A sorority mixer at a local bowling alley goes terribly wrong when the five women who own the building turn out to not be what they seem.
“Demon Divas and the Lanes of Damnation” (or “Demon Divas” for short) knows exactly what it is: a shot-on-video, exploitative, sexy, schlock movie. That is where it shines. This is a film for true “bad horror” fans. If the viewer goes in with the right attitude, this can be a lot of fun.
During a sorority mixer held at the local bowling alley, the female owners of the establishment grant the wishes of two unassuming ugly ducklings. They become hot, sexy women who are primed to join the sorority as its most attractive members. All hell breaks loose, literally, as they realize that they have been turned into demons by the demon divas who own the bowling alley. Sound ridiculous? Exactly! Poor production quality, terrible audio, and a bad supporting cast leave this as a contemporary classic in the genre.
Seriously, this film is terrible in many ways. Any film student could make a film more technically proficient. Most could make one with a more coherent story. Director/writer Mike Watt knew exactly what he was making though, and enjoyed it thoroughly. He cast modern scream queens as the Divas: Debbie Rochon, Amy Lynn Best, Lilith Stabs, and Brinke Stevens all give fans exactly what they’re looking for throughout the splatter-fest. Watt also came up with such an over-the-top story line, it is really funny. One liners and quirky, stereotypical set pieces make for an entertaining time. For real, people play strip bowling in this film. Strip bowling. That is just funny. And it is supposed to be.
Many terrible straight-to-video horror films are ridiculed for stealing most, if not all, of their ideas from other films. While some horror tropes are present in this film, most of it is so off the wall, it would be hard to find another film like it. For that, this film deserves a bit of a commendation.
For people who aren’t fans of schlock horror (most Troma productions, the “Leprechaun” series, the countless gore-p*rns of recent) this film will offer nothing of value. It really is bad. It is readily apparent that this film was shot without continuity in mind, perhaps no rehearsals, and no real attempt at controlling audio or lighting. Even the few special effects that are used, seem to be templates just lopped in, to add some sort of production value. The make up effects are not too bad, but are still sub-par at best. The best parts of the film come from the players themselves.
The scream queens playing the Divas add a flavor of fun to the film. While most of the acting is incredibly bad (it’s supposed to be), these ladies attack their roles with humor. The audience can sense how much fun they had on set. Eating people, walking around all dolled up, saying quirky one-liners. These actresses give the film the step up, that actually makes it fun, instead of just terrible.
Perhaps, some things could have been done better, for the sake of entertainment. This writer more than understands the appeal of “bad” films. “The Toxic Avenger” (1984) is a favorite of many, and rightfully so. Perhaps a bit more focus on continuity between shots could have really helped this movie to be something more. A little bit of work on better audio would have helped also. While bad shots, acting, and production design can all be artistic choices, bad audio is really just that, bad. Even just a few casting decisions could have helped. There are a few supporting characters that are so unnecessary, it is obvious the actors were friends with someone involved in the production.
So, yes, many people will find this film to be offensively bad, but most people who see the title, and decide it is something they are interested in, will find exactly what they want. It, most likely, will not become the next “The Room” (2003), or “Tromeo and Juliet” (1996), but it will find an audience, somewhere.
Demon Divas and the Lanes of Damnation (2009)