Movie Reviews 127 – [DVG] The Screaming (2000)

Continuing with the reviews of the Demons, Vampires and Ghouls DVD set:

The Screaming (2000)

The ScreamingAs I mentioned in my intro blog about the Demons, Vampires and Ghouls disc set, this movie and Hellspawn were not supposed to be in this box at all. Someone screwed up with the packaging, which has me wondering if I came out ahead with a better movie than Ghoul School or whether I was gypped. The lame ass title (“The Screaming”. Really?) certainly did not inspire any confidence or entertain visions of some heretofore unknown cinematic horror treasure.

Bob (Vinnie Bilancio)  is an occult psychology senior academic working on some paper vainly trying to please his research supervisor to land his grant money. He takes up residence in a one room apartment from a svelte, aerobic landlord named Crystal (Wendi Winburn). She’s got a smokin hot bod, and he’s, well,  … just smoking. His compulsive cigarette habit is occasionally supplemented with bags of Cheetos and other detrimental fast foods. Basically, he is the total opposite of Crystal health-wise, and his current physical exercise regimen consists of peering at her luridly as she preps and stretches for her daily workout routine right outside his window.

While avoiding Crystal’s invitations to join her for her morning runs, Bob also seems to be bombarded by a new Scientology-like cult in the area named Crystalogists that preach on the streets and fill the airwaves with commercials promising enlightenment and success based their teachings. Bob quickly realizes that Crystal is a follower, but stands his ground mocking the street preachers on every occasion.

Eventually Bob ditches his bad habits, and takes up Crystal on her offer to whip him into shape. But he also slowly learns of the threat of the Crystalogists, even making them central to his research paper. But nobody seems to be listening.

Scenes are often interspersed with stock shots of a huge pyramid building looming in the background (The California State University Walter Pyramid in Long Beach) but the standouts are the claymation creature effects that switch to a full sized rubber monster depicting the ‘creature in the closet’ leading the cult and chomping on the odd victim here and there.

While not a great low budget indie feature it was just goofy enough for me to enjoy.  I should point out that so low on the totem pole was this movie that I don’t think it was ever released on it’s on DVD and as far as I can tell has only appeared in a few compilation DVD sets. (So excuse the lack of a unique movie poster or DVD image to accompany this blog).


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