May 26th, 2012 | Published in Events
By Pete Roche
Old School Sinema will debut its latest fright flick June 2nd at the Five O’Clock Lounge in Lakewood.
There’s no cover charge, but bring your own body bag.
She Devils a Go-Go, starring Terra Incognita (Cleveland Burlesque Company) and Gina Heartless (Dead Acres) as a pair of bloodthirsty satanic strippers, is schlock horror at its finest. Which is to say, the characters are cardboard archetypes, most of the victims are unlikeable boors who deserve a gruesome demise, the innuendo and gore are laid on thick, and the running time is a brief fifty-five minutes.
The fang-o-rific—but philanthropic—guys (and girls) at Old School Sinema are responsible for the Annual Zombie Walk and Festival, which raises money for local charities. Last month’s event in Lakewood brought scores of undead into the streets, creating for unknowing eyewitnesses a palpable panic the likes of which haven’t been seen Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of War of the Worlds.
Inspired by the works of sexploitation king Russ Meyer (Beyond the Valley of the Dolls) and “Godfather of Gore” H.G. Lewis (Blood Feast), director Darrin McDonald literally cuts to the chase with his fourth film for OSS: Devil Girls Terra Incognita and Gina Heartless maul a back-alley drunk with his own bottle before the title card is even shown. From there, viewers are treated to a gloriously low-budget blood festival shot as an animated graphic novel—in this case, Tales of Terror: Special Halloween Issue. Skeletal OSS mascot McBoney acts as narrator, setting the scene and occasionally commenting via blocks of script in comic book panels. Think Creepshow, or Ang Lee’s Hulk.
The premise: A quartet of goofy white guys celebrate Samhain by getting their drink on and cruising for chicks—only to end up mincemeat for the femme fatales of a fledgling strip club.
Rather than flesh out his characters, McDonald embraces their archetypes by having his actors ham it up onscreen. Our four goofball males aren’t even given proper names. Instead, they’re identified as “Dressed in Black Douche Bag” (Tim Novotny), “Nerdy Douche” (Jim Roberts), “Preppie Douchebag” (Jimmy Coffin), and “Angry Drunk Douche” (Carl Ferrara). A fifth male victim—a smooth-talking alpha male played by Bryan Jalovec—isn’t named at all.
After striking out with the ladies at a nondescript watering hole, the guys hoof it down the street to a promising new strip club advertised on a flyer. The She Devils marquee might as well be the gates to Valhalla, so awestruck are the boys by the luminescent display. Fifth Douche makes small-talk with the sultry bartender (Incognita) and her friend (Heartless) while Black, Nerd, Preppie and Angry receive lap dances. Psycho-billy band Coffin Riders set the mood with a couple tunes before being blown offstage. Surveillance camera footage from the club reveals that clients entering the private dances booths don’t always make it out alive. Fifth Douche invites Bartender and Friend to a party at a house owned by Black Douche Bag, not knowing the horns on the girls’ heads are real.
The guys retreat to the house for an after-party, where Nerd is encouraged to lose his prosthetic Star Trek ears and hit on pink-haired Heartless. Meanwhile, Incognita seduces the other fellows, dispatching her sex-starved prey with cool indifference. Angry Drunk orders a call girl online, only to have his special guest stolen away for a She Devils shower. Heads are gouged with hairbrushes. Tongues are severed. Handcuffs and ball-gags are brandished. Genitals are mutilated. Neanderthal misogynists are given comeuppance.
Yes, there are boobs. Yes, it’s bloody. Yes, it’s disgusting. But She Devils is also good clean fun, employing both satire and slapstick to offset the grindhouse gruesomeness. You can almost feel the sting when Nerd is slapped (repeatedly) by a bar babe, whose blow knocks his pointy Vulcan ears right off his noggin. And we’ve all got a friend like Angry Drunk, whose idea of a pick up line is, “Good news: My mom’s not home!” or “I’ve got birthday money on me!”