Damn this inconvenient global pandemic! A movie like Glenn Danzig’s absurdly amateurish, lurid, and pointless Verotika simply demands to be seen in a theater full of like-minded trash-lovers cackling and shouting at the ineptitude displayed onscreen. It is just not meant to be seen as your faithful servant, this reviewer, was forced to see it, alone in isolation, with no one else there to confirm that what we were watching was, indeed, being passed off as an actual movie.
Danzig, former frontman of the Misfits and current past-his-expiration-date Elvis-from-Hell, makes the rookie mistake of over-crediting himself on this, his first feature, making something that already lacks the professionalism of the average handheld trailer park porno come off even more like a Tommy Wiseau-helmed Tales from the Crypt.
The miscreant credited as film editor is one Brian Cox, not to be confused with the actor of the same name, who undoubtedly would have done a better job simply by virtue of having been involved in the production of so many more movies than anyone who worked on Verotika. Actually, that may not be entirely true, as at least a few of Danzig’s “actors” are veteran porn stars, and the rest are merely at the same level of acting ability. What limited talents they have are in no way helped by the awkward staging, unconvincing dialogue, and grade-school play-level makeup and costume work.
Our Cryptkeeper stand-in is a mostly topless (most of the female talent can be described this way), vapid, and barely there (ditto) young vixen named Morella (porn star Kayden Kross) who wears mascara in the shape of upside-down crosses (so you know she’s evil) and introduces each of the three “stories” in this anthology film with clever quips like “And now, our next story.” The first of these concerns a young woman with massive breasts (are you picking up on a theme yet?) that inexplicably have eyes for nipples. There really is no need for this, though, as the plot quickly diverts to a humanoid spider monster unleashed by her dreams, who then goes around the city breaking the necks of women, earning him the extremely apt nickname “The Neckbreaker.” If you are wondering what nipple-eyes have to do with any of this, just watch Verotika and you still won’t know!
The second installment involves a mysterious girl (topping even “The Neckbreaker” for quippiness, she is known as “The Mystery Girl”) who strips for a living, but murders other women and steals their faces for fun. At the scene of one of these murders, the world’s least convincing police officer (even after looking the actor up and confirming that he is not, I’m still positive this guy is a porn star, too) surveys the only slightly more convincing skinned face of a young woman and makes this brilliant deduction: “Well, there’s your motive; he wants their faces.”
The third story is a riff on Elizabeth Bathory, the Hungarian noblewoman who supposedly bathed in virgin blood in order to keep herself looking youthful. Danzig’s main insight into this seems to be that she spent a lot of time doing it. Without an audience to join me in the derisive laughter it so richly deserves, this segment alone felt about three hours long.
The same could be said of the entire endeavor. This is, without a doubt, one of the absolute worst movies ever made, to the point that it should be perversely enjoyable, in the tradition of classics like The Room, Birdemic: Shock and Terror, and Manos: The Hands of Fate. Seeing it now, though, after months of knowing it existed and holding out hope that it might be just as incredibly, against-all-odds terrible as it certainly is, well, one can’t help but be disappointed. Someday, when a brighter day has dawned, perhaps we can all come together and appreciate Verotika as it should be appreciated, with howls of laughter at a midnight screening. Anything this bad deserves nothing less.