Sunday, 19 January 2014

Movies; Satan's School For Girls (Remake), Surf Nazis Must Die.

Satan's School for Girls (2000)

Before we dig into the meat of this movie, I'd like to first unpack a term that I've literally, just this minute, come up with. It's called "Millennium Horror Syndrome". Millennium Horror Syndrome (or MHS) occurs mostly in American TV movies, but in many cases it managed to seep its way into and corrupt many of the mainstream films at the time. To elaborate, MHS can be described as the MTV-ization (There's another one for you) of horror films between 1997 and 2003. Hot off the heels of popular television shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Charmed came a kind of disposable horror for a disposable audience. These films tried in vain to emulate all of the things that made these shows popular, but due to an obvious mutation in the test tube, they turned out like long episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 featuring extremely soft-core porn and the odd werewolf. That last sentence sound familiar?

Look at how sexy scary we are. Aren't you afroused?

The story, the scares and the visuals became an afterthought for some wealthy writer/directors who probably spent most of pre-production learning ebonics, listening to Nu-Metal, casting supermodels and generally trying to be "down" with the backyard wrestling generation. However, while some of these MHS movies were actually brilliant (see Ginger Snaps, Idle Hands), this one isn't.

Though Satan's School for Girls isn't terminally MHS, it is definitely riddled. It's not stupid enough to be entertaining and not serious enough to constitute drama. If the original film from 1973 is the crazy drunk college girl, then this remake is definitely her teetotaling Goth daughter. It sucks you into a kind of purgatory that doesn't let up until the credits. You wait for the money shot and it just doesn't happen.

I'm not even going to bother going into the story line because it's almost identical to the original, only this take is far more tame. I wouldn't say "avoid" as much as I would suggest you watch the original first. It's films like Satan's School for Girls and An American Werewolf in Paris that rip the heart out of 70s and 80s horror originals and poses seductively with them for the cover of some shitty alt-rock magazine with a free nail polish supplement. 

Surf Nazis Must Die (1987)

The first time I saw this movie, I sat my ass down at my kitchen table, lit up a cigarette, sipped from a cool cup of tea and thought to myself; "That was Escape from New York written by a drunk baby". And that's exactly what it is, upon first viewing. But there's a lot more to SNMD than hyperactive idiocy, sex and action. The manner with which this film is presented is almost contrary to its ridiculous plot. It's like someone is telling the filthiest joke imaginable while remaining stone faced and sober. Moments of tension and conflict catch you off guard in what is mostly 85 minutes of depravity and silliness. That's what makes it special, that's what was missing from Satan's School for Girls. The film is admittedly silly and entertaining, but at the very heart of it; we have a classic 80s revenge flick.

We're dropped head first into a post-apocalyptic world where America's beaches have taken on a heightened importance and seem to serve as the main forum for societal integration. However, these beaches know no law and are ruled by surfer gangs of various ethnicity and subculture, the most ruthless of all being the Neo-Nazis. The Nazis, during their campaign to rule the entire beach, end up slaying the grandson of Mama, a hard-as-nails OAP with little tolerance for bullshit. Upon finding out who the culprits were in her grandson's murder, she embarks on a blood-soaked crusade to eliminate the Nazi scum. A gun in one hand, a grenade in the other.

Taste some of Mama's home cookin', Adolf! 

With perhaps the perfect 80s action soundtrack, some of the best dialogue you could ask of a b-flick and astounding performances from Gail Neely (Mama) and Michael Sonye (Mengele), Surf Nazis Must Die is a must for any fan of the weird and obscure. Its poker-faced humor, cartoonish violence and unbelievable plot have cemented this as a trash classic and a viewing experience that no brain dead heathen should be without.

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