This Months Screening

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Society

society film poster
Society is a film worth rediscovering.

The early nineties was a particularly bad time for cinema if you were a horror fanatic. After the peak of the late eighties, Hollywood moved away from the genre altogether. Psychological thrillers became the mainstay, as highlighted by films such as 'The Silence of the Lambs'. Horror would find a new home on video or languish without a distributor, as was the case with this 1989 satirical shocker. 

 

Society was the directorial debut of Brian Yuzna. Up to this point Yuzna gave us the superb ‘Re-Animator’, the criminally underrated ‘From Beyond’ and, um, the family friendly ‘Honey I Shrunk The Kids’, but this was a first attempt in the directors chair and Society was anything but family friendly… 


Billy Whitney is an alienated teenager who suspects that not all is as what it seems. He sees odd things, for example, his sister’s abnormally twisted body in the shower. His sense of paranoia is only heightened when he hears a friend’s secretly recorded tape that suggests his entire family is engaging in elicit acts of sexual depravity with others. It seems Billy is stuck in a really sticky situation…

Society is truly one of the most unique and bizarre horror movies you are likely to set eyes on. It took three years for the film to find a distributor in America and that is far from a surprise given what is on display. The humour comes across as totally cornball and juvenile, but do not be fooled, there is a critique on eighties Beverly Hills culture going on underneath. All the tasteless extravagances of the eighties are present, from the slick costume designs, to the perfect rich family character portrayal, down to the extremely cheesy synth score. It’s all a template of eighties excess.

All these overindulgences culminate in one of the most perversely surreal finales in cinema history and give new meaning to words shunting and Hors d'oeuvres! If you like your horror with gallons of gross-out humour and dollops of political subtext to boot, then Society is good for you!

Starring: Billy Warlock, Devin DeVasquez, Evan Richards, Ben Meyerson
Director: Brian Yuzna
Screenplay by: Rick Fry, Woody Keith
Date released: France 13 May 1989
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Duration: 99 min
Official URL: re-animatorfilms.com
Reviewed by: Conor Flynn