Kent Chubbs manages a popular fetish nightclub called Den O’Iniquity in a small conservative town and the demanding, ever-present pressure to close his proclaimed “smut” club from the angry puritanical protestors and unethical politicians have Kent on the hair pulling fences about what to exactly do with his beloved club and loyal employees. To make the matters worse, Kent’s father and club owner, Shank Chubbs, is knocking on death’s door with a bad ticker. To make the matters even more worse, the club’s been a remarkable safe haven for those who choose to express their closeted intimate desires in spanking, furry sex, or lube wrestling, but, during the holiday season, the club has had a low hanging dark cloud in a form of a deranged killer whose been destructively rampaging through the club’s most precious employees and enthusiastic patrons. In order to save everything he holds dear, Kent must find a way to keep everything afloat despite the challenges and his ill-advised legal advice from his acid tripping hippie attorney while also tracking down a psychopath.
In 2007, Richard Griffin directed a hybrid film that structured an abled bodied comedy and interjected moments of gruesome horror and fashioned it with elaborate musical numbers and the result was a niche slasher-musical simply known as “Splatter Disco.” We like this film. Actually, we love this film. Not because we enjoy watching and reviewing Richard Griffin films (see “Flesh for the Inferno,” “The Sins of Dracula,” “The Disco Exorcist,” “Frankenstein’s Hungry Dead,” “Future Justice”) and enjoy seeing where his toddler career began, but because “Splatter Disco” embodies the unlikely mixture of oil and water genres, doesn’t take itself seriously, and was whole-heartedly invested in by some of the biggest names in cult cinema as well as some talented actors and actresses you’ve may have never heard of before, but should certainly know.
Ken Foree, Lynn Lowry, and Debbie Rochon. Three big, well-known names that add their own delectable charm into the mix and, also, three big names who have developed a dynamic, who know each other’s styles, and who can still churn new material on the fly like it’s no big deal. Tack on Trent Haaga (“The Ghouls”) and the then new and Richard Griffin regular from that point on, Sarah Nicklin, who both have the favorably b-movie glow and “Splatter Disco” goes to a whole new level. One of the best performances goes to Jason McCormick as Echo, a DJ Qualls lookalike, with a timely comedic toss that provides a unique schtick to keep the character rememberable and McCormick nails the character right on the flat head. Overall, there were no slacking performances; every actor was chin deep getting into their respective roles with the various fetishes, cloak and dagger shades, and violent intentions. Rounding out the cast is Carlos Brum (“Beyond the Dunwich Horror”), William DeCoff (“The Haunting of Alice D”), Robin L. Watkins (“Poultrygeist”), and Brian L. Mullen III (“Pretty Dead Things”).
If you never experienced a Richard Griffin feature, you’ll pleasantly find out very quickly the director goes all out and the Providence, Rhode Island born director has a great 1970’s-1980’s homage style side dished with lots of vibrant colors and the abundance of suspending smoke and you’ll see why we cater to much of his work. The script’s dialogue, co-written by Griffin and producer Ted Marr, also excellently defines and solidifies the quick wit and whimsical nature of the comedy-horror and to make no mistake, this comedy-musical-horror has no shame with perversions, has well edited bloody special effects, and is ultimately a blast of lively cult cinema! “Splatter Disco” is a self-proclaimed first slasher musical of it’s kind; honestly, I couldn’t think of a prior film of it’s kind, but “Splatter Disco” has hit and catchy imitative tunes provided by Tony Milano and performed by Daniel Hildreth that go hand-and-hand with the humbling dance choreography.
MVDVisual, POP Cinema, and Shock-O-Rama re-releases “Splatter Disco” onto a not rated DVD home video with a 16:9 widescreen presentation. Regrettably, I’m sorely disappointed in the video quality that fully suffers from the distorting and blotchy compression artifacts that make night scenes fuzzy and flimsy in defintion. The lossy 2.0 stereo track is par for the course, even with musical pieces and soundtrack overlay, but does provide a little restitution for the image loss. Bonus features are aplenty that include a commentary with director Richard Griffin and star Lynn Lowry, a behind-the-scenes documentary, alternate scenes, and a Shock-O-Rama trailer vault. “Splatter Disco” is an entertaining 87 minute Richard Griffin slasher capsule classic full of degenerate song and dance!
Rex Romanski loves the ladies. His swinging disco fever charm dons no rival and the ladies, acknowledging his love’em and leave’em attitude, want his mojo even after he ditches them. But when Rex wines and dines and screws the wrong woman Rita Marie, his nightmare is only beginning. Rita is a black magic priestess with devilish revenge on the mind and Rex’s new play toy, mega porn star Amoreena Jones, becomes the host of an implanted demon to reek havoc among Rex and his groovy friends.
Director Richard Griffin did a decent job with this sleazy decadence of a screen play making the most of the nudity, the blood, the sex, and the utmost offensive nature that is The Disco Exorcist. I’m not too familiar with Griffin, but the native New Englander has been balls deep in horror and exploitation since the early 2000’s and his decade efforts really show the core of his passion. The Disco Exorcist won’t win Academy Awards, but have rock the shit out of horror film festivals including Rock and Shock 2011 and Killer Film Festival 2011 and rightfully so. This homage to the 1970’s includes super fueled drug and sex scenes that are, but probably not, the overboard culture of the 1970’s.
Rex Romanski isn’t a stereotypical hero. In fact, Rex is a bit of a wimp with a big love stick and he just happens to be in the right place at the right time when his ass needs saving. While the The Disco Exorcist wants to portray Rex the all mighty and strong hero, he doesn’t really do anything. Actor Michael Reed who portrays Rex makes you forget how pathetic Rex really can be by using his on camera charm. The guy is likable – what else can I say? Griffin and Reed have worked together previously in Griffin’s older work Nun of That and The Beyond the Dunwich Horror and I imagine their chemistry is similar to that of Stuart Gordon and Jeffrey Combs.
Ruth Sulterland is another of Griffin’s entourage and her role as the black magic priestess doesn’t spark as much likability as maybe Reed’s Rex does for the sheer fact that there resembles not nearly enough evil in Ruth to conjure any real threat to our hero and heroine. Rita is more in the background playing with her voodoo dolls and placing spells upon the grave to awake all scorn women from their tombs. Rita would have been more convincing if she was more hands on with Amoreena or Rex, but instead Rita resembles more like one of Rex’s whores and is easily forgettable.
The gore of The Disco Exorcist doesn’t really pick up until almost 45 minutes into the film when the porn shoot goes array with possessed, bare chested roller girls hacking away at the on-set production crew. The first 45 minutes were more about Rex mojo’ing the beaver from various ladies and snorting coke like his life depended on it. The retro fitting of The Disco Exorcist really helps set the stage for the homage to the exploitive films of that represented decade. What doesn’t hurt the film either is the mayhem after that initial cherry popping gore scene which follows up with castration, decapitation, and combustion!
Tons of fun, tons of drugs, ton of gore, tons of nudity – what is not to like about Richard’s Griffin’s sleazy and funny tale of Rex Romanski? Wild Eye Releasing and MVDvisual bring this film to DVD home entertainment and both companies are super pro-independent and company you can trust to give you a good time. The Disco Exorcist is a prime example of a good time.