Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ron Perlman Saves Your Soul

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from both Days of Our Lives and Children of the Corn(s), it’s that no filmmaker should ever, ever never ever, and did I mention never? expect that the computer generated deep demon voice is effective at doing anything other than making an audience giggle like schoolgirls.

Catholic schoolgirls, in fact...
Quick Plot: A pious and pretty nun-watched student sketches cartoons based on Revelations, only to then be sucked up by a demon as priest Ron Perlman (!!!) looks on helplessly. 

I don’t know about you, but you can bet your SAMCRO leather jacket that I’m not putting my faith in a church headed by Hellboy.
Flash forward some years to the present day, where a batch of bad girl teens with fabulous hair are sent to the now empty boarding school. What kind of parents would send their children to an academy with a sordid history of lost students and, more importantly, two faculty members and FOUR OTHER STUDENTS is its own question, but eh, here we are so let’s make the best of it.

Amongst the ‘delinquents’ are Alex, a telekinetic blond, Mara, a sassy lesbian who keeps doing cute things like pretending she might rape you, Cecilia, a blind anarchist with a nose ring, Lea, an overly nice girl who sleeps in ugly pajamas, and Connie, an airhead Wiccan. After a few rounds of pseudo-threatening behavior, the girls discover they all have unique supernatural powers (healing, ESP, shiny hair) which should come in handy as the abandoned school is clearly harnessing some angsty mojo leftover by Father Hellboy’s favorite disappeared student.

5ive Girls is an odd little movie, one that could play to an older or younger audience if it knew itself better. With a primarily teenage cast and a hearty dose of CW-ready music, the film could easily have been marketed a to teenage girls a la The Craft. On the other side, a few more strokes of maturity (you already have attractive young lesbians in schoolgirl uniforms) and you have a sleazy something for adult viewers. But for whatever reason, 5ive Girls doesn’t play either hand with any commitment. 

Tamest sapphic smooch since Britney & Madonna
In a similar vein to Lucky McKee’s okay, not great The Woods, 5ive Girls just sort of moseys along with moments of interest and more moments of eye rolls. The young cast does its best, but none really elevate any of the material to anything Gossip Girl couldn’t do better. Worst of all is the total waste of Ron Perlman in the role of a conflicted? maybe? sort of? or just not? priest. The story itself is simple but fine (something about possession, sacrifice, witchcraft, and deep-voiced demons) but sadly music video director Warren P. Sonoda never seems fully aware of who’s watching.

High Points
I won’t spoil anything, but the ending was far darker than I expected to find in what could almost have been a lightweight PG13 rated horror film
Low Points
Hopefully, the world will one day look back upon the early twentieth century and say “Whatever was our ancestors thinking to believe titling films with numbers that kind of look like letters made any sense?” Seriously, if this trend of ScreFourem and Fiveive Girls catches on, I may need to seek solace on Mars
Lessons Learned
There’s a huge difference between a witch, bitch, head mistress and anarchist

A great way to distract a priest is to ask him about Latin verb conjugation
Bitches always keep their mothers’ maiden names
Credits Curiosity
The opening credits feature Ron Perlman reading scripture in an odd rhythm as a techno beat mixes it up as to sound like a rap. I don’t know what they were going for, but let’s call it awesome

5ive Girls isn’t awful, but its audiences aren’t me...mostly because they’re either 13 year old girls looking for something to program at a slumber party or older gents who get a kick out of girls in knee socks and collared shirts. Sadly for both demographics, the film doesn’t really care to fully please either audience, but there’s still some odd fun to be found in watching Ron Perlman explain Latin grammar or the continuously not good actress from Diary of the Dead summoning Legion himself to possess a bunch of cute twentysomethings playing fifteen year old girls. It’s a mediocre Instant Watch, and one that’s fitting when you’re in the mood for a female-centered boarding school movie that’s a little less good than The Woods.


  1. Somehow, someway, you have sold me. I'm not quite sure how that happened.*

    That electronic demon voice actually comes in handy if you want to record a terrible 90's goth industrial album.

    *you know, it's probably that Catholic schoolgirl thing. Also, if hot chicks are worshipping a giant pentagram, I'm pretty much in. It doesn't matter why; they could be praying to Satan to show up and give them a boxful of Spongebob coasters.

  2. Can we make some kind of law that keeps the electronic demon voice thing out of films? I watched TWO movies today that used it, and my GOSH does it never not make me laugh? (the answer is no)

    Don't worry, I don't judge your kinks. I get excited when Michael Ironside wears pleather for goodness sake!

  3. Laughing is the best case scenario, unlike in film, Demon Wind, where the demon voices were so deep that they were harder to understand than a cross between Stallon and Brando!

  4. Netflix's absence of subtitles sometimes makes deciphering demon dialog a tad difficult, but thankfully that wasn't the case here. Thank heavens for small favors.

  5. Have you heard of the Pantyhose murders? I'm studying criminal psychology and was told that they are going to make a movie on this true crime event. I understand that the victims were all college girls and the killer would only target girls in short mini skirts. He would suffocate them with a pillow or plastic bag then he would remove their pantyhose to keep as a trophy. Sandra

  6. I was also wondering if you have seen the Mummy Maniac? Is it worth renting?

  7. Hi Sandra! I'm sadly not familiar with that case, although it sounds quite filmable. Was it recent?

    And Mummy Maniac sounds like a ridiculously great title, but I can't say I've heard anything about it or anyone associated with it (I checked imdb and everything!). If you take the plunge, be sure to come back here and let me know if it's worth a watch!

  8. It's funny you mention Netflix's lack of subtitles. We've recently been rewatching BBC's "Apparitions", a cool & creepy exorcism series from a few years back, and it's a struggling experience because Netflix has dropped the demon subs! I thought I was crazy till I looked back on our DVDs recorded off of EU BBC, which all had subtitles for the extended sequences when the demons have conversations with the exorcist in ancient languages. On Netflix, you get 4 minutes of gibberish, the exorcist nodding and looking concerned, and then 4 more minutes of gibberish. It's a terrible sabotaging of a cool show.

  9. Well, at least they didn't dub it!

  10. Thanks Emily. The pantyhose murders took place in the 1970's. When the killer was arrested they found his victim's pantyhose hanging from the ceiling of his apartment. This is info given us about the case. The case was originally known as the mini skirt murders.

    Here is a link to the Mummy Maniac. I understand that this movie is based off of a real case. Sandra

  11. Hmmm...doesn't look overly promising to me, but that might be because I was realllllly hoping for REAL mummies. I'm simple like that sometimes.

  12. Wasn't it 9ine Dead too? Or is that just wishful thinking? :)

    I've finally realized that your blog is like my TV Guide for bedtime programming.

  13. I do like the wording of the DVD cover: Ron Perlman in 5IVE GIRLS. Wow. That's, uh... that's direct, certainly.

    I'm reminded of the infamous poster which promised: Burt Reynolds in Heat.

  14. You know Ashlee, I think the only thing 9 Dead did that didn't piss me off was use the number in the title word. Kind of an impressive feat of restraint in some ways!

    And ha Wayne! I didn't even notice that. But that my friend, is awesome.