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John’s Horror Corner: Society (1989), uniting “classy” high society flesh-melding orgies and monstrously gory creature effects.

August 28, 2018

MY CALL: This movie isn’t exactly smutty or exploitative, but I’m tempted to call it Lovecraftian “orgy horror.” Take from that what you and watch at your own risk. Effects gorehounds will love it, grandmothers won’t. MOVIES LIKE Society: For more comfort zone-testing horror, try Basket Case (1982; and sequels), From Beyond (1986), Re-Animator (1985; and sequels), Street Trash (1987), Brain Damage (1988), Frankenhooker (1990) and Slither (2006).

NSFW. This review is all sorts of NSFW.
Just FYI… very NSFW.
NSFW. You’ve been warned. NSFW

Bill (Billy Warlock; Halloween II) is an ordinary wealthy Beverly Hills teenager having a tough time. Neither his therapist nor his mother understand his fear that something horrible is in his future. Probably just puberty, right? Well… maybe there’s more to it than that.

Director Brian Yuzna (Bride of Re-Animator, Return of the Living Dead 3, Faust) wastes no time revealing obscured montages (during the opening credits) of slithering and writhing gore and/or creatures, and other obvious hints in the first ten minutes include Jenny’s (Bill’s sister) back pulsating something most unnatural and her boyfriend ranting with fear in his eyes of something strange. Yeah, something’s not right here. And it’s happening right as we approach Jenny’s debutante “coming out” party.

“An ordinary teenage boy discovers his family is part of a gruesome orgy cult for the social elite–IMDB.” The IMDB synopsis and some of the movie posters/sleeves out there basically spoil the premise outright.

There’s catty high school clique drama, misunderstanding parents drama, and Bill’s girlfriend Shauna (Heidi Kozak; Slumber Party Massacre II, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood) creates some drama when Bill’s other love interest Clarissa (Devin DeVasquez; Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV, House II: The Second Story) enters the scene and makes quite the impression at the beach… and in the bedroom. Things get weirder with every minute.

Even at its slowest (minutes 11-65 of the running time), this 80s low budget horror flick manages to entertain rather consistently throughout as we learn more of Bill’s family’s sociopathy. The acting is more than the genre deserved in the 80s and the plot reveals itself accordingly to keep our attention—not that this is a “film” to be revered or anything. But, apparently, there’s a lot of sabotage and subterfuge in Beverly Hill’s high society social life and the plot serves a bit more than simply filling time between death scenes. In short, it manages to be interesting even when no blood is being drawn.

While mostly limited to the last 20 minutes, this flick is loaded with odd imagery. Jenny’s inhumanly contorted shower scene complete with “back boobs”, fingers impaling soft flesh, body parts melding together and subsequently stretching apart, all sorts of perverse body-melding and assaults through bodily orifices, combinations of human heads and private parts and butts, up-the-anus punches leading to gory conclusion, and loads of slurping sound effects to complement the tremendously sloppy finale of slapstick macabre orgy horror.

This movie is a blast for horror hounds and, like the work of Stuart Gordon (From Beyond, Dolls, Re-Animator, Dagon) and Frank Henenlotter (Basket Case, Brain Damage, Frankenhooker), the writing/storytelling makes as much effort as the special effects. Of course, that statement is to be taken with a grain of salt proportional to the effects quality. But if you like ooey-gooey gory movies with tones smacking of Lovecraftian otherworldly beings living among us, maddening us and changing us—then this is probably for you.

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