horror movie review

Bad Biology (2008) is an independent horror movie directed by Frank Henenlotter that I saw on Halloween night during the Trinity of Terrors film festival at the Palms. From the description, I was led to believe that the story was darker, sinister, and more seductive than it actually was. I had no idea it was meant to be a satire, and a bad, trashy one at that.

This film is an evolution of the “midnight movie”. Back in the 70s, midnight movies were meant to be much racier, provocative, and shocking than regular movies at the theater. Such films as Rocky Horror Picture Show and John Waters’ Pink Flamingos became cult classics. As time went on, darker themes of sex and violence that were mainly seen in midnight movies extended themselves to regular films. Now it takes a lot to shock an audience in this day and age where everything is supposedly out in the open. I have to admit, the film makers did their job. Not only was I shocked, but I was absolutely disgusted. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

When the opening line of the film is “I was born with seven clits” and it’s not a porn flick, then you know this is the type of story that may possibly unnerve and unsettle you. The basic premise is that a woman named Jennifer (Charlee Danielson) was born with a mutant deformity. She was born with seven clitorises and has an insatiable need for sex. Insatiable is an understatement. She says she is the world’s only true nymphomaniac. This unquenchable need for sex makes her a violent monster that literally sucks the lives out of every man she encounters. She goes into labor and gives birth to mutant “freak babies” two hours after sex, only to abandon them. She claims she does not go on birth control because she wants to feel everything without restraint.

Her male counterpart is Batz (Anthony Sneed). As an adolescent he had trouble jacking off, and as a result, he had to inject all kinds of drugs into his penis to get any kind of sexual satisfaction. Unfortunately, the side effects made his dick freakishly huge. It makes John Holmes’s legendary penis look like a little cocktail frank. Both Jennifer and Batz elude each other until a chance encounter brings their animal drives to a messy, horrifying, and sick conclusion.

This was the most unerotic and bizarre film I’ve seen that was not porn. It would have been a ridiculous premise for a garden-variety porn film, but this goes even beyond pornography. Porn is porn – it’s pretty straightforward. You watch it because you know the people are going to fuck and you’re going to get off (if it’s erotic enough to you). This is even worse than porn because it’s the kind of film that fucks with your mind. This made a mockery of the sexual act, which is supposed to be the most natural and beautiful thing in the world. We all know sexuality is not always this way for everyone. It can be awkward, uncomfortable, and painful, not just physically, but emotionally. This film took the extreme negative view of sex and perverted it beyond anything imaginable.

I found Danielson’s acting to be quite wooden. I did not find her to be a very good actress at all. It was hard to sympathize with her character, even though it was not her fault she was born the way she was. I found it easier to have an emotional tie with Sneed because his performance was much better. He was very cute, good-looking, and had a nice body.

The hottest actress I felt should have had the role of Jennifer was Jelena Jensen. She was very sexy and alluring when she was taking a shower, plus she had a natural, full bush, a rarity seen anywhere, not just in porn. She didn’t even have to say anything. She just stood there looking hot, which tells you something. Certain people exude sexuality without having to say one word. Another example of a seductive on-screen siren with no lines was Apollonia Vanova, who played lesbian crime fighter Silhouette in Watchmen. I found Danielson to be cold and had no sexual heat whatsoever, even though she does the most explicit things in the film.

There is a scene where Batz is trying to jerk himself off with a huge mechanical device in his house and he’s watching a porn movie. Slowly the porn movie dissolves to show a beautiful woman saying she loves him and that everything would be okay as long as they were together. Now, it is ironic that the male has this dream of being in love, but the female does not. Yes, Jennifer does say she wants to fall in love and be in a good relationship like everyone else, but I didn’t believe her for a second. When she uttered the line, “God wants to fuck me,” I was truly offended. I’m not a very religious person, but it did make me lose any feeling that may have been left for her. I heard many people in the theater gasp in genuine shock and surprise.

The only scene I thought was erotic was when Jennifer finally meets a black man she picks up at a bar who can keep up with her. During their tryst, she takes pictures of them fucking. It was hot, actually (because of the male actor, not Danielson), until the moment when she makes the mistake of saying, “I feel so connected to you right now.” The black guy stops holding her and gets out of bed. She quickly becomes enraged, bludgeoning him to death with a lamp. I hate to say this, but I could definitely feel Jennifer’s pain. I was rejected by a man that I had a one-night stand with, and it certainly is a shitty feeling being used and discarded like a piece of garbage. I was almost rooting for her. Many people in the theater laughed because I’m sure plenty of us know what it’s like to be treated this way.

The most ridiculous scenes are a photo shoot that Jennifer takes pictures at where these women wear “vagina face” masks (yes, you read that right), a hooker who has an orgasm for 45 minutes after being fucked by Batz (while Jennifer secretly videotapes it all), and when Batz’s deformed, humongous, and hideous dick takes a life of its own, literally breaking through walls to attack every pussy it can find. Oh, yes, my friends. Everything I tell you is true. I couldn’t believe what I was watching, what twisted, deformed mind came up with this garbage. But, this movie is meant to be trashy on purpose. I wouldn’t even give it a Golden Raspberry award. A Raspberry is too good for it.

I don’t understand why this is called a “god-awful love story”. There was no love between Jennifer and Batz to be found. God-awful, yes. Love, no. Perhaps if there was, I would have enjoyed it more. If this is the director’s view of sexuality, it almost made me want to become celibate for the rest of my life. I can understand the film maker’s point of view. It is a broad satire in the horror genre about how the desire for sex can turn some people into monsters, how they will do the most irrational and unbelievable things just for a piece of ass. It also spoofs the problems that may occur between people during sex (such as not being able to get it up), only exaggerated.

This film is one that can only be appreciated by a select group of people. If midnight horror movies with vulgar, cheap, tawdry humor and a bizarre twist ending are your thing, far be it from me to stop you from seeing it. It’s definitely a hard NC-17 and not rated R. There are better satires about sexual behavior that are worth your time.

I still maintain my position that sex should be a wonderful, intimate thing shared between two people. Ideally, it should be like a dream, not a nightmare. If there is such a thing as a sexual nightmare, this is the perfect cinematic embodiment of it.

June 2018
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