Thursday, May 15, 2014

For a delicious time, enroll in talent-free director David DeCoteau's VOODOO ACADEMY.

David DeCoteau has made a heap of trashy films, (Leeches, The Wolves of Wall Street and The Brotherhood movies to name a few), but Voodoo Academy, (which gives the impression of having been funded by some right-wing Baptist church group), is so hysterically bad, so unintentionally funny that it's almost borderline genius!

The plot (such as it is) involves a group of teenage boys in a college house being used as sacrificial victims in a voodoo ceremony. Set in a Bible college, it earnestly debates Christian theology. In between various arguments it discusses whether it is appropriate to use the word ‘bullshit’ or whether or not one should drink wine with dinner. In an amateurish plot contrivance – reflective no doubt of the film’s Baptist background – when the teens become possessed (after drinking wine!) they change from uncorrupted good kiddies in black suits, white shirts and ties (think Mormons) to dressing casual and cool and appearing to enjoy life. (The little tramps!)

But in what can only be described as an outlandish contrast to the overt Christian elements is the film's bizarre homoerotic undertone. In fact, DeCoteau seems far more interested in conducting a poster shoot with pretty boy models than directing a movie. All the boys have been chosen for their stunning looks - piercing eyes and perfect bods. And the eyebrow acting is straight out of a porno film (or so we've been told.)  The actors seem incapable of holding two thoughts in their heads at once and often seem confused as to whether they should be more focused on hitting their mark or making sure their good profile is facing the camera. None of them are even remotely believable as teen innocents. (None of them are even remotely believable as actors!) They all seem barely able to keep surly, insolent smirks off their faces throughout, and the film is filled with languorous scenes of young men lying in bed in dreamy trances, caressing their chiseled, naked pecs. All of which makes the insane proceedings even more unintentionally funny.

If this bizarre combination of Christian morality and homoerotic subtext doesn’t make Voodoo Academy a fascinating train wreck in its own right, then the outright laughability of its “horror” scenes does. One scene involves a voodoo ceremony where the nearly naked victim (this film features an endless supply of nearly naked victims) is bound as wine is dripped onto him. Apparently that is all that is nessesary for this complex ritual to work, because soon the poor lad vanishes. When his head suddenly reappears, it is found attached to the top of a patchwork voodoo doll. This is irresistibly bad! Both the effect and the punchline are so inept that we just collapse into hysterics.
 
So, all right, DeCoteau...  Bring on the electrified confessionals... the Ed Wood-en dialogue...  the hunky boys strapped to tables in their designer undies...  and do-do that Voodoo that you do so well... we can take it!

2 comments:

  1. Ha! "talent-free director" is right...deCoteau is the only one who can make a movie full of gorgeous men seem boring as hell...

    ReplyDelete

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