Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sisterhood, The (2004)

... aka: Pledge of Evil
... aka: Sisterhood: Pledge of Evil, The

Directed by:
David DeCoteau

Director DeCoteau started out as a solid low-budget B-movie director with many fun genre credits to him name from the mid-80s until about the late 90s. Nowadays he has emerged as one of the worst and laziest "directors" working today in any genre, and it has nothing to do with his movies usually containing homoerotism and having guys run around in their matching boxer briefs. Remember... anyone in tight black underwear is satanic and evil and want to suck out your blood / soul... such deep symbolism here). I just sat through The Sisterhood to give him his fair shakes since I try to watch every horror movie I can and this one had the talented Barbara (FROM BEYOND, RE-ANIMATOR) Crampton in it (I had previously been sucked in to the world of DeCoteau thanks to Linnea Quigley, Adrienne Barbeau and several other actresses I typically enjoy). Sadly, Like nearly everything else the director has done the past ten years, it's the pits.

The paper thin plot involves lesbian vampires on a college campus. But never has a parade of hot young babes ("actresses" if you want) running around dressed in bras, panties and bikinis been so boring. The movie has no plot, no gore, no nudity and the dialog is ridiculous and seems like they made it up as they go along. Parts are put in slow-motion and repeated many times to push the running time up. About ten minutes of this one consists of characters just walking around on campus (oh, the excitement!) that looks more like a hotel resort than any college I've ever been to. And the acting is the absolute worst. The only thing these girls do well is lean forward and bend over to show off their bodies. The cast were so devoid of talent that I'd be shocked to see any of them get a one-day walk-on role on Passions in the future. Ditto for the guys. Yeah DeCoteau squeezed more hot guys in underwear in this one, too... Guys who should be in some K-Mart brochure instead of trying to act. Do these people actually have to audition or just show up in Dave's office and take their clothes off? I think the answer is obvious.

I am willing to give any movie a chance if 1.) it's intelligently written, well directed, original and competently acted (or hell, even ambitious and stylish)... Or 2.) it is chock full of gore, nudity, assorted trashiness and/or unintentional humor. David DeCoteau's movies deliver NONE of that and they do it on better-than-usual production values for direct-to-video flicks. What a waste! So what is the appeal, especially with the advent of porn of the soft- and hard-core variety that's easily accessible to anyone with a computer? I simply cannot answer that.

DeCoteau is a gay horror director and could use his resources to put a unique spin on the genre. Instead, he produces mind-numbing drivel without an ounce of talent or intelligence shining through. Ironically, when you think about it, his films are anything BUT pro-gay. They actually make homosexuality seem seedy, secretive and sinister. The obviously gay characters in his films are always trying to corrupt, seduce and/or kill off the innocent, sexually-confused leads. There's no shading here to make things interesting. The protagonists are naive and seldom prove themselves to be strong, assertive or confident in who they are. I would understand this plotting if Jerry Falwell, Fred Phelps or Dr. Laura starting making direct-to-video horror films, but from a gay director, it just goes to show that he puts almost no thought into these beefcake cheese-fests.

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