January 26th, 2009

DELIRIUM (1987) ** ½

Voluptuous Italian starlet Serena Grandi stars in this uneven but memorable giallo from director Lamberto (Demons) Bava as Gloria, a former centerfold model who inherits her dead husband’s sex magazine; Pussycat.  One day during a photo shoot, she receives lewd phone calls from her paraplegic teenage neighbor.  Gloria dismisses his calls because she feels sorry for him, but when he calls saying that one of her models just got pitchforked to death, she calls the police.  It seems that there is a lunatic on the loose that has a grudge against Gloria and is intent on murdering all of her models.  The killer, we learn gets off on posing the model’s dead bodies and has photo shoots with their corpses.  Of course, after the killer does away with several models, the cross-dressing psycho with a helium voice comes after Gloria.


Although Bava’s pacing is quite inconsistent, he does sprinkle in some quirky touches that makes Delirium stand out from a lot of late 80’s giallos.  The most bizarre moments come from the scenes in which the audience looks through the killer’s perspective whenever he’s stalking a potential victim.  In these scenes, the killer imagines the models have really weird faces while a red strobe light slowly goes on and off.  One of the victims is seen completely featureless, except for having one large veiny eyeball in the center of her face.  It’s an odd effect to be sure and is strangely effective. 


The biggest WTF scene comes when the killer imagines his victim has a giant Fly-inspired bee face and kills her by unleashing a swarm of bees onto her naked body.  Folks, I’ve seen a lot of odd stuff in movies before, so it always delights me whenever I get to witness something this nutty.  Naked insect-faced women with big floppy titties getting killed by angry bees.  Nice.


Speaking of nudity, there is lots of it, including a pretty good slow-mo hot tub fuck scene featuring Grandi and George Eastman (who were also in The Grim Reaper together).  Grandi looks damn fine in this flick and shows off her massive mammary glands every chance she gets.  Most of the boobs though come courtesy of garishly cheesy nude photo shoots; the silliest involves a bunch of mummies unwrapping an indifferent looking model.


My interest in Delirium rose and fell with the nudity and random slices of zaniness.  The movie is not all fun and game because sometimes it got really bogged down; especially whenever the police came snooping around.  Still, any movie that features a nightmare sequence where the heroine gets assaulted by a glow-in-the-dark dildo can’t be all bad.


There’s a lot of hilarious, badly dubbed dialogue in this one like, “I warn you, the hate of a woman can be very bad!”, but I must say my favorite line came from the paraplegic prank caller who tells Gloria, “You make my member hard with desire!  It wants to penetrate your flower and explode!”


AKA:  Delirium:  Photo of Gioia.  AKA:  Gioia’s Photograph.  AKA:  Gioia’s Photo.  AKA:  Photo of Joy.


I hated the first Poison Ivy flick, but really enjoyed Part 3 in the series (Remember the one where Jaime Pressley donned the S & M get-up?  Yowzers!); so when I heard Part 4 was coming out, I figured I’d get it off of Netflix.  Then I realized that I had somehow missed Part 2 and put it on my Queue just ahead of this movie.  For some unknown reason though, I ended up getting Part 4 before Part 2.  Netflix has been awfully screwy lately and instead of giving me the movies I really want, they have been giving me movies from further down the list.  Oh well, it’s not like Part 2 had any crucial plot information that’s pertinent to this one.


The plots of these movies has always been that some sexually promiscuous psycho chick named after a flower (Ivy in Part 1, Lily in Part 2, and Violet in Part 3) seduces people in order to get revenge.  This one isn’t even about that shit.  Poison Ivy Numero Quattro is all about an underground sorority of bitchy cliquey college cunts called “The Ivies” who secretly control things, thanks to their friends in high places.  They embroil a sweet and innocent farm girl named Daisy (Miriam McDonald) into their order and when she wants out of the club, the Ivies implicate her in a murder.  Daisy then sets out to clear her name and yada, yada, yada.


That’s right folks; this flick has ZERO to do with Poison Ivy and is actually more like an all-female version of The Skulls, with a dash of Mean Girls tossed in.  Even though it breaks with the standard tradition, it’s still marginally better than the first movie.  Sadly, it’s nowhere near as much fun as the zany third installment.


While the main chick is named Daisy, she isn’t the femme fatale.  In fact, she’s a fucking VIRGIN!  The main bitchy girl IS named Azalea though (I SHIT YOU NOT) and at least she gets to fuck the dean’s son so he’ll hack into the school computer and give her good grades and kills her professor (Greg Evigan from B.J. and the Bear) while screwing his brains out.  If the whole movie was about Azalea starting an order of skanky chicks named after flowers (Rose, Jasmine, Petunia, etc.) who all fucked and killed people, it would’ve been great.  Unfortunately, the flick is saddled with this Daisy chick who really gets on your damn nerves. 


The good thing about Daisy though is she does get naked a lot.  (Including a nice initiation scene where the Ivies hold her down and forcibly tattoo her.)  Apparently this Miriam McDonald chick was on that Degrassi show or something, so it’s supposedly a big deal that she got naked.  I never watched that shit, so I didn’t have a fucking clue who she was.  Sure, she looks fine nude, but she didn’t really impress me much.  At least Shawna Waldron, who played Azalea, had some degree of fun with her role.  Waldron was the little girl from Little Giants, the Rick Moranis pee-wee football movie and she grew up real good if you catch my drift.  Yes, both of these girls get naked, so if that’s what you’re watching this movie for, you should enjoy it.  (Why else would you watch it?)  While the flick does feature a handful of slow-mo topless fuck scenes, they aren’t particularly memorable or hot.  McDonald’s lazy hip gyrating is strictly amateur hour but Waldron at least looks halfway interested when letting guys gobble up her nip-nips. 


For me though, this was a big letdown coming after the vastly entertaining Poison Ivy 3.  At least that movie kept you entertained in between all the Skinamax stuff.  (That tennis scene was awesome.)  This shit is about as dull as sorting your recyclables.  The fact that the flick never truly felt like a Poison Ivy movie added to the annoyance factor.  Maybe the filmmakers thought that since it had been 11 years since the last Poison Ivy movie, the audience would’ve forgotten what these films are supposed to be about.  Oh well, maybe in another 11 years somebody will make Part 5 and do it up right.