The subject of paranoia has been a plot point used in countless films, and is used again in Society to great effect.
Bill Whitney (Warlock) is a teenager that just doesn’t feel like he fits in. He thinks he might adopted and he just doesn’t seem to understand that social requirements that his peers and the adult community around him embrace so easily. He has sessions with a shrink who tries to convince him otherwise, but to no avail.
When his sister, Jenny (Patrice Jennings), has her coming out party, Bill overhears a recording that sets alarm bells ringing as it appears that the party is merely an orgy. Disturbingly, his own parents might even have got involved. From here, the community at large look to cover up what Bill has discovered and is even happy to commit murder to do so. Anyone who tries to agree with Bill and offer him evidence to back up his concerns winds up dead.
It’s only when Bill is rounded up for another party that the sickening truth eventually comes out and he realises that you’re not paranoid if they really are after you.
Now over twenty five years old, it is clear that Yuzna successfully crafted a horror film out of the premise that the class system really does allow the stinking rich to prey on the poor or those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Of course, with this being an ‘80s film, the execution of the idea is wonderfully over the top with what is probably the most memorable last thirty minutes in a horror film ever. As it came before the age of CGI, it’s amazing to watch the creations of Screaming Mad George (go look him up kids – the guy was a genius) and his team in one of the most bizarre endings in cinematic history. Gross-out doesn’t even cover it. It makes you realise how over reliant we are on computer effects these days.
It took over three years for the film to be released in America as it was feared that they wouldn’t understand it. With a rich transfer and limited to only 3000 copies, this is a must buy for genre fans of the era. Satire at its best.
Extras: The Masters of the Hunt featurette / The Champion of the Shunt FX featurette / Brian Yuzna Q&A / In Conversation / Music Video / Collector’s Booklet / Society: Party Animal – comic book sequel.
INFO: CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: BRIAN YUZNA / SCREENPLAY: RICK FRY, WOODY KEITH / STARRING: BILLY WARLOCK, DEVIN DEVASQUEZ, EVAN RICHARDS / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 8TH