27 May 2024

Combat Shock

Frankie is a traumatized Vietnam POW struggling to keep his sanity back home in bottom-of-the-barrel Staten Island.  He’s plagued by vivid war nightmares, and then wakes up to his equally-nightmarish daytime reality: poverty, an ugly, hectoring wife, an Agent Orange birth defected crying baby, a shabby, filthy apartment.


Two notes before we proceed further:

1). Whoever designed the vet’s hideous apartment should have been given an Academy Award for Best Production Design.  It’s the most depressing-looking urban living environment I’ve seen on film.

2). Filmmaker Buddy Giovinazzo cleverly ripped off David Lynch’s domestic arrangement from Eraserhead.  The ugly apartment, ugly wife, ugly crying baby (also needing a constantly running vaporizer) are essentially the same, just set in different nightmare worlds.


Released in 1986, the same year as Platoon, there can be no mistake as to which film is authentically anti-war.  Platoon is usually mislabeled as anti-war, but its poetic, romanticized view of combat neutralizes any anti-war sentiment, indeed, it probably inspired a lot of unemployed dopes to join the army.  I guarantee nobody who sees Combat Shock will be running off to enlist.


That’s not to say Combat Shock is a better movie.  I doubt many in our current age will have the patience to sit through this ultra low budget production with its amateurish acting and thin script.  Indeed, to call it a *script* might be overly generous, as that would imply it was written.  This thing was probably scrawled in red crayon by somebody on suicide watch in a psychiatric hospital.


Combat Shock might be the most depressing movie ever filmed.  Nightmares, poverty, illness, family dysfunction, government dysfunction, addiction, crime, violence, death, that’s the plot synopsis.  There are probably only three smiles in the entire movie, which occur during the film’s final third, when the filmmaker’s primary influence seems to switch from Eraserhead David Lynch to Paul Schrader/Martin Scorcese Taxi Driver, complete with a child prostitute that Frankie tries to help.  Other than that brief moment, the rest of Combat Shock is a bleak, hopeless death march to its grim conclusion. 

It’s an ugly-looking film with a thin, predictable plot that is as subtle as a sledgehammer.  But, if you appreciate Art Brut, outsider art presenting the raw, authentic, personal expression of a creator uninterested in following the artistic herd, you will admire Combat Shock, particularly if you have a pessimistic world view.


Consider this ten second clip:

I’ve never seen poverty so quickly, effectively and genuinely presented in film.  These type of small moments bubble up in the grotesque ragout that is Combat Shock and earn it a rank of Five Stars for its complete lack of pretense and its ardent nihilism.  It’s a brutal cinematic smelling salt in the somnolent celluloid Platoon/Saving Private Ryan war movie world.

23 May 2024

The Sect (aka The Devil's Daughter)

Have you ever wanted to see a movie where a kindergarten teacher gets raped by a stork? Or a cocky subway pick-pocket artist gets knocked down a peg or two when he pulls a human heart out of his target's jacket pocket? If so, then The Sect (aka The Devil's Daughter) is the movie for you.

But. . .if you’re looking for a film with a coherent plot, logical characters speaking natural-sounding dialogue and competent acting, best pass this one up.

The Sect is a collaboration between greaseball horror/giallo legends Dario Argento and Michele (not the girl's name 'Michele' but the Italian boy's version of Michael) Soavi. Though the oddball film has the look and feel of 1970s Argento, it was filmed in 1991.

It might seem like I'm describing a terrible movie. It’s not. It’s not terrible. Of course, it’s not a movie, either. At least, not a conventional movie. Soavi and Argento are non-representational artists. Plot and character are like blotches of paint thrown on a canvas to provoke dread, fear, madness, etc. Instead of painting black and red squares or abstract patterns, Soavi and Argengto paint splotches of sex and violence. 

The plot, as near as I could untangle from one viewing on Shudder, is as follows:

In a 1970 California desert a happy, carefree hippie commune is ritualistically slaughtered by a Satanic cult. CUT. About 20 years later we are in Frankfurt, Germany watching a lonely kindergarten teacher go about her dreary life. Driving home one day she nearly runs over an old bum.  Feeling sorry for the shaken-up geezer, she invites him to rest up at her house (yes, of course, that is a stupid idea). The old bum speaks a lot of cryptic shit, then appears to fall asleep on her couch.  The kindergarten teachers goes upstairs to her bedroom, talks to her pet rabbit and plays with a snow globe before she, too, falls asleep.  But the old bum was just faking being asleep!  He creeps upstairs, goes into the kindergarten teacher's bedroom, lightly molests her and injects a beetle into her nose (of course, she never comes close to waking up).  While the newly beetle-infested teacher slumbers on, the old bum goes down to a barely-hidden basement temple which the kindergarten teacher has somehow never stumbled upon even though it's about the size of St. Peter's Basilica and contains a well(?!?!) which apparently goes all the way down to Hell and in which swims some sort of devilish creature that oozes some sort of sperm or something that will be used to impregnate the kindergarten teacher and birth the anti-Christ.  OK.  Meanwhile, one supposes because of the beetle in her nose, the kindergarten teacher has a horrible nightmare about the stork (the same stork which will eventually rape her).  This nightmare wakes her up, she hears some clattering from downstairs, whereupon she discovers the old bum, now back upstairs, has seemed to pass out or die on her living room floor.  She can't telephone for help because the old bum has does some stuff which renders her phone useless, so she drives over to a neighbor doctor's house and convinces the doctor to come back to her house and look at the bum. CUT. Sometime prior to the previous cut we've also had the scene where the pick-pocket gets the surprise of his life with the human heart.  He steals it from the pocket of a cult member who has just cut it out from some lady's chest.  This does nothing to advance the plot, and, in fact, hard as it is to believe, only muddles it, but it's too cool of a scene not to leave in. CUT. The kindergarten teacher and the doctor go back to the teacher's house, and, surprise, the old bum is nowhere to be seen.  We get the inevitable "but, I tell you, he was there!" scene.  CUT.  From here the plot starts to get weird.  Haha.  But no, at least from this point forward the viewer understands the old bum is part of the Satanic cult, and the cult believes the kindergarten teacher is the Chosen One to birth the anti-Christ, and so we have some sort of plot line to hang on to while weird stuff happens involving the kindergarten teacher's rabbit, Turin-like shrouds, the stork rape, random murders and even a suicidal zombie.  CUT TO SPOILER.  Eventually the cult succeeds in impregnating the kindergarten teacher and the anti-Christ is born. . .BUT. . .the teacher is supposed to die in child birth. . .BUT. . .the anti-Christ sacrifices itself for its mother??  Maybe?  I don't know.  You tell me.  Oh, is there a connection between the kindergarten teacher and that slaughter of the hippy commune in 1970 California?  Maybe?  Does it matter?  The End.

The acting is pretty bad.  Herbert Lom of the Pink Panther films plays the old cult bum, and, unfortunately, he doesn't ham it up, but actually tries to play it straight, and gets more laughs in this film than he does in a Pink Panther film.

The only other actor worth mentioning is the girl who plays the kindergarten teacher: Kelly Curtis.  Kelly *Jamie Lee's sister* Curtis.  She's pretty bad. She delivers her lines like she's learning how to read.  And she refused to do nude scenes, so. . .she's nowhere near the Scream Queen her sister is.

I know this sounds like a bad movie.  But like I said, if you want to see a kindergarten teacher get raped by a stork, and a whole bunch of other random nastiness, this is a pleasant amusement.  So what I am saying is, you know if this type of shit is for you, or not.


21 September 2023

Hardcore

Hardcore: I saw this on Tubi a couple days ago.  First time I've watched it in probably 40 years.  It has held up remarkably well.  The only weak point remains the *Shakespearean* climax. 

I can't think of another film with a flawed *Christian* as central character in which the supposed Christian is actually *fleshed out* in terms of their belief.  Most *Christians* in films, even in relatively successful ones, have their spirituality shallowly depicted.  They may show them silently praying, or singing a hymn from a church pew, or clutching a rosary, but the viewer has no idea what the *Christian* believes.  The character is just *Christian,* the way characters in our contemporary entertainments are just *gay* or *ethnic.*  In Hardcore, writer/director Paul Schrader makes sure you know that main character Jake VanDorn is not only a *Christian,* but a Dutch Reformed Calvinist, and even has the character explain the Calvinist belief to another character, just so the viewer knows exactly what this Christian believes.

Anyway, I suppose most 21st century viewers couldn't care less.  They have their idea what *Christians* are, and nothing in this film would challenge their view.  In other words, you can watch this film without the slightest interest in its theological point of view and still be entertained.

Jake VanDorn (played in his typical gruff blowhard style by George C. Scott) is a Grand Rapids, MI businessman whose daughter goes missing while on a church retreat in California.  VanDorn hires a sleazy LA private investigator (played with great greasy gusto by Peter Boyle) to find her.  It doesn't take the PI long to discover what happened to her, and he seems to really enjoy showing VanDorn his evidence: a low budget porn flick starring the missing daughter.  There's a great scene of George C. Scott sitting in a seedy adult theater watching what he thought was his nice young Christian daughter fornicating with two unwashed hippie-types.

In this day and age, right wing self-proclaimed Christians fixate on sexual sins, from fornication to transgenderism, but they only project an anti-Christ legalism.  They believe unrighteousness is a physical act that violates the law of their legal desires (and just as their Christianity is self-proclaimed, so also are their desires, with neither reflecting their true spirit). 

The greatness of the scene in Hardcore in which VanDorn sees his daughter in the porn flick is that the discerning viewer will understand his anguish is not just from the sordid tangle of naked flesh, but from understanding what has happened to his image of his daughter, whom he had imagined to be a disciple of Christ:

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit? (I Corin 6:19).

His daughter has become the abomination of desolation, Christ has been rejected, or, more accurately given his Calvinist belief, Christ was never received, she had been merely impersonating a Christian.

Up to this point we have a nearly flawless film, devoid of melodrama or cinematic bombast.  But when the screenplay has VanDorn travel to Los Angeles to try to find his now porn actress daughter, the movie increasingly declines until its rather predictable (violent) climax.  

In his increasingly desperate schemes to find his daughter, VanDorn meets sex worker Niki, and pays her to help him find her.  It is at this point in the film also that George C. Scott stops playing Jake VanDorn and starts playing George C. Scott. As he traverses the gutter world of pornography, playing a supposed devout Dutch Reformed believer, Scott acts more like Patton than Calvin, slapping around anyone who stands in his way.


Hardcore
is saved from Scott's antics by Season Hubley, who delivers a fantastic performance as Niki.  Hubley is completely believable as a sex worker, and performs her skin flick and peepshow booth scenes without a trace of artifice.  She presents the absolute neutrality of carnality, and does so with or without her clothes on.  Considering the era the film was made, it was a daring performance, and remains absolutely emotionally and psychologically authentic.  Paul Schrader's and Season Hubley's Niki is one of most unforgettable characters of the '70s and had an influence on future characters such as Nastassja Kinski's Jane in Paris, Texas
, Melanie Griffith's Lulu in Something Wild and Heather Graham's Rollergirl in Boogie Nights.

The film's devastating final scene, in which VanDorn and Niki go their separate ways, confirms VanDorn's Calvinist belief in limited atonement.

Hardcore is a Dutch Reformed neo-noir pulp thriller. . .and despite a weak ending dependent on tired action movie plotting, it remains, over 40 years later, both thought-provoking and revelatory.

18 August 2023

Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer: The most over-praised movie since Saving Private Ryan, and possibly of all-time. This film is piss-poor on every level. It’s edited seemingly to maximize confusion, and has a poorly drawn cast of supporting scientific eggheads whose political and personal loyalties are obscure, at best.

The movie‘s greatest sin, however, is the filmmaker’s bizarre and mistaken belief the great dramatic issue of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s life is not the creation of the atomic bomb and his responsibility for the horrors it inflicted upon the Japanese people, and how that crime against humanity would affect a person’s conscience and psyche, but whether or not the egghead Oppenheimer is allowed to keep his precious security clearance years after he melted tens of thousands of Japanese and expressed some vague reservations about the development of the next generation of weapons of mass destruction, thereby provoking cold war
überhawks into limiting his influence on the Atomic Energy Commission. At least 90 minutes of the tedious 3 hour script is devoted to this trivial professional concern.

In contrast, there is only one scene, which depicts Oppenheimer somewhat agitated as he watches a documentary on the effects his bomb had on the people of Japan, and which lasts no more than 30 seconds, that is devoted to what the viewer would reasonably consider to be the chief concern of Oppenheimer’s life.

Add some laughably bad sex scenes meant, one supposes, to suggest not only did egghead Oppenheimer have a big brain but a big cock also, and some preposterously conceived nude scenes meant, one supposes, to suggest Oppenheimer may have suffered some post-bomb juvenile psychoanalytic crisis, and you have a pitifully small film masquerading as an *important* work.

The acting is nearly uniformly atrocious, beginning with a lead actor named Cillian Murphy, who plays Oppenheimer so woodenly, so withdrawn and cold, you’re left to assume he and the filmmaker believed Oppenheimer was autistic. So lifeless is this Murphy person’s performance, the film’s brief attempts to portray Oppenheimer’s romantic life are cringe-inducing failures. It’s difficult to imagine any woman drawn to Murphy’s anemic Oppenheimer, let alone to the point of suicide, as the movie’s somnolent script suggests one woman was over the end of her relationship with the waxen egghead.

It seems unfair, given how poorly developed their characters are, to criticize the actresses who play the two women in Oppenheimer’s life, but ask the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki if life is fair?

Florence Pugh plays the first woman in Oppenheimer’s life, the one who will commit suicide. Her role consists of her sitting around naked in various rooms, annoyed that Oppenheimer brings her flowers she doesn’t want. Indeed, this Please Don’t Bring Me The Daisies scene is repeated so frequently, the viewer begins to believe he is in a movie not about the creation of the atomic bomb, but of a cosmic time loop.

The other unfortunate actress is Emily Blunt, who plays Oppenheimer’s wife. Whereas Oppenheimer is as cold as the farthest reaches of the universe, Oppenheimer’s wife is as hot as the first moments of the Big Bang. Emily Blunt plays Oppenheimers wife in a perpetual seethe, she seethes at everyone and everything around her, including the laundry drying on a clothesline (one of the quiet little humanizing moments in this big important film involves Oppenheimer and his wife discussing the fate of the universe as they hang their sheets to dry, or something like that, I can’t be exact in this detail, because at that point in the time and space of the film, my attention had been wandering like a stray photon in desperate need of an observer).

The supporting roles of scientific eggheads is played by a cast cursed with forgettable characters who are only differentiated by indeterminable accents and hairstyles.

Matt Damon is the only actor who brings a little light into this black hole of a movie. He plays General Groves, the military leader of the A-bomb project. Damon infuses his cartoon-character general with enough bombast and occasional humor to snap the viewer out of his otherwise inert state.

The movie villain, Lewis Strauss, the man the film’s script paints as monomaniacally obsessed with ruining Oppenheimer’s security clearance, is played by Robert Downey Jr. as if he had been transported via a wormhole from the Marvel Cimematic Universe into this *important* film.

Gary Oldman has a showy minute or two as Harry Truman, who dismisses the post-Nagasaki Oppenheimer, skittish of the nuclear arms race, as a *crybaby.*

And that’s about it. I cannot imagine why the overwhelming majority of film critics lavished so much praise on this pretentious, tedious, thematically misguided mess. It’s a mystery as great as the atom itself.

13 June 2023

Infinity Pool

Struggling writer James Foster (played by Alexander Skarsgård) and his rich biracial wife Em (played by somebody) travel to a distant seaside land for an exotic vacation. Bored and restless with each other, they meet another holiday couple, Gabi (played by Mia Goth) and her ethnic husband Alban (played by somebody). Gabi is a fan of struggling writer James' only novel, and she and her ethnic husband Alban soon ingratiate themselves into the lives of struggling writer James and biracial wife Em. Struggling writer James and his reluctant biracial wife go on a forbidden excursion with Gabi and Alban, whereupon struggling writer James kills an ethnic local in a hit-and-run accident. After quickly being caught by the local police in this distant seaside land, struggling writer James learns his punishment is the death sentence. But. . .

They have a rather curious legal code in the distant seaside land in which the guilty party can void his own death by paying a fine and agreeing to allow himself to be cloned, with his double then taking his place at the execution.   This first third of Infinity Pool is fairly tense and creepy, with a heavy atmosphere of dread which seems to particularly hang over the head of the struggling writer James.  However. . .

The last two-thirds of the movie are not quite as successfully worked.  The film deteriorates into a trippy mishmash of grim fairytale/Funny Games/Dogville/etc. as the viewer and struggling writer James try to determine if he is the victim of a sadistic prank or being (painfully) cleansed in a rebirth ritual. Overall. . .

The movie is a more than watchable, moderately entertaining amusement because of its strange story, arresting visuals, and, chiefly, the charismatic screen presence of its two *stars,* Skarsgård and Goth. Unfortunately for this viewer. . .

Skarsgård spends more time nude on screen than Ms. Goth, though I am sure some viewers will find this preferable.  All-in-all, a welcome two hour film holiday in a strange new land.

28 May 2023

The Morning Star, by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Knausgaard is most famous for his six book autofiction series My Struggle. Thousands and thousands of pages of barely novelized autobiography in which he painstakingly reveals his inner being, his confessional of thoughts, feelings, emotions, his psychological state at the various stages of his life.  It’s a massive literary attempt to make sense of his own existence. It’s probably the best chronicle of contemporary Western living or what Western people call living. The existential crisis Knausgaard is obsessively concerned with, and meticulously investigates, is the authenticity of what the Western world calls living. Are people really living if they are so discontent, so restless, depressed and unhappy?

The West is saturated with addicts. People seeking escape from their own lives through narcotics (legal and illegal), alcohol, pornography, food, gambling, video gaming, scores of therapies and religions. People don’t seek escape if they are content.

The characters in Knausgaard's six volume My Struggle and the novel The Morning Star all wonder how much of their lives is authentic and how much of their lives is just them being swept along the social tide, mimicking what society has conditioned them into believing life should be. A life exclusively material and temporal.

It’s not a question most Americans really consider. Most Americans live as they are told. They are distracted from examining their own individual existence by manufactured cultural concerns, issues which they believe are larger than their own lives. Safeguarding the border, safeguarding restrooms from transsexuals, safeguarding their faces from being masked, safeguarding their cherished brands from catering to people who seek escape from likewise miserable lives but through channels they deem evil.

It’s OK to believe that our lives have been made miserable by the spouses we have made vows to and believe that by escaping through divorce our lives will be made better if we find a new and improved spouse, or just freely fornicate. That’s OK, that’s OK as long as it’s not done in a homosexual manner. And if one of our cherished brands should seem to support homosexual fashion than that brand should be punished.

Americans live in perpetual fear their unfulfilling lives will be disrupted.

The American is constantly distracted from himself by these manufactured irrelevancies.

In The Morning Star nobody worries about the debt ceiling. No one is anxious if the government is plotting to take away their guns.

The Knausgaard character is aware his own discontent is internal in origin, he stops and examines his life and ask himself this question, which distills the multi-thousand page Knausgaard canon into two sentences:

Why wasn't this good enough?  Why isn't it sufficient in itself? (p. 380).

The Knausgaard character has never learned what the apostle Paul learned
:

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. . .

The main thematic difference between My Struggle and The Morning Star is t
hat in the My Struggle books Knausgaard is chiefly concerned with the discovery of the internal discontent and the recognition of the inauthenticity of life, whereas The Morning Star spends considerable time on its origin and its possible remedy.

In The Morning Star we read about the unsatisfying lives of nine narrators as they go about their day-to-day unrest when suddenly a huge new star blazes in the sky. Simultaneously in their individual lives strange phenomena begin to occur which may or may not be supernatural. This plot device allows Knausgaard to continue his examination of the authenticity of contemporary life but also enables him, through characters such as a priest, a journalist, a teacher, and a would-be philosopher to engage in much theological and philosophical speculation as to what has been lost in the scientific/technological secular age we live in.

The seeming supernatural events in the story-line are briefly and sketchily detailed, and while early in the novel it appears as if they will converge, they never do, nor is much consideration given to their reality.

The question is not whether these events are actually supernatural, it’s whether our lives are more than material, if there is something beyond that which we have been taught scientifically. Would our lives be be larger and more fulfilling if we looked past contemporary life’s scientific boundary?

The increasing interest in the old pagan religions, which Knausgaard touches upon in a subplot concerning a death metal band, perhaps reflects this. For even modern Christianity discounts the supernatural, there are no miracles in modern Christianity, healings occur outside of the church, sick Christians go for chemotherapy, liver transplants, they take the same prescription drugs as the infidels. I chuckle over the small self-proclaimed Christian who, rightly, rails at the pharmaceutically polluted gender fluid youth, but at the same time they flock to the pharmaceuticals at the first little ache in their bodies. Their medicine cabinets are just as full. Are they any more the person God made them to be than the gender bender?

In The Morning Star the reader must consider if the acceptance of the scientific boundary of life has limited it.  Is it a reason our lives are so small?

And, of course, the boundary of our science is death. Our science does not accept life after death. The consequence of this is the tiny temporal lives we live here on this earth, and that’s the main reason for our constant worrying and fretting which drives us to discontent and despair and the addictions of our escape. We must gain the impossible from this life before it ends. If there is no life after death, we must gain treasure and pleasure enough in this life to last the eternity of the void. In this life, if even paying rent seems arduous, is it any wonder most of the entire Western world is anxious, depressed, restless, discontent?

And this question of death is another large concern of The Morning Star. If we were able to look beyond this life, as Christ exhorted His followers, our worries would cease, our need for escape would disappear. But in this world where the boundary has been set by science, we are not allowed to believe Christ has defeated death.

The Morning Star ends rather in a rather unsatisfying fashion, it must be admitted, as Knausgaard attempts to imagine a life without the boundary at death. It’s a hodgepodge of pre-Christian beliefs and modern near death experiences that is vague in meaning, followed by an apocalyptic epilogue (the book, probably not coincidentally, ends on page 666) which, rather than tying the novel's supernatural loose threads together, just unravels one more.

But despite the weak ending, The Morning Star is nonetheless another admirable attempt by Knausgaard to sort out the difficulties of the post-Christian way of life.

22 April 2023

Terrifier 2

I don’t think any filmmaker has ever championed the joys of cruelty to the degree of Terrifier progenitor Damien Leone. In terms of gleeful sadism and torture portrayed in exuberant gore, Terrifier 2 matches its predecessors, All Hallows’ Eve and Terrifier.  Art the Clown is back to humiliate, eviscerate, mutilate and decapitate several unlucky citizens of Miles County on Halloween.  In one of the film's merriest moments of mischief, Art uses the hollowed out head of one of his victims as a candy bowl for trick-or-treaters.

In addition to Leone's trademark haute couture gore, Terrifier 2 also features his garish sets and grindhouse aura.  But to me, one of the most interesting aspects of Leone's Terrifier trilogy is Art the Clown's chief enemies are middle class families, and he depicts their homes as drab, artless, mean spaces where parents and children grate on each other nearly to the point of hatred.  Indeed, these working class Americans are almost as angry as Art, but completely lack his capacity for joy.  

Terrifier 2 brings a new and highly successful addition to the Terrifier cinematic universe.  This time around Art is aided in his bloody high jinx by *the little pale girl,* the ghost of a 10-year-old rape/murder victim (whether she was raped/murdered by Art the Clown is unclear). The pale clown-costumed tween is not so much an ingenue as an injure-you cheerleader who roots on Art in his Halloween murder spree.  

There's really only one bummer to Terrifier 2, but unfortunately it's big enough to make the film less enjoyable than its predecessors.  The acting by two of the main characters is godawful.  A person named Sarah Voigt plays the mother of the middle class family targeted by Art, and she's off-key in every scene she's in.  Her character is scripted with a couple moments of redeeming human emotion, but this Voigt person plays them like some rookie violinist practicing on a violin with only one string.  Voigt is such a horrible actor, as the movie progresses you cannot wait for Art the Clown to slowly tear her limb-from-limb. . .alas, her character is one of Art's quickest, most painless deaths.  

The other acting bummer is the lad who plays the kid brother in the middle class family.  He's inept, but at least he's not as gratingly annoying as Voigt.  You just wish there was a vintage Edward Furlong laying around somewhere that Damien Leone could have dusted off.

The *final girl* of the middle class family is played by Lauren LeVera, and she is merely OK.  Regrettably, none of the new cast members, save Amelie McLain as *the little pale girl,* have the charm of Terrifier's trio of female leads.

But I understand discussing the acting talent in a highly stylized exercise in gratified gore is nitpicking, at best, and should not be taken as a caution against its viewing.  Terrifier 2 is highly recommended.