Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Leeches (2003)

LEECHES directed by David DeCoteau

Ranked 2.6/10 on IMDB

Warning: Spoilers!
--does anyone truly care?

Quick Synopsis:

Talon: Before I indulge on how gay this movie turned me, I'd like to state that LEECHES was bad for reasons other than the non-stop homoerotic imagery.

Also, I'm now gay.

Joe: I'm pretty sure I am, too. This was a 90 minute barrage of young, hot, muscley twink guys flexing while stroking their own hairless chests.

Talon: Twink?

Joe: Google it. Probably NSFW.

Moving on, I give LEECHES major props for the role reversal. It's about time someone objectified men in a film the same way women have been depicted since, well, film was invented. Slow motion, endless shower scenes, the camera treating these guys like it is caressing every inch of their toned bodies.

But unapologetic queer soft porn aside, LEECHES was terrible.

Or, more on point, LEECHES sucked.

Talon: It sucked a lot. Pun intended.

I can't remember a single scene in the movie where a guy didn't have his shirt off, wasn't half-naked rubbing his chest and marbled abs with soap, wasn't showering with a group of guys, wasn't flexing their arms, wasn't wearing revealing shorts....

Joe: Finding it erotic is nothing to be ashamed of. All men have a curious, experimental stage in their lives. It lasts from age 14, until about 60.

Talon: You want a quick synopsis?

Directed by David DeCoteau, who ha produced and directed over 90 motion pictures in the past twenty-five years. Pretty impressive. But, as the famous saying goes, quantity does not equal quality.

Joe: My first DeCoteau film was CREEPAZOIDS, which I saw when I was 18. Recently, he has completed 90210 SHARK ATTACK and BIGFOOT VS. DB COOPER.

I'm going to have to begin a David DeCoteau film collection, because this man is awesome.

Talon: Main cast includes:

Matthew Twining as... Matthew I guess.

Josh Henderson as Josh.

Stacey Nelson as Stacey.

I'm not even sure how to properly explain the characters since I have no idea who's who, and neither does Wikipedia or IMDB and there's no way in hell I'm watching the movie again.

Joe: Just give the basic rundown. No one is watching this for the plot. They're watching for the young, ripped, hot men in Speedos with gooey, bratwurst-sized leeches slithering over their hairless bodies.

David DeCoteau deserves some sort of award for doing an entirely new kind of movie. And this was 2003, before queer was cool.

Or maybe it was always cool, and I wasn't paying enough attention.

Talon: So there's a swim team and they're all doing steroids. Cue the endless the slow-mo shots of sculpted guys swimming and flexing. And more footage of shirtless men. And then the shirtless men swim and horse around. And then they shower. The plot starts when there's a get together at a pond and shirtless men swim and flex in front of the camera, and when they leave the water, rubber leeches have latched on their shirtless bodies.

Did I mention they were shirtless?

Joe: Really? I had not noticed.

Talon: That's the whole movie! Now the viewers perhaps were too distracted by all the men's hard nipples and perfect butts to pay attention to the barest hint of a plot, but apparently some of the hot guys are taking performance enhancing drugs.

Joe: Viagra?

Talon: The other kind. Steroids. Somewhere in the story--I lost track because of the non-stop barrage of man boob--we discover that they are using, and now its time for the super giant rubber leeches to attack.

Common suspenseful tricks used by the director are:
  • Dragging an inanimate rubber leech across the floor with fishing line. 
  • Showing the leech's steamy, gooey nest. 
  • More rubber things getting dragged by obvious fishing line. 
  • A weird background heartbeat that happens later on when we see shirtless men showering and the viewer is in POV of the jacked-up leeches.
  • Strobe lights, and lots of them.
  • Ripped young beefcake oblivious that rubber leeches are sneaking up, even though they no doubt can see whomever is pulling the fishing line.
Joe: I think the heartbeat sound was the director getting excited.

Talon: When the leeches finally attack it's truly the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

Which means it's awesome.

When the dragged giant leech is finally close enough to suck on the oblivious swimmer, and the viewer hears the director's heartbeat, the once inanimate rubber leech turns into a hand-puppet-leech that gropes the swimmer's body while undulating seductively. It takes a full minute of caressing the firm swimmer's leg before he finally notices, and when he does the shot turns into a back-and-forth of strobe lights, epileptic flashing of the leech's mouth, and the swimmer writhing his half naked body until he dies. From, apparently, a few small wounds.

Joe: Sometimes one leech suddenly turns into three or four.

Talon: Amazing.

And it doesn't stop there. One of the scenes, a guy goes to bed in his tight boxers with his ass propped toward the ceiling.

When I heard the director's heartbeat, I knew exactly what was going to happen next.

Yes. It went there.

Joe: We weren't kidding about the gay thing.

Talon: So after more people die in showers, and the movie continues padding out the running time, one of the guy's girlfriends creates a plan to stop these seizure inducing inanimate rubber leeches.

Joe: I dunno if any of the actors were queer, but I don't recall any of the characters being queer, so they all had girlfriends. Which was harder for me to believe than them being attacked by rubber sausages on strings. These guys were too cute to be straight. And they dressed too well.

Talon:  The few times they were dressed.

Ready for the ending?

They rig a swimming pool to get electrocuted by a switch. One of the shirtless swimmers gets into the pool as bait for the leeches. The plan? The master-baiter is supposed to hop out just in time before a guy and his girlfriend zap the pool.

Joe: Good pun.

This is the point where I suspended disbelief. I accepted the giant leeches on steroids. I accepted the sad special effects. I accepted that the movie prompted me to download Grindr and start looking for bears--

Talon: Bears?

Joe: Google it. NSFW.

But what I couldn't accept is their plan to kill the leeches. The girl goes to a circuit breaker, shuts it off, and then sticks some extension cords into the pool, ready to turn on the juice when the leeches are in there, with apparently no awareness of the whole point of a circuit breaker; it breaks the circuit.

Talon: And that's the part you couldn't accept?

So the ingenious plan is going fine, right when they're about to flip the circuit, the head coach attacks them in unnecessary slow motion.

They kill the coach, yell, "Throw the switch!" and fry the bait guy.

R.I.P, bait guy.

Joe: R.I.P, bait guy.

Talon: Then, twist ending! The supposed cute hero science nerd is actually the one who created the leeches because the script said so.

The end.

Yeah. You just read that.

First Impressions:

Talon: Since we follow are watch it, share it, re-watch it slogan. I’ve shared LEECHES with a dear friend of mine, Dante. We’ve been buddies since Kindergarten and he enjoys movies, good and bad, just as much as the rest of us do.

I’d like to introduce him as our first guest film reviewer.

Dante, tell us some of your first impressions while watching.

Dante: The fact that this came from someone’s head is awesome.

Talon: In what ways? On how brilliant it is?

Dante: While the leeches were attacking the swimmers no one attempted to call the police. Definitely stupid!

Talon: I think if the police were to come, they’d be shirtless and instead of using guns, they’d have spanking devices. “Ooo, I’m gonna have to teach you leeches what happens when you break the law.”

Spank, spank.

Awesome.

Joe: You guys forgot that the cops came at the end. Well, they didn't actually show up, but there were sirens and flashing red and blue lights. And then the two surviving characters, who had those flashing blue and red lights in their faces, made plans to leave the scene of multiple homicides and go sleep together.

Which I've done so many times at homicide scenes that I've lost count. Who wants to talk to cops anyway?

Talon: So, Dante, did you appreciate all the male eye candy the director showed you?

Dante: I couldn’t get enough of all the smooth skinned half naked twinks. I laughed every time a leech jumped four feet onto a victim's face and the actor was clearly holding the leech to their face. Remember when those two creamy white hairless men died and were never brought up again in the film?

Talon: No, I don’t remember. Those leeches sure are dangerous. I’m glad I know their one and only true weakness….

Dante: What’s that?

Talon: Stepping on them. Alright, Dante, one last question and I think this about wraps up our quick interview. Are you--

Dante: Yes, I am gay after watching this majestic movie.

Talon: I’m happy for you, buddy. Thanks for being apart of our review.

Dante: You’re welcome.

Talon: We'll call you when we review another DeCoteau flick.

So, past all half naked men, crummy spfx, leech groping, and a plot that made no sense and that left it hanging for a sequel...

This movie was awesome.

Putting the DVD in, I knew the movie was going to be about giant leeches murdering people, which isn't as insane as it sounds. Think of SHARKNADO for example. But I didn't expect half of it being a gay soft porn film.

Joe: Technically it isn't gay soft porn. There aren't any queer folks making out or having sex. DeCoteau has created his own genre here. It's male cheesecake horror.

Talon: Which is hilarious in a sort of charming way. And the scenes when the giant rubber leeches leap from the ground and attack are also hilarious. So it's like two really stupid things happening in the same movie.

Joe: Everyone knows leeches have a Jordanesque vertical jump.

Rewatching a few scenes to get some quotes, I was struck by two things. First, the acting is actually pretty good. Second, the writing and directing are competent.

What makes this a best worst movie is the low budget, the silly premise, and the in-your-face constant parade of shirtless hairless naked young men.

It's a decently done, yet ridiculous movie. And it's enjoyable as hell.

Talon: Here's some of the dialog my dad and I had while viewing. Try to imagine some of our phrases as catchy slogans:

"I just turned gay."

"So... this is just buff guys gyrating in slow motion?"
"No. Sometimes it isn't slow motion."

"Dude had to flex his pecs before he spoke."
"If I had pecs like that I would, too."

"I hate when I trip over nothing and then giant rubber leeches attack."

"Leeches have strobe lights?"
"I think half the budget was strobe lights."

"Oh look, another guy showering."

"The killer leeches' only weakness is if you step on them."
"That is also my weakness."

"Slowly but surely, the director stripped the scientist's shirt off."

"Hot nerdy science guy has a beaker full of suspiciously familiar white goop and is poking at it."

"Why is his shirt off?"
"You don't know at this point?"

"Best shower scene since PSYCHO."

"This movie saved money on not buying shirts."

"I'm hungry. Up for some bratwurst?"
"Sure. Let me take my shirt off first."

"He died like he lived. Shirtless."

"Damn, I need to hit the gym."

Best Worst Scene

Talon: When the thin men had their shirts off.

Joe: It's a tie. When the coach eats one of the giant leeches is epic, or the multiple shots of the egg sack. Which was a bulging, sort of wrinkled sack with two big pulsating balls in it and--I'm not kidding--a few dangling curly hairs.

Subliminal or intentional? You decide.

Watch it? 

Talon: Yes, I even encourage it if you're a male and prefer the opposite sex.

Joe: Yes. But it'll help if you have four beers and two shots. No espresso needed; this film isn't boring at all.

Dante: Yes. But only if you're in the mood for crazy strobe lights and funny special effects.

Share it? 

Talon: Yes, I have already with Dante. We laughed together. It was fun.

Joe: Yes. I'm now a DeCoteau fan and will seek out more of his work.

Dante: Yes. It was more fun than I thought it would be.

Re-watch it? 

Talon: Yes, in eighty years and my old age has rotted my cerebral cortex and its decision making ability.

Joe: It made me appreciate two things. First, that women must feel like this every time they watch a film where the female leads are only there to be eye candy. Second, I'm glad queer guys can ogle at a horror movie like straight guys have been doing for decades.

Dante: Yes, whenever I am feeling promiscuous.

Talon: Did you see LEECHES? Do you have any best worst movies to recommend? Are you sexually confused? Post in the comments!

TALON'S TWENTY SECOND FILM REVIEW!

Talon will now spout off five reasons you should watch the next movie we're blogging about, has the best soundtrack ever,  made in the 70's and is one of our favorite bad movies, its... DR. GORE


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