PLOT: Thugs bite, get bit back
DIRECTOR: T. Michael
CAST: Michael Capellupo, Kevin M. Glover, Henry Harris
It starts with a grim prognosis. Poor dude, runs a record shop. Some inconsiderate chick outside. He just closed but SHE, her dad a hippy, has got to have a Moby Grape record. So, against better judgment and all that. Yup. Shoulda thought better of it then acted accordingly. She has friends. Naturally. Not girlfriends though. Coupla dudes. Then, make it worse, complicate the cookin’ in the kitchen, legit customers straggle in. Why not? It’s late. Lights on. People inside. Music playing. Crazy dude dancing to the tunes. Who’s he? One of the friends of the sneaky chick in the back (with her other friend). A nice set-up for an instantly likeable SOV mini-budget (redundant?) film from 1984. MASSACRE VIDEO digs up another cult classic, these VHS era things having a strange longevity. I’ve heard of lots of them. Not this one though. (If you watch closely during this scene you’ll spot a record of, presumably, the soundtrack to Full Metal Jacket). Glad to be turned on to a new one. Even the wonky and quite electronicked out soundtrack is groovy in a nigh unto camp kind of way. But respectable camp. It’s fun. Like the rest of the the film, with no adieu at all, let alone further. Sense of humor helps, too. Balances nicely with the suspense and violence. Courtesy of the beleaguered late night customers who probably wished they hadn’t stopped to shop for music in a record store besieged by criminals. On their way to a party, to which they should have proceeded directly, this info is sussed out of ‘em by the thugs and thugette, who invite themselves along to the party. Turns out, wasn’t much of a party since these squares slash prudes don’t do drugs. It’s OK, these bad guys (and girl) will set em straight – off the straight and narrow, you know. Boots of the table, even! Learning manners to these poor misguided drug-endorsing miscreants. Clock check …. Twelve minutes in and already I’m hooked. Shaping up to be one of the groovier old schooler vid-horror flicks from my favorite retro decade (wasn’t retro when I was in the middle of it I can tell you). Cool-groovy that there’s a “nice” girl at the party who takes an instant liking to the bad boy mystique; meanwhile, our bad girl is chatting up a nervous preppy, sweater draped pointlessly across the shoulders even. Man, the 80s. In case you’re wondering, yep. There’s an actual Venus fly trap. Cute little bugger. Wonder if he’s gonna be a monster later. Maybe a tool for revenge? Maybe he’s a symbolic anchor instead. Maybe the Venus fly trap stands for a trap the squares set up to bait and kill the bad boys (and girl) later? Dunno. Haven’t gotten there yet. Either way I dig. Let’s watch …. Hmmm, nice … VENUS FLY TRAP plays off conflicting viewer loyalty and, even, character development. Are the bad guys all bad? Are the good guys all that good? House at the Edge of the Park meets Lord of the Flies with a cute wee Venus fly trap? Maybe …
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