This review has taken some time for me to crank out for many reasons. The true reason is that Verotika is the stepchild that never should’ve come over to visit. She spent too much time lingering around and then decided to stay the night. Come morning, you find out that the parents decided to never come back and you’re left with this bug-eyed offspring that just won’t leave your side.
There can be a lot of factors that make a film great, including story, acting, characters, and pacing. Verotika just has none of them. Now, don’t go lynching me just yet okay? I have been a fan of Glenn Danzig’s work musically for a very, very long time. To name a few, Samhain, Misfits, and even his earlier solo work. I have even been a fan of his comic book company Verotik. But, this… I just can’t find it in me to like the film.
So, what I did is set out to find something that could help me like it just a little. Maybe, if I watch the porno film based off his other character Grub Girl, whom I actually liked from the comics…nope. Just stupid porn…and I like sleazy. Verotika just stinks.
First, let’s tackle the actors and actresses in the film. Ashley Wisdom, who only has five credits under her name for films and two (Reprisal with Bruce Willis and Death Rider in the House of Vampires directed by Danzig) are actual films. She acts like a pornstar and looks like a pornstar. She’s just getting started and maybe she’s going steady with Danzig…who knows. Then there’s Rachel Alig (Bikini Spring Break and The Cleaning Lady), who IMDb describes as an award winning actress who actually has a ton of films under her name. She must have needed a paycheck to score this gig or there wasn’t anything else out there at the time for her. I’m not entirely sure. Then there are others that are along for the ride, such as Scotch (yes Scotch) Hopkins (Death Pool and Alien Siege) who graces us with his lovely portrayal of the Albino Spider. Kayden Kross who is an actual pornstar, starring in a multitude of classy films like Don’t Fuck My Sister and Slutty and Sluttier 23. Folks, I can go on and on with this array of lush actors and actresses, though I’d never get into the actual film itself…so let’s dive right in shall we.
Verotika is an anthology of sorts deriving from Danzig’s comic books and short stories. He has said that he’s taken on influences from the legendary Mario Bava, Jean Cocteau, and Sergio Leone. This is so he can inbreed his own storytelling into a thick and drawn out crap-masterpiece. In the film, there are three primary stories and our very own Crypt Keeper if you will, named Morella, played by Kayden Kross. The stories are: The Albino Spider of Dajette, Change of Face, and Drujika Contessa of Blood. Each story has its own lavishing tongue-in-cheek behavior. There are downright bad French accents (sorry France), cheeseball excitement, and bad special effects. This makes films like the August Underground series look substantially more appealing.
Danzig does not use top notch effects or maybe just tried to drive home his film with more story than effects. For example, in The Albino Spider, there is a hand that is turned backwards and no one, I mean no one, seems to take notice. Also, there are eyeballs on the large breasts of our lovely Ashley Wisdom. I believe she would wear an aluminum foil hat to protect her mind from aliens if Danzig told her to. I mean come on, Ed Wood films were far beyond being better than this!
There was very little continuity, and if there was anything good I could say about this film, I would, but I can’t. Not even the soundtrack was good. It featured goofy metal songs and music from Danzig (yawn). Hate me if you will. I understand full heartedly if you do. But remember I love Samhain, Misfits of old, and even his earlier work he’s done in his solo music career. I just can’t get behind this whole thing.
Change of Face was done with more attention to storytelling and could have saved the film. However, not even Drujika Contessa of Blood, the retelling of Elizabeth Bathory, could save Danzig’s opus degross.
I truly wanted to like this film, I really did. I had high hopes, thinking that maybe if Danzig were to tackle some of his stories, he’d go all out. Maybe something that WingBird had done or even more of his tainted work like Grub Girl and reimagined it into a raw, dirty, and dark tale of necrophilia and a little Tromaville love.
In the end, my heart sank into oblivion when the credits started to run. I just couldn’t find it in myself to justify that there was something good about it…nope. I would honestly rather sit through a looping of Birdemic: Shock and Terror for five hours before sitting through this for the full running time alone.