Society (1989)

Starring: Billy Warlock, Devin DeVasquez, Evan Richards and Ben Meyerson
Tartan Grindhouse
RRP: 9.99
Certificate: 18
Available 12 November 2007

A teenage boy becomes increasingly alienated from his parents and sister as a catalogue of outlandish events take place around him. There is constant talk about the 'society' and everything appears to be leading up to the mayor's bash, a function that his sister is mysteriously being groomed for.There are some unsettling glimpses of unnaturally-jointed bodies, which instantly revert to normality when he looks more closely, and he overhears some conversations hinting at bizarre sexual acts. The only way to get to the bottom of the situation seems to be to infiltrate the party, but little does he know he's intended as the mayor's very special guest...

I first saw this film on late night television several years ago and all I remembered about it was the main party scene - which is weird to say the very least. Nothing very significant happens plot-wise; instead everything is geared towards the set-piece conclusion comprised of make-up effects which make the Society characters look as though they are melting into one another. Although these prosthetics are effective, there's little drive or tension to actually make you care about what's happening on the screen, especially when the acting performances are so bland too.

There are a number of plot inconsistencies as well, or at the very least unexplained actions. Primarily, why did the protagonist's false family and the local community in general allow him to live among them for so many years as a normal human? What is the Society's purpose, except to create a muddy puddle of entwined bodies at one of their parties? Why is the key character so popular in some quarters, when he's practically bullied in others? There's no consistency here whatsoever. Even the story just stops, rather than reaching any proper conclusion either way. The boy simply opens the mayor's front door and walks away.

Society only exists for one scene, and never aspires above mediocrity.

Ty Power

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