body horror

Shaun vs. Society (1989)

society1

Directed by Brian Yuzna

Starring Billy Warlock, Devin DeVasquez and Evan Richards

Released June 11, 1992

Rated R

A teenager of a wealthy family seems to think he doesn’t fit in with the rest of the social elite.  When he’s presented with evidence that his family is prone to having incestuous orgies, he investigates deeper and discovers not only is his family weird, but the rest of the filthy rich of Beverly Hills are too.



Teenage Bill (Warlock) is popular in school but feels he doesn’t fit in with his snobby family and wealthy socialites.  He’s a star athlete and on the debate team but never gets any acknowledgement from his parents.  As he starts going through abandonment issues, he begins to see things that he can’t believe.  Is his paranoia making him delusional or is there something really strange going on with his family?  (That was a rhetorical question.)

society2

Heeey…are you a contortionist?

It’s not until Bill’s sister’s ex-boyfriend, Blanchard, confronts him with an audio tape he pervertedly recorded that features Bill’s family in what sounds like a pretty entertaining orgy.  Giggity.  Blanchard suspects something very wrong with Bill’s family is killed in a mysterious auto accident, Bill digs deeper and uncovers a most unusual conspiracy although he can’t seem to convince anyone other than a handful of friends about what’s going on.  Then it gets weird, but I hesitate to spoil what happens next because you won’t see it coming.

society4

Two chicks at the same time, why don’t you look happy?

The movie takes its sweet time getting to that crazy final act by creating quite the conspiracy around Bill.  You never know who is really in on it which instills a bit of tension throughout the film though there’s also an underlying story that’s still as relevant today about the rich and elite feeding off the lesser people and I’ll let you read between lines with that.  The film isn’t totally serious though, there’s a fair amount of humour sprinkled throughout to tell you that while the movie is silly, it’s ok to laugh at it.

society3

You got…something…on your face.

There isn’t a crazy amount of blood-letting or gore but the film does present some queasy looking effects later in the film that involves body-morphing which is pretty gross for the most part.  I can’t say all the effects stand the test of time, but the majority of them do and I was pretty disgusted with some of the stuff I saw which was pretty cool!  Props to special effects man “Screaming Mad” George (he’s worked on Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and 4, Predator, and Freaked among many others.)

There isn’t much I can say that I didn’t like about the film.  The slow pace may turn some off some people just looking for a straight up horror film since the film is full of twists, turns and red herrings you’ll have to let the movie finish the set up before you get to that money shot of a final act.  If you’re up for something different, I’m recommending this whole heartedly.

TL;DR

Story: 8 – A twisting conspiracy with the underlying theme of the rich living off the poor.

Blood:  8 – It’s not so much bloody as it is disgusting. 

Nudity:  8 – Well, it’s not all great nudity to be enjoyed though the beautiful Devin DeVasquez delivers the real goods and that was good enough for me.

Overall: 8 – Yeah, I liked Society.  It’s silly, it’s funny, it’s disgusting. 

Trivia

-This was Brian Yuzna’s directorial debut.

-The high school in the film was the same school that star Billy Warlock graduated from just a few years prior.

-To avoid backlash from the MPAA, Yuzna avoided using any blood in the final act.  Yes, it’s disgusting without blood.

butthead

Where’s Beavis?

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