Horror is an incredibly unique genre in that even its terrible movies can still be quite fun and entertaining. The same certainly can’t be said for a comedy that isn’t funny or a drama that’s absolutely ridiculous.
But a horror film can be so bad that it’s hilarious to mock and laugh at. As The Last Drive In host Joe Bob Briggs has often said, the only real “sin” a horror movie can commit is being boring. With all this in mind, it’s admittedly difficult to make sense of punk rock star Glenn Danzig’s directorial debut, Verotika.
It’s by no means a good movie on any objective scale. However, it also struggles to hit that “so bad it’s funny” mark too. So how do we me sense of this incredibly bizarre movie?
What Makes a Movie Hilariously Terrible?
Many have been quick to compare Verotika to the likes of The Room and Plan 9 From Outer Space. But we first must recognize why they were so enjoyed. In both of those cases, you had a director who thought they were immensely talented and who wanted to make a serious film, but failed terribly at it.
Audiences found them funny because of the extreme disconnect of the film’s intention versus its final result. That along with over the top cheesy elements that are fun to laugh at. But “so bad it’s funny” tends to only work when the filmmaker legitimately tried to make something they thought was good. It’s the reason that the Sharknado series very quickly went downhill and stopped being fun. It became too self-aware and was intentionally making terrible movies.
How Verotika Misses That Mark
Verotika fails miserably at this for another reason however. There’s very little self-awareness present. It’s just a sloppily put together movie, between its directing, editing, and cringe-inducing awkward dialogue and acting.
Granted it has some legitimately cook makeup effects with the albino spider and face removals. But everything else is just awkward. The dialogue between the police detectives sounds like Danzig watched 5 minutes of a cop show, and just mimicked it. The stories themselves are inherently interesting, and with a better execution, it could have been a great anthology.
Some have referred to it as “The Room of horror movies”, but frankly, it’s far too boring and forgettable. Others are calling it quite an experience to watch, but that’s honestly kind of a stretch as well.
It’s not visually trippy enough, over the top cheesy enough, or self-aware enough to be interesting. Knowing Danzig’s extreme music style, it’s actually quite a letdown. Love him or hate him, Rob Zombie makes bold choices in his films and they remain as extreme and intense as his songs and music videos.
But the same can’t be said for Danzig. At best Verotika is amateurish, at worst it’s just downright boring and forgettable.
What did you think of Verotika? Let us know in the comments!
Verotika is streaming exclusively on Shudder!