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“Invitation to Dance - It’s a Dance. And sometimes they turn the lights off in this ballroom. But we’ll dance anyway, you and I. Even in the Dark. Especially in the Dark. May I have the pleasure?” --- Stephen King ::::::::::: MY CRITERIA FOR DISCUSSION ENCOMPASSES THE HORROR GENRE AND BEYOND, SO I USE THE TERM "NIGHTMARE MOVIES". SPOILERS CAN OCCUR WITH OR WITHOUT WARNING. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.


October 23rd 2012 04:01
Excision movie poster
Back in 2009 I covered some of the highlights from A Night Of Horror International Film Festival’s mini-programme of “Fucked Up People Doing Fucked Up Things”. One of them was an eighteen-minute short film called Excision (2008) written and directed by Richard Bates Jr. It had lots of promise and it delivered, especially in that uneven terrain of horror-comedy. Excision was black as crocodile bile. But Mr. Bates hadn’t finished his home surgery lesson, he had a longer tooth to pull, or in this case a bigger chest cavity to separate. So now here is the feature-length version of Excision (2012), fresh from the overseas festival circuit, and here to lay waste to competing other horror black comedies.

Bates has re-cast from scratch, and although Tessa Ferrer gave a sensational performance in the short film original, the difficult role of Pauline is now in the hands and mind of AnnaLyne McCord, a glamourpuss who pulls a deformed rabbit out of the hat. McCord is transformed from beauty to beast; all thick brows, pimples, jutting jaw, slouched shoulders, and no doubt seriously bad personal hygiene. She is the wallflower from Hell, about to unleash her own brand of nightmare truths upon her unsuspecting family of losers.
Excision AnnaLyne McCord
AnnaLyne McCord as Pauline
The premise is pure adolescent angst and family dysfunction taken to the extreme. Pauline is a high school student desperate for recognition and acceptance. She dreams of having a successful career as a surgeon, but actually her fantasies are a perversion of that, involving unnecessary bloodletting and necrophilia to the tune of erotic and sensory overload. These are the lurid obsessions of a mind on the edge of sanity. It’s a slippery slope, and Pauline’s half-hearted attempts at communicating with God aren’t helping her situation.
Excision Traci Lords
Traci Lords as Phyllis
Her mother Phyllis (Traci Lords) is uptight and controlling. Her father Bob (Roger Bart) is weak-willed and pathetic. Her younger sister Grace (Ariel Winter) is Prom Queen material (despite suffering from cystic fibrosis). Pauline is determined to lose her virginity, gain carnal knowledge, but most importantly, be there for her little sister, should her disease get the better of her.
Excision AnnaLyne McCord
Pauline sexual fantasies are vivid to say the least
Excision is a modest-budgeted movie, with the majority of the scenes being interiors, however director Bates has garnered a strong cast with several cult luminaries in small support roles; John Waters as a concerned Reverand, Malcolm McDowell as Pauline’s stern teacher, Ray Wise as the eccentric school principal, and Marlee Maitlin as the school counselor. Of course, there’s Traci Lords, once upon a time the darling of the American porn industry, who gives the most surprising performance; a character that provides many of the movie’s laughs, but ultimately delivers the dark emotional goods in the movie’s disturbing final scene.
Excision AnnaLyne McCord
To say Pauline is out of her mind is putting it mildly
However it’s AnnaLyne who commands the movie, and her dual role as Pauline (and Pauline’s fantasy version of herself) that lifts Excision from being just your average horror black comedy up to something truly worthy of instant cult status. It’s not often a horror can work so effectively on a level of domestic and high school satire, and then deliver truly unsettling horror moments that repulse with nightmare delight.
Excision AnnaLyne McCord
In dreams Pauline is duchess of the perverse
Richard Bates Jr. wears his influences on his sleeves, and that’s fine with me. Excision starts with a shock dream/nightmare sequence and ends with a reality check guaranteed to reverberate with horrific intensity for those looking for something a little left of centre. A fantastic moody score from Steve Damstra II and Mads Heldtberg pins the movie harder to the cult board. Excision cuts deep to the marrow of the funny bone, and lets the artery spray hard.

Here’s the trailer:


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1 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Mountain Fog

June 14th 2012 14:26
now she looks like fun!



P.S. What has happened to the admin on Orble? No one ever answers any email queries.

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