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Movie Reviews

Tries, fails.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 12/08/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Succubus (Jack Hemingway, 2007)

The idea of the gorenography film has long been an attractive one to exploitation filmmakers; combine the two genres that are easiest to make money with (and easiest to get funding for for that very reason), "extreme" horror and hardcore pornography, into one movie. But really, if you take a look at the structure of Succubus, the first serious attempt (that I know of) at making a gorenography film, it's about as ludicrous as you can get. First off, you take what the promotional materials call two of porn's hottest stars, though in reality both are acting in their first feature film. Actually, they're two Internet models with popular websites. Not that one expects Oscar-quality acting from a porn flick, but really, it's nice to find someone with acting experience for your two lead roles. And, wait, it clocks in at over two hours? Are you kidding?How many movies from either genre do you know that can carry a person's interest for two hours? (Putting aside the fact that most people watch movies from at least one of them five minutes at a time.) And, of course, you eventually have to ask yourself the question: despite the fact that the sex scenes are hardcore, which to some people will make them a raison d'etre in themselves, at what point do they stop being part of the movie and start being filler? That's a question that's kind of hard to answer with this movie. Don't get me wrong, it does have a plot, but...well, let me explain.

Lilith (Internet "supergoth" Liz Vicious) has been imprisoned in the rural town of Leeston, Indiana, for hundreds of years. (Lilith in Indiana? Yeah, I thought so too.) When a new amusement park, Uncle Joey's Terror Town, is being built in the vicinity, two construction workers dig down through the painfully flimsy coffin holding her, and break the wards. They get dispatched relatively quickly. (And these two sex scenes don't feel like filler.) Meanwhile, museum curator Raven Riley (played by the other Internet star, whose name is, amazingly, Raven Riley), whose family used to own land down thataways, finds out about the murders through her subscription to the local paper, and she decides to go down and investigate. There, she meets the local chief of police, Kevin Baxter (Kevin Baxter--great naming job in this movie), and the two of them discover, after talking about the murders, that they're fated to be together. (Okay, the sex scenes are starting to get a little forced.) Together, the two of them go after Lilith, who seems to be wandering around town killing people after having sex with them (okay, yeah, the sex scenes are filler at this point).

Now I'll tell you that I have to say, on the upside, that there are a few places in this movie, an isolated scene here and there, where a viewer who's watching for more than the sex scenes can actually see a few places where Bethany Burke's script (her first) shows a bit of promise. A few witty lines here and there, a couple of places where the words show some real talent. The same, however, cannot be said for the people speaking them. It's painfully obvious from moment one that neither Riley nor Vicious are actresses. That said, almost no one else involved with this production is, either. (To give you an idea, the best acting in the movie is featured in Ron Jeremy's cameo.) Baxter is so bad he actually makes Riley look pretty good in certain scenes, and that's tough. As for the rest of the technical details, well, let's just say it looks a lot more like a porn film than a horror film, with a single exception: the lighting. A number of horror directors make this same mistake, so I'm not taking too many points off, but a lot of this movie is dark, dark, dark, and it seems like the camera and lighting folks made the relatively common mistake of substituting "so dark you can barely see anything" for atmosphere. It's not scary, it's annoying, people. Stop it.

If you're the kind of person who watches slasher films solely for the T&A, this is obviously going to be right up your alley, so have fun. If you want a good horror movie that happens to contain a great deal of sex, as many of us do, you're going to have to wait around for a while longer, because this ain't it. * ½