VEROTIKA / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: GLENN DANZIG / STARRING: ASHLEY WISDOM, RACHEL ALIG, ALICE TATE, KAYDEN KROSS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW (US), TBC (UK)
Known affectionately as the Evil Elvis, former Misfits frontman Glenn Danzig has been dabbling in horror comic books for a while. It’s from those pages that this portmanteau stems. However, those hoping for an Amicus-style romp will be deeply disappointed.
Bookending the tales is Morella (Kross), an Elvira type who we first see poking the eyes out of an unfortunate victim. There are three stories here, the first, The Albino Spider of Dejetter, features a protagonist who has eyes instead of nipples. The tears from these cheeky breast peepers transform a regular arachnid into the demonic beast of the tale. It sounds much more exciting than it is. Change of Face features an erotic dancer who has a penchant for slicing women’s faces off and wearing them to cover her scarred appearance. Drukika Contessa of Blood is a variation of the Elizabeth Bathory legend and is as derivative as you’d expect.
It’s impossible to go into what’s wrong with Verotika in a sensible word count. Everything from the acting to the effects are subpar and the dialogue would be laughable if any of it was uttered with conviction. It pains us to rain on anyone’s parade, but Danzig is clearly not cut out for filmmaking. His contemporary in the rock n’ roll world, Rob Zombie, managed to make the shift because his films had a style and quirkiness that gave certain audiences what they wanted. He had a voice and something to say. Glenn, on the other hand, appears to have watched The Room too many times and has said “hold my Jack Daniels”. If that was his intention, then he’s failed too as nothing anyone spouts here is remotely memorable or quotable. The host, Morella, appears ever so briefly between sections to utter a ‘humorous’ line that inevitable falls flat. Even when the ‘action’ could be raised by the dancers in the strip club, we’re left with lifeless, bored-looking women in their underwear. Danzig can’t even do exploitation right.
Had Verotika come from any number of the low budget filmmakers churning out erotic/sexploitation/gore films out there, we’d have never heard of it. It would have been one of the movies shared by fans with the note ‘wait to you get a load of this...’ With a name like Danzig attached, it’s sure to gain an audience, but we feel it’ll be for all the wrong reasons.