Directed/Written by Scott David Russell
Runtime 97min. - Rated 18 in UK
2.5 Stars (out of 4)
I have an affinity for b-movie horror. I like the idea of people being creative without having to meet the demands of studio executives. Despite the substandard production values, I find the uninhibited plots to be quite enjoyable. Unfortunately, many of them are just low-budget rehashes of better movies. "Exquisite Corpse" is very derivative, but manages to add its own unique charms to the genre.
The plot could be descibed as a pseudo-erotic version of "Re-Animator". Stylistically it's much more subdued. The tone of the movie is that of a typical romantic drama with a score that consists of melodic, arpeggiated piano. There doesn't seem to be any latent murderous desires in any of the characters. They appear to be normal college-age kids.
Nicholas(Sandvoss) is a biology major working on his thesis. His experiments consists of injecting mice with large amounts of oxytocin. The bad news (for the mice) is that the injections cause instant death. His professor has a lot invested in Nicholas and pledges to do anything to help him succeed with his experiments. Nick thinks he needs to find some way to slow the mice's neurological processes so that the oxytocin doesn't overwhelm them. Luckily, Nick freezes all of his mice after they die and, of course, he decides to try the injections on one of them. He gives the chilly rodent an injection and shocks its heart with "movie wires". "Movie wires" are the kind that produce an enormous blue spark to show the audience they are working. A few seconds later and the mouse is up and moving as if he'd never been dead at all.
Seconds after achieving the worlds greatest scientific breakthrough Nick meets up with a few friends and heads out to a lake house. You may think he'd cancel a mini-vacation in light of his recent god-defying experiment, but I suppose the film is trying to portray his unbridled love for his childhood friend Sophia(Vicius). She has recently broke up with her boyfriend and doesn't know Nick loves her. The two go on an evening walk and he finally sucks up his fear and gives her the news. Thankfully for Nick, this is a movie so she's always loved him too.
Sophia heads out to the lake to tell her late mother the good news. Nick stays inside to make coffee. Their two friends are in another room having sex. Thanks to the sounds of a coffee grinder and some moans of passion, no one hears Sophia fall in the lake and drown. The friends join Nick for some post-coital coffee and he tells them about his new found romance. When they go out to find Sophia it's already too late. Or is it?
You won't be shocked to hear that Nick is able to bring back Sophia with a large dosage of oxytocin. He performs this act in Sophia's apartment and keeps the whole thing very secret. By the time he resurrects Sophia his reanimated mouse has eaten all his furry friends. This is certainly not a good sign for Sophia. The professor reckons the mice need to be suffocated and reanimated every couple of days to maintain their normal social qualities. He likens it to a addicts withdrawal.
If you don't already know, oxytocin is a natural chemical in the body. It's produced when two loving individuals interact. It's produced in higher amounts when they have sex. To keep Sophia normal, Nick needs a lot of oxytocin. To extract it, he hires a hooker and forces her to masturbate. When she nears orgasm he chokes her to death and sucks out the chemical through the back of her neck. To complete the process he has to asphyxiate his girlfriend and then bring her back to life again. If the masturbating hooker isn't enough, Nick also realizes that childbirth produces the highest amount of oxytocin. Don't worry, he's not going to kill a mother during childbirth, he just plans on simulating childbirth by drugging his victim and inserting his arm into her vagina. Isn't love grand?
The film isn't perfect even when grading on a budgetary curve. As a character, Nick is emotionally flat. That's not a good quality for a lead character, especially when he's a love-sick murderer. I did find the film slightly erotic, in much the same way I found May and Love Object erotic. The film is a fascinating exploration into the psychological connection between sex and death. Or maybe I give it too much credit. Either way I found it entertaining and would suggest it to fellow connoisseurs of micro-budgeted horror films.
Watch it now: ITUNES