Review: Society

How… how does one explain this film in sensible words?

A young boy in American suburbia gets the feeling there’s something wrong with everyone around him, even his sister and his parents. The film opens with him speaking to a psychologist who he also doesn’t trust… He could just be going insane, or the upper class “society” truly is disturbed…

This film was happily suggested by a Cinema Cocoa fan… and I am sooooooo happy with that person’s decision to tell me about it. It wasn’t even easy to find, let alone watch, there are no copies on Netflix.
Now I should say this film isn’t exactly… awful, but it has dated a lot and has a lot of ridiculously bad acting. It feels like the love child of a bad X-Files episode, Saved by the Bell and The Thing.

Yeah, it is a horror film, specifically a body horror film. But you wouldn’t know it until the final twenty minutes, when everything goes completely surreal and very grotesque.

You’re only other hint would be the opening; while seeing our protagonist Billy running around in his family’s house at night wielding a kitchen knife. A fairly standard thriller opening? Like a television episode. But the opening credit sequence is weird and unsettlingly abstract orgy visual, imagine a HR Giger painting of an orgy but tinted blood red.
Yeah… So when the film progresses with a paranoid Billy living between defending his sister from another boy’s advances and his school representative meetings, you know something is going to happen later. Sure, things are strange throughout: a secret tape recording of his family supposedly talking about incest; his sister’s body contorting impossibly. It is a sexually confused storyline, fuelled by Billy’s own teenage feelings.
All of this fluff that makes ninety percent of the film is very tiresome late-eighties child acting. There are no familiar faces in this movie, Billy is played by Billy Warlock was a star in Baywatch, but the others have only been in other obscure horror flicks.

The entire film is directly made for the final scene’s shock value. If you have seen the sort of practical effects John Carpenter used in The Thing, this is similar. It is a gory, vile and sexually grotesque scenario where bodies are torn apart, merged together and divided apart into putrid abstract shapes and forms. I cannot imagine filming or “acting” throughout all of that.

Really, watch The Thing. It is a far, far, far better film and provides the same level (if not better) gory practical effects. Anything more than its gore and shock value would be a limited paranoia story and a subtext of upper class society suffocating the lower classes…

It is an immature, badly made 80s teenage gore film. If you like your obscure horror movies and watch all the old video-nasties, Society might be for you. Otherwise… you can safely forget about this review!

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