REVIEW: ANNA – SCREAM QUEEN KILLER / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: MELANIE DENHOLME, THE AQUINAS / SCREENPLAY: MELANIE DENHOLME, THE AQUINAS / STARRING: MELANIE DENHOLME / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Anna: Scream Queen Killer takes us on a journey into the world of indie grindhouse film auditions with a twist. So says the blurb. Actually what we have here is a tawdry little movie based on a single wafer-thin idea that would have been better as a short film. Even then, it probably would have had little appeal.
Melanie Denholme is the eponymous actress, Anna, taking part in a series of filmed auditions with a sleazy casting director who coerces her into increasingly convoluted and sexualised scenarios until our heroine finally snaps and exacts revenge on said sicko. “She’s had enough”, cries the poster tagline. After five minutes of this film, so will you.
It’s not that the acting is poor in Anna: Scream Queen Killer, indeed Denholme shows some ability – when she gets to do more than just take off her clothes – but the problem is that the whole thing reeks of desperation. Denholme and co-director The Aquinas try hard to create a succès de scandale a la The Bunny Game but they fail miserably. Basically what you have is 74 minutes of low-budget voyeurism and not much else as Anna endures various humiliating scenarios (why?), with no attempt to engage the viewer on any other level than that. Self-indulgent or what? And the scenario itself is such a cliché that it quickly becomes dull.
Shame, as Denholme shows promise. It is slightly disturbing that she would herself be willing to endure the humiliation of making this film, presumably in a bid for the limelight. Or perhaps there is an element of therapy for her in it: the distributor of the film Chemical Burns claims that the scenario explored in Anna: Scream Queen Killer is one many actresses would recognise in the industry.
Let’s hope not.