Monday, April 27, 2015

Intelligent Sexy Grindhouse

The Ladies of the House (2014) - Wildman
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An intelligent grindhouse movie sounds like an oxymoron but that's just what The Ladies of the House plays out to be. A husband-wife team behind the film - John Stuart Wildman and Justina Walford, gives the genre a dash of feminist twist and the result is gory, tension filled ride that is also funny and touching.

3 bros go to a strip club and behave badly and consequently get their comeuppances - sounds pretty formulaic but things get darker, weirder by the minute in The Ladies of the House. The men are there to celebrate a birthday of Kai (RJ Hanson), an obese, half-witted brother of studious and mild mannered Jacob (Gabriel Horn). But it's Derrick(Samrat Chakrabarti), their obnoxious friend who is the instigator and enabler of the whole mess. After a little squabble at the strip club, Derrick has a brilliant idea of following Ginger (Michelle Sinclair), the stripper of whom Kai has a crush on, to her home for some late night R & R. Ginger, new in town and doesn't know the house rules of her saucy co-workers/roommates, invites the boys in for a little party. As we soon find out, they chose the wrong house and wrong girls to party with.

Ginger's roomates, motherly Lin (Farah White), her lesbian lover Getty (Melodie Sisk) and sweet Crystal (Brina Palencia), come home before the boys have a chance to flee and find the house a mess and Ginger shot in the abdomen and dying. They put the house in a lock down and hunt for the men responsible.

It turns out that these ladies are not as sweet and sugary as they first seemed at the strip club. They have a Texas Chainsaw Massacre style slaughter pen with a heavy sliding door where Lin makes all the delicious meat dishes. They keep a piglet- a mute man servant, in a cage inside a walk-in closet. Crystal has a tendency to fall in love with their male victims and keep mementos in scrapbooks with their names.

The Ladies of the House Poster.jpgJacob, the most remorseful of the three, after discovered by Crystal in hiding in her closet, gets tied up in bed and becomes the object of her affection. He's for keeps, not for dinner, for now.

The Ladies of the House has everything that exploitation aficionados want in a movie- hot lesbian sex, mutilation, cannibalism as well as lots of stabbing, blood and gore. But even though they are long legged and perfectly proportioned murderous cannibalistic sexpots similar to the kinds that populate typical exploitation movies, you can't help rooting for Lin, Getty and Crystal. 

As the cat and mouse game drags on, we get the sense that the ladies have been in this situation before and that they are taking their sweet time. Wildman and Walford's script achieves each character's complex background with much reserved exposition. Besides being murderesses and cannibals, they are just a trio of lovely ladies surviving in a man's world. Their fraternity comes naturally.

The dinner scene is a cross between the one in Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief and His Wife and Her Lover and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It ends with Getty telling an abortion joke that is as more biting and telling about women's place in our society than some dry dissertation in social disparity. Wildman succeeds in making grindhouse both intelligent and sexy

The Ladies of the House sees a VOD release on May 1. You can preorder the film on iTunes.