Buffalo wings. I'm addicted to them. Seriously addicted. When a new Buffalo Wild Wings opened less than a mile from my home a few years a ago, I would instantly become a regular and the future recipient of an ulcer or two. And, recently, I discovered a better way to eat Buffalo wings: baked, with Frank's Red Hot Buffalo wing sauce! So, you can image my satisfaction on Saturday night when I sat down with a big bowl of baked Buffalo wings and watched a horror movie!
Just like the wings (which were demolished within three minutes), the movie was great. Of the Masters of Horror offerings I've seen, The Screwfly Solution ranks among the strongest in both concept and execution. No easy feat when you have under an hour; but for this time constraint I love the Masters of Horror series. With features just under an hour in duration, they are the perfect solution for someone with severe A.D.D. Or, if it's late and you're tired, but you can't go to sleep without watching a horror movie: MoH!
Anyway, back to the movie. Great plot, though not original; click here for the Wikipedia information on the 1977 short story by Raccoona Sheldon. Plot: Something is causing men everywhere to brutally murder women who arouse them--a common, frequent occurrence in the life of a typical, heterosexual man. This alone set the stage for some truly creepy scenes, whether you're a man or a woman. The movie plays off the notion that we humans are merely insects in a garden (many references to the biblical Garden of Eden), and an exterminator (God? Aliens?) has been sent to eradicate our existence; and what better way to eradicate humankind than by killing off all the women?
Sam Hamm (writer) and Joe Dante (director) do a great job adapting Sheldon's story. I loved the character shift from the (female) epidemiologist, first and foremost. Just when I thought the movie was going to follow this assertive heroine as she fought through bureaucratic government forces to uncover and expel the root of the epidemic, that door is closed and the focus shifts to Jason Priestley and his family. Dante is able to pull off some fairly dramatic moments despite being pressed for time; and despite poor acting on part of the daughter, the viewer is drawn into their lives enough to care what happens. The always reliable Elliott Gould is under utilized, thrown in for good measure. But he still manages to add some depth to the film, and reveals his true purpose toward the end.
Cheers to Dante for the consistent white-noise transitions that ultimately brought the film to a close; for injecting a quick clip of a Miike film (Imprint?); and for foreshadowing the notion of aliens. Wings and The Screwfly Solution were a perfect pair for a late Saturday night. I thoroughly enjoyed the film from start to finish, and I look forward to future MoH installments I haven't seen yet. Thanks to Netflix for instant, streaming movies, a selection that includes quite a few from this Showtime series. If you haven't seen this one, check it out. Have fun!