Bizarro Masterpiece Theatre: Incest Death Squad 2

The Incest Death Squad! (Art by Joe Price)

Film: Incest Death Squad 2 (2010)

Director: Cory J. Udler

Starring: Tom Lodewyck, Greg Johnson, Carmela Wiese

Written by: Cory J. Udler

The first Incest Death Squad was a gloriously foul piece of boobs, blood, and extreme sibling love, a film sure to offend just about everyone.  Incest Death Squad 2 blows its predecessor out of the water.

The events of IDS 1 feature reporter Aaron Burg (Lodewyck) being forced to murder some rubes and knock up the Squad’s sister to earn his freedom.  Limping back to civilization with his other girlfriend in tow, Burg spends IDS 2 in the grasp of psychotic shell shock.  Meanwhile, the brother-sister duo of death decide to take a vacation from their Lord-inspired rampages and set off for vile Wisconsin civilization to track down the one who got away.  Hilarity ensues, and by hilarity I mean murder, rape, male nudity, and fetal abuse.

The characters of the IDS series are so much better this time around.  Tom Lodewyck’s hapless goofball from the first film has grown into a brooding, unhinged weirdo.  More than that, Burg’s purpose is no longer to simply be the straight man that reacts with wide eyes to the horrors he faces.  Instead, his actions and motives have become his own.  The Squad itself has also greatly improved.  The hulking Greg Johnson remains my favorite actor in the series, yet his character of Jeb Wayne is pulled back a bit, giving him a personality beyond the howling, murderous preacher-behemoth.  Similarly, Jeb’s sister Amber, played by Carmela Wiese, no longer simply serves as a siren leading horned-up city folk to their doom with bad pickup lines.  She’s also responsible for what is probably the film’s greatest gross-out moment.

A few new characters find their way into the mess as well, and they tend to get pretty awesome.  The most notable additions are a foul-mouthed hooker and a con recruited by his cousin, Burg’s girlfriend, to fight the Squad.  The con is delightfully nasty, threatening a crack whore, praising the superiority of box wine, and otherwise making an ass of himself.

A few minor criticisms: a few of the daytime shots turn out a bit dark, and the sound quality gets awkward when dialogue interrupts the background music, sounding like an abrupt turn of a dimmer switch when somebody speaks.

Yet everything else about this movie is utterly amazing.  It’s a masterpiece of filth filmmaking, a sick and wrong sequel that greatly ups the quality of both production and story.  The Incest Death Squad series could have coasted on name-brand revulsion, but once more it delivers nastiness with context, resulting in a freak show with flair.  If incest is best, then Incest Death Squad 2 is bester.

“Incest Death Squad” premieres on September 17th at 9 pm Central time, at www.horrorsociety.com. To read my interview with director Cory J. Udler, click here.

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The Designer’s Drugs: Pittacus Lore – I Am Number Four

I Am Number Four

Medium: Literature
Stimulus: Pittacus Lore – I Am Number Four

Anno: 2010

Having recently (and regrettably) read one of James Patterson’s teen novels about kids obtaining fantastic superpowers, I’d have to say that I Am Number Four put me in mind of that other work.  It probably doesn’t help that Pittacus Lore, like Patterson himself most of the time, is actually two authors: Jobie Hughes and James Frey (yes, that James Frey).  Yet while the premise of this book isn’t unique – the titular Number Four is essentially an alien X-Man – the quality of the writing is greater than Patterson’s.  Most importantly, the chapters aren’t two pages long, the characters don’t try to act hip and cool, and the plot, while very linear, is fleshed out enough to hold interest.

Number Four got his name by being the fourth in a series of nine alien refugees who escaped the destruction of their planet at the hands of a less enlightened civilization.  These kids each take a guardian, split up, and go Clark Kent to evade the monsters.  Owing to a mystical charm, the kids are invulnerable unless they are killed in numeric order.  Numbers One through Three are dead.  Four is next.

The tale is a mixture of teen drama and environmental parable.  While Four tries to fit in to his new high school and suffers all the expected angst and desire thereof, the greater conflict unfolds in the course of his real education.  The two alien races presented, Four’s enlightened Lorics and the Mogadorians that destroyed them, are positioned as ends of a spectrum in which humanity is right in the middle.  When in danger of destroying their planet, the Lorics changed their ways and became Supermen.  The Mogadorians did not, and in essence they turned into walking viruses.  At times the story feels a bit heavy-handed, all but asking the reader which race they would rather become.  But it works well enough.

The book’s greatest flaw is that it’s incredibly predictable.  The greatest example of this comes during Number Four’s first day in his new school, in which a dog named Bernie Kosar (because they’re in Ohio – Go Browns!) appears out of nowhere, sprints right up to him, and subsequently follows him everywhere.  Since dogs tend not to just show up in school like this, it’s obvious that Bernie Kosar is going to play a big part in what’s to come.  Had the authors used a less blatant introduction – say, Number Four meets the stray dog while wandering in the woods – the dog’s importance may have come as a surprise instead of inevitable.

All told, it’s not the best sci-fi story ever, but it may satisfy teen readers or those waiting for the next big epic.