Sinful Screenings: Is Verotika Danzig’s “The Room”?

This segment involves a stripper named Mystery Girl who hunts women and corners them in alleyways and slices their faces off. Mystery Girl is horribly scarred, and in keeping with the last segment, we get no backstory as to why. Off camera she grafts these faces onto her own to restore her beauty.

Turns out, Mystery Girl is a stripper which would lead you to think her murderous vanity is tied to her profession which values appearance. The fact she dances while covering her face with a veil, which is one of the few items of clothing she does not take off, punches holes into that theory. Again, questions like why or how are never answered in Verotika.

When a business card advertising the strip club where Mystery Girl works is discovered at the crime scene, the detective in charge of the case figures it’s a vital clue. The detective goes to the strip club to investigate and leers at Mystery Girl dance. Noticing she covers her face leads him to suspect her as the one attacking women. This then leads to a not-so thrilling conclusion where nothing really happens at all.

As for the strip club, Danzig seems to have been particularly inspired by the setting. We get an incredibly long scene of sexy girls with tattoos gyrating their hips and shaking theirs breasts to heavy metal music. Does it add to the plot? No. Is it gratuitous? Most definitely. At least Danzig seem to have fun shooting this.

Elizabeth Bathory
Living Dead Doll

At this point, the film is bad, but not boring. There’s so much batshit craziness, your attention will be kept. However, the final segment, Drukija, Countessa of Blood is a test in patience. Inspired by the true story of Countess Bathory, a Hungarian aristocrat who was convicted of murdering virgin girls in order to bath in their blood to retain her youth.

This is a story that has been dramatized numerous times before and perhaps the struggle to find a new way to tell a familiar story is why Danzig decided to not even try. While the first two stories has incoherent plots, this final story has absolute none to speak of. This segment had the least dialogue and as bad as the lines were in The Albino Spider of Darjeet, after watching Drukija riding a horse through a forest in silence, you’’ll end up wishing to hear those phony French accents again.

Despite presenting Drukija as a horror villain on par with Dracula, this story has no Van Helsing for her to fight. With no heroes to root for, nor victims lasting long enough for you to sympathize with, this story offers no reason to watch it. All we get is Drukija taking a blood bath in real time. Danzig manages to make watching a beautiful, nude woman boring.

Verotika is an exercise in inadequate filmmaking. Nearly every shot ends with a fade. Dialogue is ridiculous. Numerous continuity issues abound. Often after saying their lines, actors stand around uncomfortably waiting for Danzig to say “cut.” As a host Morella lacks the charm or witty lines of an Elvira or even a Crypt Keeper.

So is Verotika so bad, it’s good? Verotika is best watched with friends, preferably under the influence of beer and marijuana. The long pauses between scenes and the lack in many parts is just begging for some MST3k style riffing. It’s could be fun to play this film during a Halloween party with the sound off as the crazy visuals can provide interesting backdrop as you blast some party music (Misfits, Samhain, Danzig). Yes, Verotika is far from the homage to arthouse European horror films that Danzig claims it was meant to be. It is more like the cheesy B-movies like Plan 9 from Outer Space which inspired Danzig growing up. What it lacks in art, it makes up for in enthusiasm. Despite its technical faults, Verotika will surely live on in infamy as one of the oddest attempts at filmmaking by a Hollywood outsider.

Fun Sin Fact:

The Verotik soundtrack features the band Kore Rozzik. Sin Dee was featured on-stage at Gramercy Theater in NYC during one of their hometown shows. Head over to Sin’s YouTube Channel and check out the live performance footage from 2015.

NEW! Sinful Screenings on YouTube

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