The Movie Waffler New Release Review (Blu-Ray) - SPIDARLINGS | The Movie Waffler

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New Release Review (Blu-Ray) - SPIDARLINGS

SPIDARLINGS review
A pet spider leads to trouble for a pair of poverty stricken lovers.







Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: Salem Kapsaski

Starring: Sophia Disgrace, Rahel Kapsaski, Lee Mark Jones, Rusty Goffe, Lloyd Kaufman

SPIDARLINGS blu-ray

This is a Troma film, and depending on your individual predilections, that will either fill you with excitement or dread.

How about this - it’s a lesbian, punk, indie horror musical.

Intrigued?

Personally, apart from the hilarious and under-valued Father's Day, I don’t much care for Troma movies, finding them to be the very definition of cheap and nasty. But a lesbian horror musical? Sign me up!

Unfortunately, Spidarlings sounds much better on paper.

SPIDARLINGS

Crazy in love and in a den of slack for two, Eden (Sophia Disgrace) and Matilda (Rachel Kapsaski) discuss what to do with the upcoming day after they are awakened mid-afternoon by the knocks of their demanding landlord. Failing to agree on an activity, they instead decide to go back to sleep, and we cut to the gentleman’s club where Matilda works part time to cue the first song.

The musical aspect kicks off with ‘Juicy Girls’, the name of the club and a catchy ditty performed in a rather lacklustre way by the resident drag queen, while supporting cast members gyrate somnambulistically around her.

After a day trip to Essex beach the ladies come home to find their landlord awaiting them. He explains, in song, how he helped them when they were destitute and they have not honoured their financial promises to him. It's clear they have no intention of doing so but they fob him off with more promises and send him on his way.

After inheriting some money from a recently murdered dancer at the club, Matilda and Eden decide to impulsively purchase a tarantula called Rainer, take him home, and promptly lose him in the house.

A mysterious letter arrives from Paris, which is just scribbles as far as I can tell, though that’s not saying much as it’s shot almost entirely in heavy shadow.

That night after Matilda heads off to work, Eden is sexually assaulted in her sleep by the pet tarantula.

Things get even more episodic and strange after that until a body horror climax and an almost-sweet coda.

SPIDARLINGS

As written and directed by Salem Kapsaski, this is a tonal and structural mess with wonderfully good intentions. It has a solid aesthetic that works well on-screen with the fashions and colourful, visually stimulating sets a definite positive to be enjoyed.

The songs themselves (composed by Jeff Kristian) are actually all wonderful, delightful little ear-worms that manage to cover most musical genres and excel in all of them. My favourite song is a comment on consumerism about expandable mops - funny and fun, they are the best parts of this movie.

The cinematography is scratchy and over-exposed but it feels less like a stylistic choice and more like an economic one. Worse, the sound quality is on the muffled side with much of the dialogue hard to hear in some scenes. Other times the volume seems to jump from loud to quiet within the same scene; the over-dubbing just adding to the jumbled script.

Both lead performances are fairly insipid and uninspired, with Disgrace as the more flamboyant Eden faring best of the two. The rest of the cast fail to make much impact.

Though they have chemistry, we never see any passion between them besides the surprisingly well-animated rape scene, during which time Eden is impregnated by Rainer the spider while dreaming she is being ravished by her girlfriend.

Supposedly an indictment of the British welfare system, it’s hard to feel sorry for Eden and Matilda, whom we see buying champagne and living in a house full of music but haven’t paid rent for two years. The only person I feel for is the landlord who gave them a home when they were living on the streets and they’ve not paid a penny to since.

Spidarlings has a few too many side characters that only serve to slow the plot. There’s a local serial killer and his occasional murders; the many random men who pursue Matilda (scenes of her being hit on as she sits at a table in the gentleman’s club grow repetitive real fast); a drag queen having her heart broken; Mr Banner the spider seller; and long scenes of bra-clad dancing women that are neither titillating nor interesting.

SPIDARLINGS

The screenplay meanders and the dialogue feels as if Kapsaski had no script and just shot whatever the actors decided to say; a technique that may work for seasoned professionals who use their strong character development as a basis to improvise the script, but does not work with amateurs who need structure and plot points (if there are any) to create a coherent story.

At two hours long this is a slog to sit through; constantly checking how much longer it had left to run made me painfully aware of how slowly time can pass when you’re watching a poorly constructed movie.

The music rocks, but the rest is just padding.

Spidarlings is on blu-ray July 10th from Troma.



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