Since it’s infamous debut at the Cinepocalypse film festival in Chicago, Glenn Danzig’s Verotika has been hailed/condemned as the The Room of horror films. Ironically, after being labeled one of the worst films ever made, subsequent screenings instantly sold out. So, did Danzig create a film that’s so bad it’s good?
Verotika is an anthology that adapts stories published by Verotik, an adult comic book line owned by Danzig himself. The company specializes in comics featuring graphic sex and violence. Basically, Verotika tries to be Tales from the Crypt with even more explicit sex than would have been allowed by HBO.
Opening the film is our host, Morella. We are introduced to her as she pokes out the eyes of a naked woman chained to the wall. Licking the blood off her fingers, she welcomes us to Verotika. So far so good. At this point Danzig has gotten the attention of blood thirsty horror fans anxious to see what happens next.
First story is The Albino Spider of Darjeet. It begins with a rather long make-out session between a man and woman named Darjeet that really is stretched to an uncomfortable length. It goes on long enough that you half expect it to lead into a sex scene like in a porno (in fact many of the actors in Verotika are adult film performers). The guy now super horny attempts to take the woman’s shirt off, to which she begins to panic. Persisting, he manages to pull up her shirt revealing a pair of eyes where her nipples should be. Understandably, he runs away in disgust.
Now this where it becomes apparent that any resemblance to a coherent plot or story structure is flatly rejected by Danzig. We are never informed of the back story of Darjeet and why she has such a condition. Apparently, she has been suffering from this for a while as she tells her neighbor (who seems to already be aware of her peculiarity) that she lost yet another boyfriend. A really bad CGI of an albino spider crawls into the shot and Darjeet’s tear drop falls onto it. Somehow this leads to a creation of six-foot tall humanoid spider who rapes and kills women while Darjeet is asleep.
Next day, Darjeet shows up to her gig as a model for a fetish photo shoot. She keeps her breasts covered, although you would think eyeballs for nipples might actually secure Darjeet with more photo shoots. If this wasn’t a fetish before, it most certainly will be as more people watch Verotika.
Apparently, this is France as everyone speaks in the absolute worse French accents. Every now and then, the characters say random French words to remind you they are French much like how Pepe Le Pew did in old Loony Tunes shorts.
Instead of conflict or character development we just get scenes of Darjeet falling asleep in random places like an adult film theater (where she is almost raped herself) which allows the albino spider to sexually assault women until a final confrontation between the monster and the police. Pointing their guns at the creature, who one cop refers to as, “monsieur,” they command him to let go of her neck despite the fact none of his six arms are anywhere near her. This scene is so incredibly bizarre. Not only does the dialogue not reference what we actually see on screen, but the actors portray the police as being almost nonchalant in how they react to a spider demon and woman with eyeball nipples.
That was the acid test. If you can make it through The Albino Sider of Darjeet, you are prepared for the next segment, Change of Face. It’s far less weird, but even more technically inept. Now the film takes place in the United States so we’re thankfully free from the awful accents, but instead we are given Danzig’s channeling of J.J. Abrams as the entire segment uses lens flare which becomes annoying pretty fast.