Charles Band’s heart may have been in the right place.
It seems he tried to craft a modern day take on the clasc Beauty and the Beast story.
Unfortunately, he failed on pretty much ever level.
To Band’s credit, he was one of the few memorable directors/producers of the uninteresting horror movie scene that was the 90’s.
I find myself remembering many of Band’s movies in the video rental stores from the 90’s.
The Subspecies and Puppet Master flicks always filled the ever uninteresting horror sections of local renters in the 90’s.
I miss the days of cruing horror sections looking at the endless boxart for some of the best, and worst, horror ever made.
Too bad with how things are, younger generations will never get that feeling of checking out and convincing a parent to rent you the most vile looking movies you could come across.
As much as my mother probably disapproved, she never begrudged me any horror movie that I brought to the counter.
It’s debatable whether Charles Band and his revolving door of film making cronies have ever made a great movie (they haven’t) but you can’t take away the fact that he does try.
Much like Roger Corman or to a much lesser degree, Lloyd Kaufman, Band has made a name, and probably a fortune, for himself on small budget horror schlock.
One thing that’s very noticeable about Band’s 90’s goth horror flicks is that he actually took the time to ship off cast and crew to European places to film his European flicks.
If Band had of done his movie on sets, it would have come off so much more cheezy and he may not have the empire that he has now.
If you watch the Subspecies series or Meridian, you know those are filmed in genuine castles.
They have an unmatched feeling to them.
Those castles wouldn’t have been able to be replicated on Band’s small budgets.
Sure, I’m sure he spent most of his budgets on travel, but it pays off.
For as awful as Meridian is, the atmosphere and look is amazing.
So I lost the first page of my notes for this movie which covers the first half hour or so.
No way in hell on Earth am I watching it again so I’m going to go from memory here so hopefully that’ll do.
My memory for shitty movies is limited so I’m writing this right away after finishing it.
Story starts out with a young boy bringing a painting to a church.
Priest says it’s worthless and doesn’t want it but a fellow dude of the cloth says the frame is 15th century so maybe they should investigate further.
They bring the painting to a restoration place and this is where we first encounter Gina, the redent painting restoration expert.
She’s American and a good friend of Catherine.
Catherine has just arrived from America to inherit her father’s castle in Italy.
On the first day there, Gina and Catherine attend an outdoor, travelling deshow and are somewhat impressed with the strange cast of characters.
As a show of good will by the now Lady of the Castle, Catherine invites them all over for food and drinks at the castle.
I have to say the midget in the movie who’s name I can’t think of, is the worst actor in this movie.
At one point he’s just growling at the crowd.
No idea why, he’s about as intimidating as my dog's butthole.
Actually, he’s less intimidating.
If I had that little cocksucker growling in my face like that I'd just kick his teeth straight out.
There'd be no challenge to it.
Anyway, once the party is rolling, the midget slips something into the wine being served and Catherine and Gina are drugged.
Lawrence and Oliver cast a spell or some shit and next thing it’s morning and Catherine and Gina are feeling taken advantage of.
Gina is whisked back to start revealing another painting under the other painting the priest gave.
We also are taken to Catherine making a bust type statue that looks remarkably like Abe Lincoln.
This movie is getting into the “chore to watch” territory.
So Catherine while back at home sees a vion of a girl.
She follows and realizes that the girl isn’t real and is just a ghost.
The werewolf creature is shown carrying the girl away.
It’s at this point that Catherine asks Martha, the lady who kept care of her father’s castle, about the girl.
She eludes to it being her father’s ster and that she was murdered by a member of a travelling de show. Holy twist, Batman.
<sarcasm>Didn’t see that one coming a mile away.</sarcasm>
Man, it’s tough keeping myself interested typing this out.
If I wasn’t at work, I’d totally slap my balls to try and wake up a bit.
Unfortunately, they don’t care for any sort of genital action while I’m on the clock.
Anyway, Catherine now decides she loves the monster and wants to help.
When did you fall for him?
When he attacked you against your will?
Or did you fall for him because he fended off Lawrence from sticking it to you?
Great build-up of love, Mr. Band.
We the viewer are expected to believe that Catherine just loves this guy, that happens to be a werewolf no less, and that’s attacked her and also killed her unknown aunt?
Band should have tried selling this to Disney.
I’m sure they would have loved his take on their clasc tale.
We see Catherine's finished bust/statue.
Remember the one I said looked like Abe Lincoln?
Now he somehow looks like Alan Cumming.
Where was I?
Fuck, my notes are lacklustre. I hope I didn’t sleep at any point.
Right...ok...one of the guys lets Catherine know that in order to break this curse they have.
I guess it’s that awful curse of eternal life…the woman of the castle must kill him and she must be in love with him.
Of course, that’s why Band makes her in love with little to no effort.
So he can wrap this shit show up in just over 80 minutes.
So there’s more scenes of Lawrence trying to kill Catherine and failing.
Remember the painting Gina was uncovering?
Apparently, it reveals the end scene where the monster shoots Lawrence with a crossbow saving Catherine.
What was the point?
It’s not like Gina saves the day or that the painting is relevant to the story at all.
Cuz it ain’t.
That storyline didn’t even need to be there.
Ok…the creature kills Lawrence breaking the spell and that’s about it.
Wait…there was a hilarious scene just before that kill of the midget cracking out his whip and whipping the beast.
Are you fucking joking?
Walk up to him and take that fucking whip.
He’s so small.
If you rushed him it’d be a bloodbath.
So after the death of Lawrence and midget whip cracking, I guess the moster and Catherine live happy ever after…clasc fairy tell yes?
Total ball-suck from start to finish.
Do you like how I actually hyphenated ball and suck?
Master of the English language I am.
Sorry about the anti-climatic review.
I seriously lost major interest in the movie after the first half hour and my attention never truly recovered.
I didn’t miss anything and there wasn’t much more to detail but I hate when movies make me feel like that.
This movie smells worse than grandma’s bedsores.
No idea why I had fond memories of it.
12 year old me was more ealy impressed I guess.
34 year old me is harsh, cynical and not ealy amused.
Direction: 5/10 – Band gets ok marks for his locales and atmosphere.
He loses points for creating sheer boredom and lazy story telling.
Performances: 3/10 – Everyone was either unbelievable, over-the-top or just fucking annoying.
I’m not sure how Sherilyn Fenn has maintained a career.
Even a weak one.
Script: 2/10 – Lazy, unoriginal, and completely free of scares, chills, laughs, entertainment, gore and everything else that makes for a good horror movie.
Effects: 2/10 – There’s nothing good here at all.
Set look ok but the blood and the monster look awful.
Pacing: 2/10 – At 82 minutes, it felt like 82 years.
My beard hair turned more grey, I know it did.
2.8 / 10 - Normally I’m a defender of Band but this one just isn’t worth defending.