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Film Review: Make Them Die Sleazy! (2014)

SYNOPSIS:

A sexy convention nerd (Tobian Thompson) returns to her hotel room and finds herself unwinding to the late night antics of horror host, Mr. Sleaze!

REVIEW:

Make Them Die Sleazy is an hour and half long film of undercooked exploitation shorts that tries in vain to copy films from the start of the American exploitation era.The film itself is not worth intensive discussion as each short is only ten minutes long and the wrap-around for them is a girl watching them on her hotel room television so in the vein of the film, each criticism will be short.

The first short titled Spaventare, in which a woman comes home from grocery shopping to unwind and look at pictures on her computer only to have a strange man exit the photo and, stalk her in her apartment and then put her in his place.

The short is filled with cuts showing the man getting closer and closer to the woman as she moves about her apartment. She begins to slowly get paranoid, he attacks and it ends with her in the photo.

No acting to speak of besides minor expressions from the woman and the man mugging the camera with a constipated face and while there are moments the short is tense it is mostly cut down by bad lighting, camera angles and the lackluster ending. The second short called Vomit Soup is about a man fed up with his girlfriend not giving him sex so he curses a lot, starts talking to his kitchen sick, kills his girlfriend and then talks to her body parts then takes pills to kill himself out of regret. This one is awful because of the constant pointless and gross cursing the man does on screen. He is in no way entertaining or threatening and just comes across as a child in man’s clothing saying whatever mindless crap comes to mind. Though at least this one feels like an exploitation film, though there’s nothing exploitative about it.

Number three is called White Lie and it is a man going under psychiatric evaluation after killing his wife and mistress while pretending to be a kidnapper in his own mind.

This one has an interesting premise in that the man is so broken he killed the woman he loved, created a second persona to justify it and then killed his wife to complete the train of logic in his head.

Where it fails is first with the black and white photos that replace any actual footage as they would normally be a refreshing change of pace but only amount to the viewer constantly noticing how the pictures are either poorly edited digitally or framed poorly for the scene involved.

Second, the terrible script in which the insane man repeats things in threes, which is a tool used in entertainment to give whatever you’re viewing more impact, a technique now antiquated.

Hennessy x Red is the fourth short in which a landlord works on a man’s bloody toilet, coming to the conclusion that he’s a vampire which oddly enough turns out to be true, and is turned himself after killing the vampire and the short ends with a news broadcast indicating a vampire outbreak.

The longest of the shorts, it actually had some time to tell a short tale but what it did with that time was have a group of bad actors trade complaints about their respective lifestyles before a lame vampire death and equally lame transformation. Halfway through we get more of the show’s host, Mr. Sleazy being the over the top and annoying at the same time, trying to sell off the series of shorts as exploitative except the only real skin to be seen so far is of the woman who is watching the shorts and even she is shown as relaxed and is not particularly sexualized as she lies in her hotel room wearing underwear and a top. Along that chain of thought, the only gore had been a finger in the Vomit Soup short and everything else was off-screen effects with little focus on the killing.

Next is Dark Comedy, a short following a disgruntled television show host finding he is at the end of his career when a new television company offers him a deal to keep his career alive only to find he’s died and gone to hell. The climax of the tale is the best part as the company’s name is TV Hello and the contract changes to saying TV Hell. This is followed by his body being found and the coroner being the devil who offered the deal, mugging the camera with a smile. The short isn’t awful but it doesn’t go anywhere or do anything until the end which ends up being funnier than anything else. The Sixth short titled Mondo Socko seems to be the first one to actually play as an exploitation film, by far being the most entertaining of the terrible because of the content involved.

The short follows a cop drinking and cursing his way tin and out of scenes while dealing with the arrest of a man who has been stealing socks at gunpoint. The whole of scenes that are exploitative are his stealing of the socks and using them as sock puppets. While the main character is just as awful as the one from Vomit Soup, the whole sock puppet thief pervert angle makes the small and quaint exploitation moments entertaining and almost satirical of itself.

Seventh on the list is Shadow of a Victim, a black and white short about a hit-man who is haunted by the shadow of his latest victim as he unwinds from a night of work.

The acting here is the only negative aspect as the atmosphere, shooting and effects are all played up rather well in a story that needs little explanation and only lasts a few minutes. It is by far the best short which is a disappointment because of its length. Taste Me is the eighth short and is the closest to the exploitation films of old. The police follow a killer going after prostitutes on a website.

Tina Anderson, the latest missing victim, is killed after a short phone scene and Detective Greg Roberts goes to investigate the disappearances. The Roberts starts by investigating the case, going from the matron to the girls asking questions until he is alone with a girl claiming to know everything only to be strangled by the detective as it turns out he’s been the killer all along.
After time passes the one of the other girls comes in to join the action when the cop assaults her. The matron gets the cop from behind and they tie him up, telling him that they’ve been taking men and eating them. The short ends with the three remaining women eating Roberts in a bathtub with flesh and gore shots.

With the odd twist not so much being the women are cannibals but the cop is a killer, the story does play out awkward but it maintains a decent story feel for an exploitation piece and delivers on sleaze and disgust like the movie totes the whole time without annoying or boring it’s audience.

The film ends with Mr. Sleaze being his painfully boorish self, somehow luring the girl on the bed to come closer to the television until he vanishes from the screen and shows up behind her, and things fade to black on a freeze-frame of the woman screaming. The best advice for viewing this film would be to skip to the one hour six minute mark and watch from there until the last short ends and to leave the rest unseen. While Mondo Socko was weird it didn’t warrant enough interest for a dedicated viewing. The studio Icon Productions seems to put out several films along the same nature as these shorts but mostly at full length, so if this is your kind of thing then you can find their site online and buy directly from them but this cannot be recommended on fifteen minutes of worthwhile footage alone.