To declare Glenn Danzig’s horror anthology film VEROTIKA a disaster is not only true but at this point passé. Now available on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD, the movie is Danzig’s film adaptation of his adult oriented comic book company Verotik that began publishing in 1994. Hostess Morella (Kayden Kross) breaks the fourth wall and, after gouging a woman’s eyes out, invites us to enjoy a series of horror stories. That’s the first knock against the film as there isn’t a single frame of the movie that is scary. But it is brimming with ignorant sexuality and wanton brutality. VEROTIKA is an intriguing study in cinematic misfires that sets off a chain reaction from the single word question, “why?”
Why indeed. It is clear that Danzig loves horror, women, and violence. So we begin with the truly bizarre segment The Albino Spider of Dajette. Here the story opens in an apartment in France where pink-haired Dajette (Ashley Wisdom) is refused by her lover because she has eyes where her nipples should be. As her eye-nipples cry they also cause a nearby albino spider to mutate and grow into Dajette’s avenger. (I can hear you now, please stop asking “why?”) The segment is so painfully misguided that it beat this viewer into submission. It is clear that none of the actors are French. There is no plot point that anchors the story to Europe, yet they are in France and their mouths gurgle queasy Parisian tones that are not the least bit convincing. It’s as if Danzig either went too far or not far enough here leaving us to wonder how we should be feeling about what we just saw.
Next up is another reason for female nudity with the story Change of Face. Here, a woman working as a stripper known as The Mystery Girl (Rachel Alig) has the nasty habit of cutting the faces off of women in order to use their skin to hide her facial disfigurement. Let that settle. Yes, because a woman’s face is, through no fault of her own, not “attractive” this leads her to murder in order to make money. Sorry, I digress. The piece plays out as a serial killer crime story with the dopey cops and police Sgt. Anders (Sean Kanan) that growls more than he talks.
Morella returns and foists upon us the final story, Drukija Contessa of Blood. Drukija (Alice Tate) has a thing for virgin blood. As the deadly ruler of some unnamed fiefdom in some unspecified time, she commands her servant Sheska (Natalia Borowsky) to scour the local villages for virgins in order to kill them and bathe in their blood. Yeah, that’s kinda it. The conceit offers plenty of opportunities for female nudity, blood, and more nudity. We are meant to be repulsed at Drukija’s evil decadence but with virtually nothing else happening, it’s kinda the same thing over and over.
I have seen worse films. Not many though. While it is easy to laud a critical success, what truly interests me is examining bad films and where they went wrong. Even Plan 9 from Outer Space has a rather compelling storyline. It is clear that Glenn Danzig has talent and an interest in the lurid. As horror fans, we all do to some degree. It is also clear that this movie was made on a limited budget and that needs to be considered when assessing the film. I feel that where this movie fails is that Danzig didn’t have either the talent, or the support to push this movie to the level that he hoped for. Taken to the level of confident insanity VEROTIKA might have convinced us to buy in on the joke and give in to the foolishness. Instead we are left with an embarrassing misfire that is finding an audience in cult cinema.
3 out of 10 stars
You can buy or rent the film HERE.