(director/writer: Ti West; cinematographer: Eliot Rockett; editors: David Kashevaroff, Ti West; music:Tyler Bates, Chelsea Wolfe; cast: Mia Goth (Maxine/Pearl), Jenna Ortega (Lorraine), Brittany Snow (Bobby-Lynne), Scott Mescudi (Jackson), Martin Henderson (Wayne), Owen Campbell (RJ), James Gaylyn (Sheriff Dentler), Simon Prast (Televangelist), Stephen Ure (Howard); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: R; producers; Jacob Jaffke, Kevin Turen, Harrison Kreiss: A24; 2022)
“The film proves once again if you do a good job mixing sex and violence, you captured Hollywood’s winning formula combo.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Filmmaker Ti West (“The Innkeepers”/”House of the Devil”) shoots for dark humor in this entertaining period film that also tries to say something about exploitation films that means something.
In 1979 Wayne (Martin Henderson), the owner of a strip club, has rented a rural Texas farm house, outside Houston, in the Bible Belt, to produce with some young actors a porn film for the emerging home video market. The stars will be Wayne’s coke-addict girlfriend Maxine (Mia Goth) along with stripper Bobby-Lyne (Brittany Snow) and the former Marine stud Jackson Hole (Scott Mescudi). It’s directed by the aspiring filmmaker RJ (Owen Campell), whose girlfriend Lorraine (Jenna Ortega ) goes along with him and his belief he’s making an adult film that will be an art film. But when she voices that she wants a role in the porn film her boyfriend objects.
The surly older farm house owner, Howard (Stephen Ure), doesn’t know how his place is being used and if he knew would not approve. When Howard and his elderly Bible-spewing wife Pearl (Mia Goth) find out about the porn film, those involved with the film have something to fear as an irate Pearl is jealous hubby can’t get it up because of a heart problem but the young porn stars can.
When the violence starts, it has the macabre look of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre from the 1970s.
There’s one death here that’s so gruesome it should really scare you.
The film proves once again if you do a good job mixing sex and violence, you captured Hollywood’s winning formula combo. The film, in any case, delivers its love message to the slasher film genre.
REVIEWED ON 3/24/2022 GRADE: B