Verotika - Verotika(Blu Ray, DVD & CD) [Cleopatra Entertainment - 2020]Verotika is the directorial debut of Glen Danzig- aka the evil Elvis who was/is the frontman, key songwriter for horror punk legends The Misfits, Death-rock meets Goth metal Samhain, and classic prime evil rock band Danzig. It’s fair to say that this film is getting a lot of decidedly mixed press- what we have here is a horror anthology picture, bringing together three tales from Verotika, Danzig’s erotic horror comic- and it’s a sort-of-rough ‘n’ ready blend of 70’s erotic horror, surreal pulp, and lots of scantly glad women. Here on Cleopatra Entertainment is a three-disc release of the film, bringing together region free Blu Ray, DVD, and CD.
Appearing in June of last year Verotika was directed and written by Danzig, with him also providing the films instrumental score, and one track on the rock/ metal focused soundtrack. Over its one hour & twenty-nine minutes, the film features a large cast of 30 plus- and it’s fair to say the acting moves between just competent & very bad- you really have to enter into the film knowing that it’s aping B-movie, and campy cult film traits- and that the effects, production value, and generally feel of the film is decidedly amateurish- if I was to compare it to anything I’d say the video shot films of Jess Franco in the ’90s…so take from that what you will!
The film is broken into three stories with a sadistic & ghoulishly quipping tall brunette introducing each tale- first up we have The Albino Spider of Dajette-this focus in on a purple-haired & large breasted French lady of the night- she has two issues, she has eyes in her nipples, and she may or may not been stalked by a mansized white & blue size eight-armed spider- this of the three is the better of the trio of stories as it has a good enough blend of camp & creepy surreal mood. The second story is Change of Face- here we find a tale of a goth dancer/ stripper who's cutting off folks faces- it's full with mysterious & caped female dance scenes which very much nodded towards similar scenes in Jess Franco’s film, but here they drag on way too long & the moves are very basic & a little silly- you also get some very bad & unconvincing face cuttings & some of the worse acting of the three films. Finally, we have Drukija Contessa of Blood- this is a period set riff on Countess Bathory like story- this is fairly camp & darkly amusing with it’s rather naff & cheap looking costume.
As a long term fan of Mr Danzig's work, I was excited when I heard he was doing a movie, then the early reviews rolled in I was ready to be majorly disappointed. I can say at least it’s better than some have painted it as- ‘ie-one of the worse films of all time’- the first tales ok, and so is the third- sure the whole thing has big pacing issues, the acting is extremely mixed, and the campness often moves beyond fun/ tongue-in-cheek to downright badness- but if you go into this expecting a haphazard tribute/nod towards horror & fantasy pulp, erotic horror of the ’70s, and camp horror film making I think you’ll find worth here- and I can certainly say I curious to see Mr. Danzig next film, which is listed on IMDB as Death Rider in the House of Vampires- and is seemingly a horror western.
Moving onto this new three-disc set- and it features region free DVD & Blu Ray, and of course the film soundtrack. There are no extras aside from a trailer & behind the scenes pictures- as for picture quilty & sound, this is as you expect with a new title good- though of course, it looks very cheap in its production values & general presentation.The soundtrack CD runs at spot on the forty-minute mark, and takes in ten tracks- we get a Danzig track "Eyes Ripping Fire", from the band's last full-length album 2017 Black Laden Crown, as well a track from Ministry's last album, the remaining seven tracks take in a passable enough mixture of metal, rock and goth music.
In finishing Verotika was certainly not as bad as I was expecting after all the less than favorable reports I’d heard of it- if you enjoy trashy, camp, at times surreal low budget horror I’d say give it a go- just go in with your expectations fairly low, and I’m sure you’ll get something out of the film.Roger Batty