“Society” (1989)

Have you ever thought that you don’t belong? That you are different from your family and friends? That you don’t understand them? That maybe there is something wrong with THEM?

Bill is in this situation his whole life. He comes from a wealthy and respectable family, but doesn’t feel like a part of it.  When his sister’s ex-boyfriend reveals some shocking assumptions about his sister’s inclusion into the title “society,” Bill decides to find out the truth. The discoveries he makes are beyond anything you could expect.

I recommend “Society” because it is a proof that extremely disgusting movies can possess artistic qualities (see the poster on the left) and even social commentary. The movie is often cheesy, but it is a conscious choice of the director, Brian Yuzna. It mixes genuine horror with satire. Too bad that the humorous parts are the weakest part of the movie. Yet even with that in mind, “Society” remains a fresh American movie which is not afraid to cross all boundaries. Forget David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” exposure of white America’s hypocrisy. Here in Bill Whitney’s (!) repulsive family we witness a metaphor for upper-class depravity. It also stresses a value of true friendship which denies social class barriers and is the main character’s only hope to survive.

Parents’ hypocrisy. Notice the setting matching the costumes.

What’s interesting is that, according to Wikipedia, “Society was a success in Europe, but was shelved for three years before getting a release in the U.S.” If something is shelved for three years, any gore fan knows it must be good. By “good” I mean “nasty.”

“Didn’t you know, Billy boy?”

The casting was well done. Billy Warlock (now a veteran of soap operas) is likable as the innocently naive protagonist trying to cope with the horror that surrounds him. Devin DeVasquez is at times mesmerizing as every teenage boy’s fantasy about promiscuous femme fatale.

Devin DeVasquez

Special  effects are astonishing, no CGI involved, just good old make-up and prosthetics. You have to see it to truly appreciate it.

Opening credits foreshadow the fun

It is not a movie for everyone, but it is grotesque. What is grotesque about this? The contrast between clean-looking, rich folks who turn out to be gross and vile. And the notion that a good-looking jock can be discriminated against in his high school. What is even more ironic, is the fact that Billy Warlock graduated from the very same school that is shown in the movie! Talk about grotty return to the past!

Please let me know if you saw “Society” – what do you think?

***

This is my first grotesque movie review. If you want to watch something creepy and weird, you can always come here and try some of my recommendations. I promise you that these movies won’t let you forget them.

You can follow me on twitter (https://twitter.com/grotgr) or here on wordpress for newest updates.

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