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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Ali Cobrin, Adam DiMarco, Slaine and James Thomas
Distributor: Signature Entertainment
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 30 July 2015

A boy is sexually ridiculed and shamed by a local girl, who condescendingly refers to him as Loverboy. He takes his revenge by killing her. Jump forward to the present day, and Kylie accepts a dubious job in order to pay her way through college. She agrees to live in a large house in a secret location, with a handful of other girls, wherein a host of installed cameras follow her every move. People (obviously, mostly men) can pay to log-in and use the cameras to watch the girls walk around in their underwear, shower naked, striptease and, in some cases, even have sex loudly. One of these ‘users’ is the now fully grown (at least physically) Loverboy. He quickly becomes obsessed with Kylie but, when he makes the mistake of sending her a picture of himself via the computer, another girl cruelly prints it out and laughs at him to the cameras. As he did many years before, Loverboy loses control (no, not in that way). He utilises his IT skills to discover the secret location of Girlhouse, and exacts his revenge...

First of all let me say that the cover and menu picture does not sufficiently explain the scenario. It’s very misleading, because it looks as if Girlhouse is a motel/cathouse off of the main road, with a vacancy sign above the entrance. Anyway, this film is certainly a game of two halves. Early on, there is a lot of the aforementioned cavorting about naked, like X-rated sugar plum fairies. It has the feel of a 1970s cheap porn movie (Carry On Whoring, anyone?). In one scene, the girls are sitting around a table chatting and laughing, and I have to confess that I didn’t understand a single word they were muttering. However, the people who might be attracted to Girlhouse up to this point, would undoubtedly be more concerned with watching than listening.

As soon as Loverboy is ridiculed by the other girls in the house, the film turns a definite corner. Not only do the vixens become victims, but the pace changes up a few gears, as Kylie’s rekindled sort-of boyfriend, Ben, frantically seeks to locate the house in an attempt to save her. Ironically, Ben’s friend is a much better all-round character. He even has a regular line which almost becomes a catchphrase: ‘You really need to see this... right now!’ Perhaps the two parts should have been swapped-over, although I’m not sure he would have been so effective as the boyfriend. Staying with characterisation, there is at least an attempt to make the girls significantly different, rather than stereotyped canon-fodder. There is the keep fit Bruce Lee-type, the Texas-type ‘yeehaw,’ the homely girl, and a lesbian couple, among others.

The Loverboy killer wears a mask, not totally unlike the Michael Myers one in John Carpenter’s Halloween (a sexually perverted Michael Myers!). Whether this is to hide his ‘ugly’ features from additional ridicule, or to make himself anonymous to the cameras is unclear. But it does work rather well, particularly as he walks very quickly, adding plate-loads of menace to what might have been a standard rehash of a slasher. It’s also a nice touch that Loverboy uses his phone to check the location of each girl in the house, and can also lock doors by tapping into its key code. The slayings are quite brutal, so it will satisfy those viewers who have just come for a slash, so to speak! Ben’s friend comes out with the best line in the movie, as a result of witnessing the killings on his computer: "I’m never going to another porn site again!"

Although by no means original in its ideas, it does borrow from enough areas to create a mix that has seldom, if ever, been seen. Imagine Halloween and My Little Eye, set in Hugh Hefner’s mansion. Take the time to check it out. After a slow start I enjoyed this one immensely.


Ty Power

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