Society (1989)

I have always hated parties more or less. I always wanted to be invited but never wanted to actually go to the parties. I have social anxiety and the feeling of being among people who are not one hundred percent friendly to me. I like to get together with friends in small get togethers or cookouts but those feel different. Even without the social anxiety, I never really got the point of parties. My first big college party, I expressed my nervousness and was told to “have a drink”. This is an untenable solution. Later in life I went to parties that turned into total meltdowns from drinking. They ended with windows broken, people passed out, and just wild abandon. I was never really a fan of losing control. I always felt that if I lost control, I might just not come back the next morning. I do drink on occassion but that is rare and I do think some people benefit from it.

David Cronenberg is one of the originators of the body horror genre. He has left permanent scars on the psyches of viewers with such movies as Shivers, Videodrome, and his version of the Fly. He became so known for this genre that twisted creatures in the cartoon Rick and Morty are referred to as Cronenbergs. However, the genre did not belong to him alone. Many directors picked up the torch and followed suit. Directors like Peter Jackson, Darren Aronovsky, Guillermo Del Toro, Takashi Miike, Clive Barker, and Neil Blomkamp are just a short list of still active directors in the genre. Like Cronenberg, they all have done stuff outside of the genre but their work in it has certainly been memorable. Director Brian Yuzna definitely had his own share of films in the genre such as Bride of Re-Animator, Beyond Re-Animator, and Return of the Living Dead 3.

The first thing I noticed was the paranoid nature of the movie where you and the main character are not quite sure what they are seeing. The special effects were immediately pretty disgusting but also absolutely fascinating. Some of it is absolutely subtle but some of it is right in your face. I will warn you right now that there is quite a bit of nudity as befits a lot of the themes of the movie. The special effects were done by the appropriately named Screaming Mad George who was born as Jôji Tani in Japan who came up with probably the grossest Elm Street death sequence. It shows. There are some effects in this that shocked me even though I have watched plenty of these kinds of movies. It is not for the faint of heart. I reiterate: This is a really fucked up movie effects-wise.

The acting was shockingly good in the movie. The star of the movie is Billy Warlock who I only really knew from watching Baywatching. He plays a really good frantic and frazzled victim and a great unreliable narrator of sorts. He really knocks the role out of the park. Everybody else in the movie is delightfully campy. Patrice Jennings, Connie Danese, and Charles Lucia play his vapid family. Evan Richards plays the typical high school eighties best friend role,excitable and nerdy. Ben Meyerson plays a perfect high school villain driven to extremes. Devin DeVasquez plays a seductive yet strange young woman. The other actors are very good and being really strange.

Overall, I really loved this movie and actually felt it was the scariest so far mostly from the anticipation and the spot on weird acting. The movie really hit that note of dreadful anticipation until it really cut loose. I do not want to spoil anything further but it was really intense.

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