Thursday, December 06, 2012

Jezebeth – review

Director: Damien Dante

Release date: 2011

Contains spoilers

Facebook is a funny old thing. If a film has a facebook page and you want information about the film then you have to like it – even though you might not have seen it. Pre-liking something seems, well, quite frankly, perverse... but it is the way of the digital world it seems.

If you liked Jezebeth then you’d know that Director (and writer/producer) Damien Dante is one of the hardest working self-promoters in the whole digital world. Not a day goes by without something about the film, DVD releases, connected bands, an alleged cable TV series and the forthcoming “sequel(s)”.

Bree Michaels as Jezebeth
Well, I have finally seen the film and… I can see what he was trying to do… the problem wasn’t just budget (though that didn’t help), it was in the scripting (sometimes the delivery, sometimes the script) and a ponderousness that did the entire thing a disservice but… It begins with a girl, Jezebeth (Bree Michaels), walking through a graveyard. The Jezebeth song sounds ok (though the lyrics are perhaps a tad cheesy) but overall it makes a good impression.

more graveyard moments
1873 and a woman, Abigail (Kelsey Kozak), has had consort with a demon cult and given birth to an abomination called Jezebeth. She wants to pass the child to Reverend Blandy (Jeff Swan) in order that he might save her soul – which he agrees to though Abigail is damned. Later there is a confusion as her diary is found but the details were of her daughter after she was given away – the script lets us know that the characters find this as unlikely as the viewer but offers no answers, it is left as a mystery.

Fatima, Justina and Lenora
Modern day and in a rented house – the Blandy house is dilapidated and up for sale – live three sisters. Jezebeth, Lamia (Amanda Jean) and Lenora (Madeline Maser). Jezebeth is the name shared by the modern day girl (who is a Satanist), the abomination and a demon (mother of deceit). Why you’d call your daughter that, especially when there is talk of a Jezebeth curse, is beyond me. Also living in the house is Justina (Katie Auerbach), what relation she is to the girls is never made clear.

reading tarot
When we first meet them Justina is telling Jezebeth that Lenora wants all the stuff in Jezebeth’s room gone. Lenora is a Christian and has holy statues in her room and hates the occult trappings that Jezebeth displays – but also reads tarot and has a particularly nasty mouth on her; both traits serving to make her unbelievable as a character. We hear that Jezebeth and Lamia picked on their sister and also indulged in stunts like microwaving cats (it needs noting that nothing too extreme is shown on screen until the end and even then it is pretty tame stuff with a hammer (impact on the hand off screen) and a slit throat shown after the event). For some reason Justina has invited a women called Fatima (Colleena Corrigan) to stay having told her about Jezebeth.

A strip club
Jezebeth has found Abigail’s diary and done a ritual that merges her with the demon Jezebeth and makes her a vampire. She turns Lamia first and then we get ponderous scenes in a strip-club  which goes on for ever and only connects with the story (loosely) when a guy makes a comment to Jezebeth and she snarls at him. Another such scene is at a memorial (for whom we do not know) in a graveyard. This really goes on forever, has some sidebar dialogue that was somewhat misplaced, and ends up with Lamia chasing one person, Baby D. Frost (herself), pulling her low floating jeans down and biting her bum. Incidentally, a tip, if you are going to wear jeans that drop half way down your butt, at least wear underwear, it was a blooming stereotyped builder’s crack and a half.

blooded mouth
It ends up with some murder and torture but it means very little and, to be honest, it has bugger all story. It seems quite MTV, in a music and video way, but the scenes that go on, and on, and on, and on, and on don’t capture the interest. The black and white and muted colours hide plenty of sins (and the camera worked around the lack of budget fairly well). Some of the acting seemed way too stagey and other acting just sucked, but the fault might have been with the dialogue as much as the first time actors. However…

The sad thing is I could see what Damien Dante was trying to do. I really could. It didn’t work but I kept on willing it to. That doesn’t change the fact, unfortunately, that it didn’t work at all. 2 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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