Every two weeks, I scour Netflix for a movie rated at one star and put it in my queue, suffering through it for your entertainment so that you don't have to. In the past, I've taken on backyard wrestling, softcore Iraq war porn and lesbian prison camp anime, but as we head towards Halloween, I'm turning the spotlight onto slasher flicks.
Red Lips 2: Bloodlust (1996)
Starring: A bunch of girls that I'm sure have great personalities.
Of all the film genres, horror movies probably have the loosest standards, even outstripping the lucrative market for direct-to-video action pictures where Lorenzo Lamas teams up with an ex-pro wrestler to take down vaguely South American drug lords. It's been a breeding ground for unknown actors and would-be auteurs for decades, and while that occasionally produces a classic - Sam Raimi famously made Evil Dead because it was easier for a group of amateurs on a shoestring budget to do a slapstick gorefest than anything else - the rise of the video era meant that the market was flooded with so much crap that fans not only became jaded to the lousiness, but embraced it as part of the fun.
So for a horror movie to end up with a one-star rating, it's got to be a special kind of awful.
Initially, I was worried that, having not seen Red Lips 1, I'd have a hard time following its sequel, but when I saw that the opening credits were superimposed over two women writhing on a bed while what appeared to be scenes from Dark Shadows were projected onto their naked bodies, I figured I had everything I needed to know.
(Note to filmmakers: Even if the hiring process for your female leads involves setting the high standards of "Eh, you'll do," the addition of Barnabas Collins isn't going to make them more arousing.)
Netflix bills this one as an anthology, but it's really only two stories that are intercut with each other in an apparent effort to pad it out to the seventy minute mark. In one, two women talk about vampire movies in a bar - making the crucial mistake of reminding viewers that other, better vampire movies do in fact exist - until one of them reveals that--surprise!--she's actually a real vampire! Then they walk around Times Square for a while in a scene that's as hilarious for their scenery-chewing acting as it is for the New Yorkers that walk by while obviously mugging for the guy with the camcorder that's filming it.
In the other, a guy in a leather suit plots to rob a bar with a woman whose looks can best be described as "unfortunate."
Before the robbery can jump off, she's seduced in a bathroom by a lesbian vampire, and from there on out, her segment is pretty much a loose plot wrapped around sex scenes that look like they were filmed by someone who knew that sex involved getting two naked people in the same room, but had no idea what to do once they were there. They eventually go to a movie theater where they manage to find an even shittier movie than Red Lips 2 to watch for a solid fifteen minutes, and for vampires they walk around in the daylight an awful lot, although that's probably because the lighting budget amounted to a round zero dollars.
The most perplexing part of all, though, is that the movie ends with a memorial freeze-frame for writer/star Maria Ortiz:
The problem? As near as I can tell, Maria Ortiz isn't dead. At the very least, she was alive for 2005's Red Lips: Eat The Living, but even so, the fact that this movie was made in 1996 means that it was predicting her death four years in advance.
Either that or she actually did die in 2000 (with Eat The Living being shelved until someone got desperate enough to release it) and they added the memorial to the movie for the DVD release. Then again, that implies a level of post-production that I'm not willing to believe the makers of Red Lips 2: Bloodlust were bringing to the table.
|Chris Sims is a freelance comedy writer from South Carolina. He briefly attended USC before he dropped out to spend more time with Grand Theft Auto, and his career subsequently took the path that you might expect from someone who makes that sort of decision. He blogs at http://www.the-isb.com and creates comics at http://www.actionagecomics.com.|