Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mustang Sally's Horror House

Welcome back Sporefans. This week's movie is kind a of a blur in my mind. No, no; its not because I drank too much. I was actually quite sober when I watched this week's movie. My perceptions of the events that transpired were unfortunately un-muddied by my own doing. No, this week's review was a movie that was featured on the Chiller channel, a subsidiary of the Sci-Fi channel. As you may already know the Sci-Fi channel has a strict policy when it comes to profanity, nudity and excessive gore. For example, when Sci-Fi ran the movie Total Recall, they edited one of Schwarzenegger's best one liners. If you've seen Total Recall you might remember the scene where Arnie kills the traitorous cab driver Benny with a giant drill. Arnie's original line was "Hey Benny... Screw you!", which is pretty funny considering that he kills Benny with a giant Martian drill.

Sci-Fi changed it to: "Hey Benny... Die! Benny." by splicing the words "Die" and "Benny" from other lines in the movie. Apparently the phrase "screw you" is considered profane by the censors on the Sci-Fi network.

You would think that given these limitations the Sci-Fi/Chiller/Sleuth networks would be more choosy about what movies they show, trying to avoid films that would require excessive amounts of editing. So you can imagine how bad things got when they chose to show a movie called Mustang Sally's Horror House; a movie about a group of teenage boys who get murdered at a brothel.

Now I know what you're thinking. You thinking "Spored, there's more to movies than violence, profanity and nudity. What about the story?" Well in most cases you would be correct, but not in this case. The removal of the some of the violence and all of the profanity and nudity in this movie allow the viewer to watch the film with no distractions... and therein lies the problem. This movie is a combination of late night soft-core porno and a cheap slasher movie with a rudimentary plot that lazily strings the whole thing together. Imagine, if you will, watching a cheaply made late night Cinemax or HBO flick... for the story. Or maybe watching a cheap version of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre because you thought it might have a compelling story... not to watch Leatherface slice someone up with a chainsaw. What you're left with is the empty shell of fun.

Diet film.

What's this? What could it be? It's so distorted there's probably no way to know for sure, but because its distorted its probably something dirty. I don't know what it is for sure, but something's getting humped.

This movie is anorexic in more than one way. The most glaring problem is the lack of a budget. This movie was made so on the cheap that they couldn't afford a prop knife with a retractable blade for the stabbing scenes. Instead the knife is shown making stabbing motions far away from the actors, or being held over the blood covered (but oddly unwounded) corpse of one of the teens. I realize that movie budgets can be tight, but even a cheap prop knife with retractable blade only costs about $5. Considering that most stabbing scenes are set up so that you never get a close look at the knife, even a cheap, plastic knife could have been used for the desired effect.

I won't go into the details of the movie too much, but the plot is pretty formulaic and divided into four parts. It feels like sort of a metaphor... but for what, I wonder?

What's this? I see a girl dressed like a nun. I see someone else? What's going on? Is this safe for work? Who can say, its all distorted. Are these shots even from the movie?

Part One: The setup. Six teenage friends are looking to have some fun. There's the jock, the future lawyer, the bad boy, the nerd, the dumb guy and the moody protagonist. Names really aren't that important, you can pick out each character easily. The jock is always carrying a football, etc, etc. They hear some bikers talking about a place called Mustang Sally's and decide to go there.

Part Two: The foreplay. The six aforementioned teens meet Mustang Sally and her... "friends". And by friends I mean prostitutes. The prostitutes also come in typical gimmicky varieties. There's the Southern belle, the Asian girl, the Dominatrix, "Kitten" who likes to play with... well, you know... , the blond Russian looking one who's name sounds like Oberon's wife, but is just a reference to a pair of female body parts (or three of them if you've seen Total Recall), and the one that oddly gravitates to the moody protagonist instantly.

What the heck is that?

Part Three: The girls kill the guys. Some of the girls also die. Some of it works out. Some of it doesn't. There really isn't any actual sex in this brothel, at least not on camera. The climax of the movie concentrates on the murders, because as you may all know killing people is OK in America, but you can't show any naughty bits. As you've been waiting for over an hour to get to this part it should be good. Unfortunately its not. Just like in real life there's a huge build up and when you actually get down to it the act itself, its disappointing.

Is this that so called violence that they were talking about? Or is it more blurred out sex? When you make everything look like its behind a shower door, what's the difference?

Part Four: The apologies and crying. Oh, wait, no I'm sorry, I meant the denouement. For those of you who don't know, a denouement is the part immediately after the climax of a story that provides catharsis or closure. In this case the movie flails about trying to cover up the inconsistencies and unexplained events of the prior 75 to 80 minutes. This is the "I was just tired" or "it happens to all guys once in a while" or "when I was a child I was in a freak accident with a skateboard, a wheat thresher and a jar of peach preserves..." section of the movie. You're supposed to go, "Oh, yeah, now I get why that whole thing sucked. I understand.", but in reality its just a lame section of a lame metaphor I constructed about this lame movie. But when the tagline for the movie is "Sex you'll die for," its like they're pretty much asking you to compare the movie to a bad sexual experience.

That you pay for.

I don't know what's going on here, but that looks like a tentacle to me. Did that happen on Mustang Sally's Horror House?

I know that in recent reviews I've honed in on the author of the screenplay or original story, but Mustang Sally's doesn't just fail because of bad writing. Don't get me wrong, the writing is atrocious, but this movie fails across the board. Most of the actors and actresses perform in the mediocre to poor range, the plot isn't well thought out, the set seems like it was constructed inside someone's cabin and the movie reeks of both low effort and low budget. Let's face it, this movie is merely a vehicle to deliver nudity and badly done gore. And yet, this movie must have had some money because they hired Elizabeth Daily as Mustang Sally. You might know Ms. Daily from such roles as Babe from Babe: Pig in the City, Buttercup from the show The Powerpuff Girls or Tommy from the show The Rugrats. How you get from being the voice of a pre-pubescent child and/or superhero or farm animal to a murderous madame who runs around in almost nothing escapes me. Its just that I'm disturbed by know that fact about Ms. Daily, and now you, dear reader, can be disturbed by that fact as well.

Isn't sharing fun?

THAT has to be something bad, because no one in their right mind would put a "thumb's up" anywhere near this movie.

In conclusion, if you watch Mustang Sally's Horror House you'll wind up feeling poorer, dirty and you'll probably wind up with syphilis. As movies are mostly a visual experience, you'll probably wind up with syphilis in your eyes. In my opinion, any movie that comes with a risk of ocular syphilis should be avoided. No, you can't just put your hands over your eyes, and I don't recommend you attempt to attach condoms to your retinas either. In this case, abstinence is the best and only course of action. Why don't you spend some time getting laid instead Sporefans... its probably a safer and more constructive use of your time.

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