the Thinking Chicks Guide to Movies

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Society (1989)

Reviewed on 2010 January 19

Really twisted, sick, and original ’80s cult flick, laden with a metaphor and beaten into the ground by acting almost as obnoxious as the pegged jeans and metal-band hair worn by everyone, but still worth a look just because there’s nothing else quite like it. I’m just glad I have a strong stomach.

Bill Whitney (Billy Warlock) is not like the other members in his Beverly Hills blue-blood family, not his glad-handing dad, garden club type mother, or his patrician blonde sister Jenny (Patrice Jennings). Jenny is about to make her debut, to be presented to society, and Bill isn’t worried about what fork to use or the proper club tie to wear, because he’s not quite part of their circle. In fact, even though he’s the outsider, he grows convinced there’s something wrong with them, even though nobody except his best friend will listen to him. Even though it’s risky, Bill tries to figure out what is really happening with his family and their rich, obnoxious friends.

I have to admit the special effects are stomach-turning, even when they’re using what appears to be weapons-grade Silly Putty®. Still, it’s cool when a director like Brian Yuzna has his tongue in his cheek enough to swipe the Eton Boating Song and set the thing in Beverly Hills. I told a good friend that had seen this that I was watching it and he said that he wanted the 90 minutes of his life back. My take is a little different. I think if you’ve ever wondered where creatures like Paris Hilton come from, you might get a kick out of it.

One chocolate morsel and a cup of tea.



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