The Lure

Review: The Lure - Slant Magazine

I’m no fan of musicals; it’s not that I have an inherent dislike for the genre, it’s more that they fail to live up to my expectation of what a musical should be. First and foremost – it’s still a film and should still tell an interesting story – most musicals are too trope reliant and have unconvincing and theatrical performances. Secondly, if music and song are key components of your genre, then I expect both to be good. In most musicals, the music and the songs are garbage. Finally – dancing. I don’t give a fuck about dancing. Like prayer, dancing should be something done in private, quietly, far away from me. Yet every so often, a musical comes along which seems to be made just for me – so much so that even the three criteria above can be ignored – The Blues Brothers, Disney’s Animated Features, The Happiness Of The Katakuris…. and there are probably others. When I learned that there was a Polish, explicit, sexually charged horror movie about mermaids which just so happened to be a musical, you’d better believe my brain, ears, and shlong were standing to attention.

The film begins promisingly; a rock band are chilling at night on a beach, drinking, singing, doing rock band things. A mermaid, or perhaps more accurately, a siren appears from the waves entranced by the music. Rather than pulling the men into the water and ripping them apart like the legends of yore, the siren and her sister reveal themselves to the band and decide to spend some time as land-lubbers. The sisters, named Silver and Gold, begin performing with the band and dancers and singers with the agreement that they won’t eat any band member. This works out well as the girls bring in approving crowds and the girls get to perform and perhaps fuck and kill random groupies and people they don’t like. Unfortunately, eating people isn’t a good look and the band members are kind of dicks. It seems this fairy tale is only going to end one way.

The Lure is full of ambition and humour and weirdness. It doesn’t all work, it doesn’t all gel together, and it doesn’t live up to its promise or hype. However, there aren’t many films of this ilk out there and it does about as well with its concept as you could reasonably expect it to. It isn’t overly bloody or gratuitous and it’s more likely the offbeat tone which will put people off. There’s only a fraction of a movie-watching audience who would choose to watch something like this, and a small percentage of that fraction who would enjoy it. I’m included in those metrics, and while I wish it was a little more tight, I applaud its existence. Both Marta Mazurek and Michalina Olszanska are excellent as the sisters, the make-up and effects are very good, and the Eurotrash humour made me giggle plenty of times. The music is forgettable in most cases, but works well alongside the story, while the rest of the cast and the director are knowingly making something unique and ridiculous. Without going too deep, the themes of exploitation and coming of age are clear but can easily be ignored if you’re just in it for the weirdness. If you’re going to watch a movie about killer mermaids – it’s gotta be this one.

Let us know what you think of The Lure in the comments!

Mermaids: The Last Film

I walked into the cinema expecting this to be a film. I was right, but I thought it was going to be about women with tails swimming about the ocean, perhaps a sequel to The Little Mermaid. I was wrong. This is a film about a woman and her two daughters riding from town to town, trying to get a break. Who cares. Who writes these things? Who watches these things? Seriously. Do you want to watch a film about a mummy shouting at her daughters and flirting with Bob Hopkins? No. Then they burst into a rendition of the Cheep Cheep song written by Dusky Springfield. It wasn’t long before I fell asleep and dreamed a dream.

I dreamt that I was a mermaid, or in this case a merman, like in He-Man. I had a big, 3-pronged fork which I used to catch my dinner – giant shrimp, octopussies, sea burgers etc. I wasn’t the King or anything, but I was pretty well off as far as ocean dwellers go. I had a few concubines who would answer my every sordid whim. The main one looked like Winorda Rider, so the film had some impact on me. One day I was relaxing on the ocean floor when a little lost boy swam round the rock, shouting ‘Kali Ma! Kali Maaa!’ This disturbed me greatly, so I gathered a group of my mates and went off to investigate. The source of the trouble was a giant dragon which had erupted from the ocean floor. We started to beat it with sticks and throw crabs at it, but it laughed to see such fun and turned into Les from Coronation Street. I was quite taken by surprise, and even more so when I looked down and saw that I was no longer a merman, but a cup of tea sitting on a table on the set of Britain’s most beloved soap. Vera had a suck of me, then Rita, then the ginger one, and Les dipped a Digestive in me. Even now I feel his crumbs floating around my insides. All of a suddent, Chair came running in singing the Woop Woop song, her and Bob Hostile dancing together, faster and fasterer. The youngest daughter from Mermaids (Lionel Ricci) came bounding in, tripped and banged into me. I tipped over the edge of the table and fell towards the carpet. Just before I hit the ground, I woke up. The cinema was empty and the screen was blank. I realised I had slept over, so decided to get up and go home for some sausages and whiskey.

I noticed my watch (a Timex) had stopped. I walked out of the cinema and found that no-one was around, so I thought they were all in other screens, watching better movies. My footsteps seemed louder than usual, and there was an eerie quiet. An empty bag of Minstrels rustled on the floor. Eager to put the whole episode behind me, I made my way down the stairs and out the door. What greeted me – I can only describe as silent carnage. Cars lay upturned on the streets, bikes and clothes lay strewn in the highest branches of the trees and on top of lamp-posts. Fires were burning all around, but in their dying stages. There was no wind. No sound. Everything seemed stale and artificial like a reality TV show commissioned by Channel 4. I had a feeling in my groin like some unknown force from centuries ago had taken residence there with no intention of leaving. The air had no taste, but seemed like Polystyrene. Worse, there were no people. Shell-shocked I stumbled across the street, still looking left and right for traffic even though the nearest car sat half-in half-out of the third storey of an office block behind me. I entered the corner shop looking for some fellow humans; none were to be found. Wait! Maybe some took shelter in the pub next door from whatever had happened here. What had happened? Terrorists? Aliens? Bomb? Earthquake? Act of God? I couldn’t be sure, and my thoughts were not following logically anyway – Words bounced spontaneously about my head. Like. Unfocused. Wasps. Chasing. Jigsaw. Lullaby of descent into something something hell don’t can’t know no this isn’t me here, why, why not whine aught? The pub was no less empty than the shop before. No-one anywhere.

This was 4 days ago. I am home. I am alone. It’s getting dark and I mostly get scared at night. Mostly. I haven’t met another living soul in days. TV and radio are gone. Is there anybody out there? Let me know. I’ll be at the town hall at midday everyday for an hour. I won’t stay around for long though. I’m taking my bike down south to see if every town is the same. Head for the coast. Get a boat or swim if I must. Leave this place and find another way. Surely this can’t be the only place. Please God.

Best Bit: Taking all the DVDs from HMV now that everyone’s gone.

It can't end like this
It can’t end like this