I’ve always loved Society. I mean it’s crap, but it’s camp, cheesy, and wickedly bizarre. I think I first heard about it in some movie magazine in the 90s which had a bit about the most gory film of all time, and I think it put Society in its number one spot. I went hunting for the VHS the very next day. I remember being confused by it all – not by the plot, but by the lack of gore. Then I checked the magazine and it mentioned the final 10 minutes. Then I saw the final 10 minutes and laughed my ass off, so much so that my face became merged with my ass (SPOILER IN-JOKE).
Society is Brian Yuzna’s most well known film. Well, as a Director. He’s been involved in horror for decades now, Producing hits like Re-Animator and From Beyond. This is his first and finest attempt as a Director, a satire of the insular world of America’s rich, white, and privileged. Young Bill Whitney feels out of place – he may be some sort of very tiny jock at his school, but he hangs around with losers and although he has all the wealth in the world he goes to a shrink about the nightmares and paranoia he suffers from. When he receives a cassette apparently recording his family involved in an orgy of incest he fears he is both losing his mind and in danger from his family and friends. Before long Billy’s fears and proven to be true and he has to find a way to either expose or escape the carnage.
Billy Warlock of Baywatch fame, who must have been almost 30 at the time, plays the teenage Billy. I’ve always liked Warlock, but this isn’t a movie you watch for the acting. You’ll recognize plenty of faces, but no-one gets a lot of screen time. This is a film about the messy plot and the messier effects. There are plenty of hilarious moments involving hair-eating mothers, 80s fashion, and of course the closing moments. The effects are dated now but there is still a shlocky vibrancy and originality to them. I can’t call what happens gory, mostly it looks like rubber coated in ham and glossed in Saturday morning kids TV show gunge. It’s the idea of these folks getting together for orgies, whatever the reason, and the silliness of the creations which still make the film stand out – it’s all so ridiculous that you’re bound to laugh when you watch. It’s a film everyone should see once, preferably drunk.
Let us know in the comments what you thought of Society if you’ve seen it, or if anything I’ve said above makes you want to watch!