Sub Rosa Studios // 2001 // 70 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Bill Gibron // January 26th, 2007
One big bad touch of a movie.
After the break-up of his rather unusual marital relationship with Angie, Scott is suffering. He can't hold a job, drinks like several less-than-sober fish, and practices a bit of self-mutilation in hopes it will help him forget his problematic past. Used to the kind of sick bedroom games he and the Missus liked to indulge in, our unbalanced ex believes the best way to scratch his psychosexual itch is to break into the homes of single women, incapacitate them with chloroform, and molest the heck out of their nude forms. He then takes Polaroids of their occasionally nubile bodies, and even leaves a still behind as a seedy snapshot reminder. Naturally, his actions draw the attention of the police -- and his disgusted spouse. She keeps a loaded rifle at the ready, knowing that some day, the Bizarre Lust of a Sexual Deviant may once again target her.
Part pointless pornography (though, granted, it's of the very softcore and skin-exposing kind), part attempted psychological character study, first-time filmmaker Zert Sineca's Bizarre Lust of a Sexual Deviant is all tease and very little release. It prepares its audience for 70 minutes of mind-numbing sleaze and ends up delivering a little over an hour of awfulness. It's told in random snippets, never fully establishing either its characters or its narrative conventions. We are supposed to gasp at the sight of a portly pervert groping the decent mammaries of some low-budget amateur actresses. Indeed, one gets the distinct impression that we are watching some skuzzball's horny home movie collection, the concept of "making a film" merely a ruse to cop some feels. It would be nice to note that Sineca comes up with some occasionally clever dialogue, or adds some real insight into the understanding of the sexually depraved mind. But with most of the movie told in slow, silent sequences that are supposed to suggest inner turmoil but only result in outer dullness, we get another of those time warp titles that refract the passage of minutes and turn this entire entertainment experience into the cinematic version of a Depression-era danceathon. It's as physically and emotionally tiring as those torturous excuses for 1930s escapism.
Almost all of this is Sineca's fault. He doesn't really have a script here. Instead, he has a few ideas shuffling around his skull and a simplistic manner of realizing them. In essence, Bizarre Lust of a Sexual Deviant meanders back and forth about a twisted flesh fan who likes to paw babes while they're under the influence of chloroform. His guilt then drives him to sit around his apartment and cry like a beauty pageant contest -- that is, when he isn't taking incessantly long showers (and flashing us, full frontal) or carving his flesh with a broken piece of mirror. Between the laborious sequence where Scott makes a phone call to his "glad to be rid of this reject" ex-wife, to the endless shots of our title character trying to subdue his prey (every single attack takes at least five minutes of flailing and false endings to complete), we keep wondering what the point could possibly be. Once we learn that this is nothing more than an enlarged take on a previously-created fetish title, some minor critical clarity arrives. Apparently crafted for those who like their fixations on the monotonous, amateurish side, one recognizes the failed ersatz smut parameters. Such a realization doesn't defend Bizarre Lust of a Sexual Deviant; it just makes its mediocrity a tad more understandable.
From an acting standpoint, there are elements here both commendable and condemnable. In the title role, Jason Christ is competent, if lacking the necessary gravitas to pull off all the deep-thinking introspective stuff. He tends to look wounded instead of wicked, and his line readings can quickly swerve from brilliant to unbelievably bad. Similarly, the majority of the victims are silent scraps of humanity. Sineca gives them little personality and asks them do nothing except work their birthday suits. There is an odd moment in the middle of the movie, a sequence where indie auteur Eric Stanze (under the pseudonym "Scot Spookytooth") and his frequent leading lady Emily Haack (Scrapbook, China White Serpentine) play a couple who are contemplating a big career move, the conversation so casual and random that it appears to be ad-libbed. Both performers are perfectly passable, but the material seems imported from another movie, especially since the other women mistreated here don't get 15 minutes of plot-padding patter with their significant other. It's part and parcel of what's wrong with this entire film. It feels forged out of several divergent elements, and none of them are very compelling.
As for the DVD release, fans of the film (and there are a few out there) will be thrilled to know that this version of Bizarre Lust of a Sexual Deviant is the long-awaited unrated, extended edition, which basically means that Sineca went back and added about 11 minutes of new material. Most of the revamps deal with Scott's downward spiral, and do little except flesh out the freakier facets of the narrative (you can view the original 57-minute cut as part of an Easter egg located in the stills gallery). In addition, there's a minor behind-the-scenes featurette, a collection of trailers, and a full-length audio commentary from actor Jason Christ. Sineca's absence from the track is telling, since it leaves his lead to defend and dissect the film. The conversation is clearly meant as a meaningful look at this labor of love, but it can be hard going at times. It's almost impossible to see the good that Christ goes on about.
Technically, Bizarre Lust of a Sexual Deviant is a 1.33:1 full-frame, Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 presentation that offers nothing very memorable, at least from a motion-picture perspective. Sineca is a point-and-shoot kind of guy, though he does try for some novel angles and compositional complexity every once in a while, and the soundtrack appears lifted from an industrial band's outtake reel. If you like the sounds of machinery creating an atonal cacophony, you'll enjoy this bombastic backing.
Perhaps there is an untapped audience out there, waiting for a film that satisfies their sinister urge to see your non-typical body type getting groped by a guy with an attraction to titties, but Bizarre Lust of a Sexual Deviant lives up to none of the salacious words in its title. It's just the Boring Tendencies of a Filmmaking Wannabe.
Review content copyright © 2007 Bill Gibron; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Sub Rosa Studios
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 70 Minutes
Release Year: 2001
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Full-Length Audio Commentary with Actor Jason Christ
* Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
* Photo Gallery
* Original Version of Film as Easter Egg