(Goth just turned up on Netflix Streaming, and since I seem to have some sort of plague and might not get to a new review for the day, I figured I’d post my review of the flick from my book, Unsafe On Any Screen).
Are you Goth? That’s the question the title character (played by Phoebe Dollar, who looks like Molly Shannon’s evil twin) continually asks throughout Goth — and judging from the events that unfold, my advice is Brother, just say “no.”
The film opens as cute Goth-chick Crissy (Laura Reilly) awakens on a bathroom floor, splattered head to toe in blood. Entering the next room, she finds the place strewn with gory corpses. Flashing back to eight hours earlier, we see Crissy and her boyfriend Boone (Dave Stann) preparing for a night at the local Goth club. Once there, Crissy bumps into a saucy chick who claims her name is “Goth.” She offers Crissy a new drug called White Light, which is really supercool ’cause it, like, makes you feel like you’ve had a near-death experience.
Crissy and Boone decide to meet Goth in the alley outside the club so they can try the stuff out, but they get mugged by some meatnecks. Fortunately, Goth shows up and kicks the crap out of the two guys. Everybody snorts some White Light and we see a flashback of Crissy (minus the Goth makeup) hanging out with some other girl (whom we later learn is her dead sister), then Crissy and Boone wake up in the back of a van full of Halloween decorations from Party Barn. Goth questions their Goth-ness. To prove her point (whatever the hell that might be), Goth lures a hapless young fellow into the van, where she tortures him by forcing him to have sex with her. I think we’ve all been there once or twice.
Crissy seems to be enjoying Goth’s wild antics, but Boone would rather just go back to the club. He tells Goth that “being Goth is about tolerance,” but Goth throws it back in his face by accusing him of being a horny little bastard. She takes Crissy and Boone to a massage parlor, where she makes Boone get it on with a tattooed chubby chick while Crissy watches (once again proving… whatever).
Back in the van, Goth derides Boone’s Goth-ness once again, then Crissy and Goth partake of a lesbian interlude that’s cut far too short, in my opinion. Crissy has another White Light flashback featuring her sister, then Boone wakes her up. The van is parked outside a seedy motel. Goth is nowhere to be found, and Boone wants to split. Crissy has other ideas — she’s convinced that Goth murdered her sister (whose final word before dying was “Goth”) and wants revenge.
The two find Goth in a motel room where she’s tormenting a sleazy old guy and another naked chubby chick. A violent confrontation (which plays out like a sinister pillow fight as Goth and Boone awkwardly tussle their way around the room) ensues, but Goth once again gains the upper hand. She decides to give Crissy and Boone one last chance to prove their Goth-ness, which spirals towards the film’s bloody conclusion (proving, one more time… something).
Goth has the feel of an Afterschool Special gone horribly wrong — or, even more so, a religious scare film; at the final fade-out, I half-expected a balding Baptist Minister to stride onscreen and intone in his fatherly way that Crissy was a straight-A student before her eyeliner got out of hand, and that “the Devil takes many forms!” (this was only amplified by the fact that we never see the van’s driver — I tell ya, I was sure it was gonna be somebody in a skull mask and a cowl, laughing hysterically as he drove off into the night). However, it also occurred to me that someone like Harry Novak could’ve made almost the exact same movie in 1969 with an all-hippie cast (Flower Child! Beware her deadly beads!) — and that’s what makes this movie as entertaining as it is: it comes off like an old nudie-roughie (with, sadly, nowhere near enough nudity). And before I go any further, special mention must be made of Executive Producer Darrin Ramage, for having the best porno name ever.
If you’re looking for a cheesy flick to watch with your (drunken) friends on a Saturday night, give Goth a shot — maybe as the second feature to Bad Girls Go To Hell… but keep the black lipstick to a minimum lest ye be led into temptation.
For more funky movie reviews, check out my book Unsafe On Any Screen: