Saturday, October 31, 2009

Masters of Horror S2 07: The Screwfly Solution (2006)

The Screwfly Solution is an adaptation of a short story by by James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Sheldon's male pen name), directed by Joe Dante (Gremlins). The concept behind this episode is one of the more intriguing in the entire Masters of Horror series, but this hour length treatment really doesn't do it quite enough justice.


A virus has spread across the Earth, starting in the Horse latitudes, which causes male humans to become mysogynistic and murderous against women. Religions have sprung up citing the return to the Garden, the sons of Adam, who smite the treacherous whore Eve and her descendents who have destroyed the innocence of Man. Of course, this is actually an alien plot to exterminate the human race without having to lift a finger, and a pretty good one. Anne Alstein must hold out and somehow survive...

Throughout the short film, as the femicides gather momentum, we see numerous scenes of women being abused and killed, with noone apparently lifting a finger to save them. But this is such a huge story that we always feel rushed. Had the film not spent so much time with its major protagonists, we could have seen more of the epidemic's effect around the world for a more horrific experience. There's not much gore here...some stabbings, and a bag made out of a woman's breast, but the story has an ominous potential without requiring it.

The acting here is so-so, with Jason Priestly playing Brendan Wals...I mean Alan Alstein. Elliot Gould is the gay scientist Barney, and Kerry Norton is Anne. There are some cool scenes, but not much is required of the actors, since we focus only on a small domestic group. The film moves through several locations, but not enough: I maintain that this exact script, taken on a larger budget and global scale, could be a major success for sci-fi/horror movie. As it stands, it's simply a curiosity with little punch to it.

Verdict: Indifference [6.5/10]

1 comment:

is this your life? said...

The story concept is really interesting (kind of like a White Plague meets feminism), it's a shame that doesn't sound worth watching.