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John’s Horror Corner: Killer Tongue (1996; aka La Lengua Asesina), a wacky horror comedy ripping off Species (1995).

June 12, 2020

MY CALL: A super low budget Species (1995) rip that throws in a lot zany but maybe not enough effects, gore and death. MORE MOVIES LIKE Killer Tongue: Looking for more horror scenes with clever tongue assaults? Then you want Ghoulies (1985), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Freddy’s Revenge (1985) and part 3: Dream Warriors (1987), Tremors (1990), Species (1995) and The Hazing (2004).

After committing a heist, Candy (Melinda Clarke; Spawn, Return of the Living Dead 3) hides out in a nunnery with her four poodles while her boyfriend (Jason Durr) serves his time for the crime. Awaiting his release, Candy is exposed to a meteorite fragment which transforms her into an alien hybrid with a monstrous tongue and her poodles become (and I really don’t see how or why) human drag queens who serve her.

Candy now has not only a dangerous chameleon-like tongue, but her naked body is black (like someone painted her skin black or a latex body suit) along with some other odd changes. And most unusually, the tongue seems to have an alien mind of its own, and it is predatory and hungry.

A year after the release of Species (1995), it’s easy to see what influenced the first kill—and perhaps Candy’s entire transformation. She plunges her prehensile tongue down someone’s throat and it bursts out the other side. Whereas her poodles-turned-human seem more inspired by Earth Girls Are Easy (1988) crossed with RuPaul’s Drag Show (2009-2020/current).

The zaniness of this movie graduates as Candy tries to “kill” her tongue, and her tongue attacks her back! The tongue also does some sexually interesting things in some hokey scenes, and has some goofy conversations with its unwilling host.

The lunacy continues as we meet a mute nun who gets a sexy meteorite makeover. This now-ex-nun steals Candy’s boyfriend and helps him thwart the prison warden (Robert Englund;  A Nightmare on Elm StreetGalaxy of TerrorHatchet II, The Phantom of the Opera) and his lackie (Doug Bradley; Hellraiser I-VIIIWrong Turn 5, Nightbreed, Pumpkinhead III), who have been tracking him since his escape.

I was expecting something suuuuper raunchy like BioSlime (2010). But this is more akin to the outward horror comedy stylings of Blood Diner (1987) or Bloodsucking Pharaohs from Pittsburgh (1991), but lacking the matching levels of gore. There’s a lot of mild fun to be had here. But I’d complain that there wasn’t enough killer tongue in this killer tongue movie. I mean, there was a lot of the tongue, but it didn’t do enough direct killing. Perhaps writer and director Alberto Sciamma (Black Plague) just needed more of a budget to make that happen. Dare I say it, but had they one less horror icon in a minor role, they may have afforded such messier, gorier and more numerous death scenes.

This is moderately entertaining. It’s a fun B-movie effort and lots of really dumb comedy, as well as perhaps just enough gore and special effects to make it passable. Sure, there’s some tongue strangulation and decapitation. But this packed less gore than I’d expect from something like this. Then again, we have some exploding bodies and a gunshot-exploded head and all sorts of other shenanigans. Maybe this had all it really needed to be entertaining enough. I guess I just wanted more different methods of tongue-driven death.

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