May 19, 2020  (Web Review)

Verotika

MVD, 90 min., not rated, Blu-ray: $29.99, Mar. 17

Reviewer rating: 1.0/4

No one but connoisseurs of le bad cinema and programmers of camp classics for midnight screenings or episodes of Mystery Science Theater is likely to appreciate this awful anthology movie by rock musician Glenn Danzig (founder of The Misfits, Samhain and Danzig, all of which specialized in heavy metal horror punk). Since 1994, he has also published a series of lurid comic books through a company called Verotik (a combination of “violent” and “erotic”), from which the three tales included here are drawn. The first is about a human-sized albino spider unleashed whenever a dancer named Dajette, who has eyes on her nipples, falls asleep; the creature engages in a series of murders that earn it the nickname of neck-breaker. The second centers on a facially-scarred stripper who cuts off the faces of women, presumably to repair her own. The final chapter, clearly inspired by the legend of Countess Elizabeth Báthory, is about a wicked queen who kills beautiful virgins in order to bathe in their blood and remain young. All three are cheaply made and poorly acted, with the cast in the first speaking in atrocious French accents, but they do feature a good deal of gore and nudity. There is also a linking device throughout the films, a Vampira-like character who adds to the bloodletting by ripping out a captive woman’s eyes with her fingernails to start things off, as well as prolonged sequences of strippers pole-dancing to Danzig’s raucous music. Verotika has been given deluxe treatment—a DVD-Blu-ray combo pack with a slide show and trailer as bonus features, along with a soundtrack CD—but the ugly, chaotic piece comes off as a terribly misguided vanity project. Not recommended. (F. Swietek)