crotch of a goth boy…
As late in the film as that seems for the first kill, there are still 50 minutes left, which is the first problem. The movie is way too long. The next problem, not surprisingly, is an overabundance of thrash metal music that totally ruins any atmosphere created by the impressive setting and horror effects. Why??? Why do indie directors always do it? Thrash metal is not scary. I don’t care how many pentagrams these bands put on their album covers. It’s NOT SCARY. For fuck’s sake, if you’re such a hardcore horror fan who wants to make a movie, go back and watch every horror flick that ever inspired you, and I’m sure you’ll find that a majority if not most of them feature eerie, ambient scores that make your skin crawl, NOT THRASH METAL.
Beyond the music negating any valiant effort the director made to create an effective horror film, FrightWorld also becomes tedious to watch, with the actors running around the building arguing, and one of them occasionally getting killed off by an unseen killer. Is the crazy dude from the intro scene back from the dead? I really have no fricking idea.
He appears at the end, and there is apparently some sort of occult transference, but I guess my mind was too bogged down by the blaring thrash metal for me to comprehend what I was watching.