VEROTIKA *** USA 2019 Dir: Glenn Danzig. 90 mins
“Freak is such a lovely word” the Albino Spider
VEROTIKA is an adaptation of Danzigs series of comics VEROTIK. He not only wrote and directed this anthology but, of course, did the score as well. It is a three story anthology consisting of tales of monsters, murder and virgin sacrifice. Featuring an essentially all female cast who you will find primarily acting in porn movies. The male characters in this appear mostly in the background as surly henchmen or drunken strip club patrons with the exception of Scotch Hopkins who plays a giant albino man-spider creature.
The wraparound story features hostess Morella (Kayden Kross) who is basically a younger version of Elvira and she has little things going on as she introduces the stories for us. She is actually really good and provides us with the only really shocking part of the movie very early on in the form of some effective eye trauma. She’s sexy, sultry and sinister in equal measures and I enjoyed her segments. The first story entitled “The Albino Spider of Dajette” is the story of French sex worker Dajette (Ashley Wisdom) and an albino spider that lives in her apartment and manifests itself into an eight limbed humanoid spider that goes around killing Dajettes co workers whilst she is sleeping. Also for some reason Dajette has a strange abnormality in that she has eyeballs instead of nipples… don’t ask me why but she does. The second story is “Change Of Face” where a stripper known as Mystery Girl (Rachel Alig) with facial scars goes around killing pretty young women for their faces. The third and final story “Drukija Contessa Of Blood” is set in medieval times and about a Contessa who, to keep her youth, kills young virgins to bathe in their blood.
Not a lot else to say about the plots here really. They do exactly what they say on the tin so to speak, there are no plot twists and no clever gimmicks. Even if you are intrigued by the titles there is nothing else to say other then they are mediocre at best. Im sorry to say that after the first story, which is the best of the bunch as it is quite fun and incredibly bizarre (why does she have eyeballs for nipples?? WHY??!!) the other two stories are really rather boring unless you enjoy long drawn out shots of gyrating strippers on poles and watching a decidedly po-faced woman splashing about in a bath of blood. Don’t get me wrong I’m sure there are plenty of people out there that love the sound of this and I am glad I watched it I just feel that I am not the target audience here.
The acting is fair as there is really nothing very taxing going on for the actresses. It came as surprise to me that there is very little sex in this as I was expecting it to be way raunchier than it was. The female characters are obviously written from a male point of view as they are very busty and beautiful with little in the way of personality and are all either prostitutes, strippers or medieval scantily clad bitchy types. The first story is set in France and all the cast (I’m guessing primarily American) all have French accents. I’m no expert but I thought they did the accents really well, almost to the point that you could be forgiven for thinking they were actually French. The FX are all practical which I loved. The albino man-spider outfit was a bit dodgy but it added to the fun of the story. There is a great amount of blood, guts, throat slitting, eye gougeing and a fab decapitation in the final story (the eyes made me think of a low budget Glenn Rhee from TWD moment). The score and soundtrack is a wonderful mix of Danzigs signature Goth Rock/Metal/Industrial style which is really enjoyable to hear. As much as I love Mr. Danzig I think he should possibly stick to making music and comics but this isn’t awful. For me it’s a mixed bag of pros and cons with the con factor being slightly higher. Despite it’s fun FX, soundtrack and bizarre funky monsters it really is a bit of a dull one.
Review by Sarah Budd