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John’s Horror Corner: Decoys (2004), a Species-LITE (1997) knock-off playing on American Pie (1999) sex-comedy gags.

April 19, 2020

MY CALL: If combined an R-rated teen sex comedy and a discount version of Species (1997), this would be that movie. This weakly written script includes weak CGI effects, nudity, tentacle sex, and college humor. MORE MOVIES LIKE Decoys: While not quite in the same league, I’d liken this horror comedy to movies like The Hazing (2004). But for something similar yet serious, I’d turn to Species (1997) and sequels.

New to campus, college freshmen Luke (Corey Sevier; The Immortals, Decoys 2, Metamorphosis) and Roger (Elias Toufexis; Bitten, The Expanse) are looking to party and lose their virginity. After meeting their overtly sultry down-the-hall-neighbors Lilly (Stefanie von Pfetten) and Constance (Kim Poirier; Decoys 2, American Psycho II, Dawn of the Dead), the boys are infatuated! But a little peeping-Tom-ery reveals these co-eds are more than they appear. Way more.

The movie wastes no time with its crass over-sexualization, nudity and humor. The special effects are weak, primarily in the form of outdated CGI tentacles flailing from our succubus’ chest and plunge down hapless horny male victims’ throats a la Species (1997)–and like Species, their true form is monstrous. Essentially, the plot is that a dying all-female alien species has come to Earth to mate with men and repopulate their kind.

After the first frozen-victim bodies appear (because, for some reason, the victims freeze like a T-1000 in liquid nitrogen), Detectives Watts (Nicole Eggert; The Haunting of Morella, Baywatch) and Kirk (Richard Burgi; Hostel II, Green Inferno, Friday the 13th) pick up the case. Meanwhile, our horny protagonists’ friend-zoned Alex (Meghan Ory; Dark House, Vampire High) tries to keep the boys from making poor decisions.

The “scares” are horribly executed, resulting in a more laughable tone—but maybe that was on purpose. To that end, this is more horror-comedy than horror. Some weak attempts at American Pie (1999) humor and the general levity of much of the dialogue make that intent clear. This wanders into some pretty silly territory as alien ladies romantically fall for their prey and others get rendition-like interrogations. And apparently these sympathetic temptress aliens don’t necessarily want to hurt anyone, but the tentacular murderous effect of copulating with them is purely involuntary. How is this not advertised as a horror-comedy?

Writer/director Matthew Hastings (Painkiller Jane, The Originals, Shawdowhunters) certainly made something entertaining, almost in a guilty-pleasure way even though this doesn’t get too raunchy with its nudity. The effects and writing were distinctly not good, but I never found myself too bothered by that. I also might have chuckled in satisfaction at the surprise ending. I wouldn’t recommend this, but I wouldn’t necessarily warn people away from it either. The key is understanding what this movie actually is—a horror comedy.

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