Let’s face it: “Meridian” is only a Full Moon classic because it has the insanely sexy Sherilyn Fenn being all nude and scantily clad and whatnot. Co-star Charlie Spradling even has her change to unclothe as we’re given full view of her breasts during a surreal scene involving a party with a bunch of supernatural gypsies. “Meridian” watches like a really sluggish two dollar romance novel from a super market, where the author tried really hard to appeal to the horror audience, but failed big time. “Meridian” has a ton of beast on woman sex scenes, all of which are slow motion, to boot. One scene in particular bears a shocking similarity to the one in “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” where Dracula rapes Mina’s sister Lucy.
Despite the sharp creature effects (hey kudos for them even trying to mimic the transformation scene from “An American Werewolf in London”), “Meridian” is a sluggish and droning fantasy drama that unfolds a mystery I couldn’t give two squats about. While Ms. Fenn is absolutely stunning, “Meridian” fails big time to deliver a remotely compelling mystery. Said mystery involves a sculptress uncovering a mystery in a creaky castle, a twisted love triangle, twin brothers working toward murdering each other, one of whom is a monster of some kind. Not to mention there’s a painting pulling double duty as a macguffin and a plot device. There’s women in tight or torn clothing, and Fenn looking out in to space attempting to look confused, all the while there is a ton of exposition with characters literally sitting down to explain back stories rather than allow us to watch it all unfold.
Malcolm Jamieson plays duel roles as twin brothers apparently fighting over the same woman and competing for a Lord Fauntleroy costume contest. All the while Sherilyn Fenn is misused as a romantic prop. She is slapped, thrown on to beds, stripped of her top, and sexed up by the monstrous twin of the pair, over and over. Because it’s okay to hit and abuse women, just so long as the sex is good, right fellas? Fenn looks very bored in this role half the time, while the narrative is spoon fed to us in small doses hoping for it to all come crashing down on us when we finally reach the climax. The sad fact is when we finally do hit the ending it still doesn’t make much sense, and it’s all painfully convoluted. What I was able to take away comes off as anti-climactic and feels like dopey soapy melodrama you could find on weekday afternoon soap operas.
I give “Meridian” credit for the creative way it lays out the mystery and for Sherilyn Fenn looking dynamite during the movie, but as a dark fantasy horror film, it’s quite a tedious task to get through.
Coming to Blu-Ray for the first time, from Full Moon Features on October 24th.