Verotika (2019)

Once in a while, the stars align and the moon shines bright enough to where a bonafide cult classic of horror cinema is born. Out of the absolute depths abysmal cinema comes one of the most laughable and painfully awful horror movies of the year. From rock icon Glenn Danzig, no less, comes his directorial debut, a live action adaptation of his comic book series “Verotik,” a title that mixes erotica and violence in to one monster. That wouldn’t be such a bad idea for an anthology. But someone forgot to tell Danzig that if you want to direct a movie, you probably should know how to operate a camera, first.

Presented in the anthology format, we meet Morella, as played by porn star Kayden Kross. Shes a demonic, pixie, babe—uh—person who gauges a woman’s eyes out before introducing us to the trio of (I use the term very, very loosely) stories. “The Albino Spiders Of Dajette” features Ashley Wisdom as the gorgeous Dajette, a model in France whose beauty is undermined by the human eyes peeking from where her nipples should be on her breasts. Shamed by the disfigurement, her sad tear drop turns a poorly CGI animated spider in to a poorly made up anthropomorphic monster with a penchant for stalking the streets of France and murdering women.

This is a hell of an intro to the movie, as Danzig doesn’t seem to demand much from his cast beyond them mugging for the camera and failing to use what’s traditionally known in filmmaking as “editing.” The follow up “Change of Face” is centered on a disfigured female stripper who stalks other women on the streets and cuts their faces off. She wears them and then—hangs them on her wall (?). Finally, “Drukija, Contessa Of Blood” is based on the tale of Bloody Mary, as played by Alice Tate (who can barely keep from looking at the camera most of the time she’s on screen).

Another droning, monotonous tale, this is basically just a series of events involving Contessa who seduces and murders young virgin girls to bathe in their blood. If ever there was a tale in this movie without an actual narrative, this is it. At the very least, Alice Tate is gorgeous. Danzig took many inspirations here from folks like Bava, Argento, Polanski and the like, but in the midst of it all forgets to create something that is watchable. “Verotika” is painfully bad, and almost laughably inept. You’ll seriously have an impossible time not breaking out in to laughter from the bad French accents, stilted dialogue, narratives that go nowhere, amateur green screen, and bad prop work (notice “peasant prisoner” Kansas Bowling holding on to shackles obviously too big for her wrists).

Director Danzig takes turns thematically and narratively that are so bafflingly stupid and absurd that it’s a marvel. Danzig’s script was obviously only about thirty pages in length, so he fills the entire run time with repeated scenes of women stripping, and overlong takes that begin to feel like a running gag after a while. It’s just a cavalcade of crap. I imagine “Verotika” will be considered a gem five years from now, as it might appreciate as a cult classic that hurts so good.

Right now, it just hurts.