This is the way the world ends. Not with a whimper, but with a commentary track.
President Wolfman, the remix comedy edit of The Werewolf of Washington, is a personal favorite obscure and under the radar flick that I hold dear. It transforms the footage into a goofball romp, adding audio and effects to impact what was originally supposed to be a horror. An argument could be made that such a project only exposes the silly nature and campiness of the original, tearing it apart only to bring things back to where they truly began. Sex Madness Revealed follows this path, but not in a similarly entertaining way.
“…that make his case for a grand sex cult legend behind everything.“
The movie is from the point of view of an avid listener and follower of an online film critic known as “The Film Dick” (Patton Oswalt). We open with Mac OS desktop screen and the click of a mouse that starts a live podcast commentary on the very real film Sex Madness. A guest is brought on the show – a mysterious Doctor – who claims to have revealing information about the production of this exploitation cult classic. What follows is a youtube play of sorts, that moves from anecdotes to conspiracy to monstrous mutations.
Worth a chuckle here and there, Sex Madness Revealed starts clever and fun but ends painted into a corner of its own making. It’s a groovy concept, playing with desktop cinema, adding Easter eggs on screen (The Film Dick’s sponsors, subscription requests, etc) and the like. Where it falters is in the attempt to create artificial horror to something that could’ve been creepy by itself. Throughout, the doctor guest (Rob Zabrecky), points out moments in Sex Madness – acting, bloopers, symbols – that make his case for a grand sex cult legend behind everything. This dissection, by itself and fictional as it is, would’ve worked fine as a platform for skeevy frights, making one need to shower upon hearing the cynical critic’s reactions.
“…tries too much to be something it shouldn’t aspire for…”
Instead, the movie above a movie slowly but surely reveals an all too easy and not very plucky finale, that may or may not be making fun of itself. Why go so hard on something so dull? Why not stay grounded and keep things as a discovery of seediness? Sex Madness Revealed tries too much to be something it shouldn’t aspire for and drags as a result.
Film critic jokes? Check. Misreadings of and occultist thinking from a nickel and dime shock-tainment film? Check. Resident Evil type audio monster killings? No thanks and not necessary. Sex Madness Revealed I hope will inspire other filmmakers to toy with bonus feature and podcast based movie storytelling, but as it stands, it could use a remix. President Wolfman, this is not.
Sex Madness Revealed (2018) Directed by Tim Kirk. Written by Patrick Cooper and Tim Kirk. Starring Patton Oswalt and Rob Zabrecky. Sex Madness Revealed premiered at the 2018 Overlook Film Festival in New Orleans, LA.
RATING: 2.5 / 5