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Film Review: Die Influencers Die (2020)

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SYNOPSIS:

Alpha male social media star Stue Harrington (Frankie Rivers) dupes a group of his peers into an overnight live-streaming event at an abandoned movie studio in Las Vegas, Nevada. Deep behind the old movie sets is the lair of a savage blood thirsty Clown Model – Moxie (Tabitha Stevens) who’s directed to kill these intruders by a sinister Otherworld-Coyote (Lizzy Borden). It’s a bloody 80’s style kill-fest.

 

REVIEW:

Die Influencers Die”, as a movie, could be a failed attempt at a half-articulated scream of rage and frustration.

Maybe it is a heartless cash grab by a cast and crew with ties to both the music and porn industries.

Does it really matter? If you have a stake in the shallow intellectual axe-grinding the film hinges upon, you lend more credibility to the work. Someone with little investment would merely see another low-budget gore flick.

The film opens to a hyperkinetic bit of camera work set to a rather jaunty tune. We see rock star Lizzy Borden egging on violence to a large-breasted woman in a golden catsuit and an old-school gas mask. As Borden shamelessly overacts, the woman is stabbed multiple times.

Our only lingering clue is an odd-looking clown mask.

Opening credits roll over an on-air interview with Max Gerhardt (played by Jeff Tortora from The Blue Man Group). Max waxes poetic about the new marketing trend that uses “influencers” to shovel product down the throat of those who “follow” these divas. This method makes the use of traditional marketing tools, like models, archaic and cost ineffective.

In fact, Max is getting ready for a desert photo/video shoot, and his model, who does not utilize social media, is facing career death, and he may have to terminate her.

Jokes aside, when his lustful overtures are firmly shot down by Moxie (adult star Tabitha Stevens looking physically impressive and intimidating), Max proceeds to end to their professional relationship by killing her. While using the clown mask from earlier.

Lizzy Borden returns. He is a Coyote, a being who aids those who are about to cross into death. He offers a choice – the sweet release of final death or revenge.

She makes the only choice to keep the movie going, but, before she can act, her body is locked away in a refrigerator inside the production studio out of which Max works.

Years later, a “bad-boy” vlogger with millions of followers, decides to use that abandoned studio for his own sick agenda to live stream the humiliation of three up-and-coming influencers. You get a cocky extreme outdoors dude, a nasally beauty “expert”, and a pissy Goth-inspired lady.

Moxie, of course, is released and rises to make everyone feel her pain.

You want gore? There is a fair bit of that. Not particularly well done, but you get blood, stringy guts, and other nasty bits ripped, pulled, gnawed, and squished during many of the slaughter set pieces. Don’t expect rivers of it, though. The porn film structure works here so that you get enough to keep you watching until the next money shot.

The best element of the film is easily Moxie herself. Her back story is weak, but the character’s look as well as Ms. Stevens’ impressive handling of Moxie’s post-death activities make the character worth watching. Even when she is immobile, Moxie looks ready to explode into frenzied action. When she finally attacks, she takes on a feral quality that makes her feel like an animal trapped in human form.

Is ”Die Influencers Die” that battle cry to begin society’s turn against the encroaching corporate vapidness of influencer culture?

Nah. Feels more like petulant boot-stomping while whining, “Influencers are mean!” The gore is just distraction from the film’s inability to improve its writing quality beyond a low-end EC-horror-comic level.

Even as a cash grab, the film betrays its links to the porn industry. Shallow characters are pushed from one gore scene to another. With the exception of one intense scene in which Moxie and another character wait each other out on opposite sides of a curtain, the film has no depth or development of characters, plot, or suspense.

If you gotta have your metal music and gore fix, give “Die Influencers Die” a spin.

Personally, I hope the character of Moxie is used in a better movie next time. She’s the only thing worth salvaging from this film.

 

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