Sunday, September 30, 2012

Video Diary of a Lost Girl (Lindsay Denniberg, 2012)

Let's get this out of the way first, shall we? I love you, Priscilla McEver. You can roll your giant flying saucer eyes in my general direction anytime you want. Oh, and I want that Cannibal Ferox t-shirt the guy who broke your death cherry is wearing in this movie. Is that it? Uh, yeah. I think so. Let me check. Yeah, I'm good. Okay, now let's get down to the business at hand. Why don't more movies start off with iridescent sperm? Um, duh, because not all films are pornos. That's not what I meant (by the way, all films should be pornos). What I meant was, why aren't more films showing us how their characters were conceived. And, no, I'm not talking about lame sitcom-style exposition or even twenty straight minutes of CGI-enhanced footage of the universe forming. It's obvious I'm talking about plucky sperms penetrating agreeable ovaries up in this half empty honey jar. Anyway, according to Lindsay Denniberg's Video Diary of a Lost Girl, a candy-coloured orgasm/film from the year 2012 (that's right, it's from the future, baby!), Lilith, the world's first woman, has decided to leave the land of pus and swelling in order to fornicate with demons. Giving birth to a new race of women called "the Lilin," these half-human, half-demon women must have sex with a man once a month or die a horrible death. That doesn't sound so bad. I mean, their blood has healing powers. Yeah, but the men will die as a result of having vaginal intercourse with the Lilin. Boo-hoo. It serves them right for wanting to stain everything that moves with their objectionable boy-paste. At any rate, you could say the Lilin kill with their cunts. Kill with their cunts, eh? Why does that sound familiar? Oh. My. God. Don't look now, but Monica Panzarino, the forthright woman with impeccable thighs, is holding a baby lamb masquerading as a fuzzy dog in the vicinity of a mini Liquid Sky poster.
Try to keep calm. I am calm. I'm just saying, there's a mini Liquid Sky poster hanging on the kitchen wall. I'm at a loss for words. You? At a loss for words? Poppycock. You can see the mini Liquid Sky poster, right? Oh, I can see it, all right. Well, that's a relief. I mean, for a second there, I thought I was seeing things.
I won't lie, I didn't see any cyber-dykes exchanging bodily fluids, but the opening scene of Video Diary of a Lost Girl did remind me of the bladder sequences in Dandy Dust, a film that shares this film's in-your-face approach to creating cinematic worlds that probably taste like tainted cough syrup (if you were to lick them from head to toe). In other words, a psychedelic realm that openly allows leopard print tights to be paired with horror movie t-shirts.
You mean to tell me that...Yeah, yeah, on top of featuring a mini Liquid Sky poster, this film sports a character who wears leopard print tights. I'm going to have to sit down for a second. But you're already sitting down. Well, I'm going to have to sit down somewhere else, 'cause this is too much. My mind is literally racing with thoughts pertaining to mini Liquid Sky posters and impeccable thighs encased in leopard print tights.
I'm confused. Does Priscilla McEver wear leopard print tights in this movie or not? She sure does. But I could have sworn I heard you say, "impeccable thighs encased in leopard print." Yeah, I did say that. But you called Monica Panzarino's thighs "impeccable." Right. So, whose thighs are impeccable? They both have impeccable thighs. Okay, I understand now. Yeah, sorry about. Let me break it down for you: Priscilla McEver, who has impeccable thighs, wears leopard print tights in this movie. On the other hand, Monica Panzarino, who, like Miss McEver, has impeccable thighs, does not wear leopard print tights in this movie.  
I don't want to make you more agitated than you already are, but word on the street is that the female lead in this film makes several allusions to having male genitals. And I know that women who pretend to have dicks is your thing. My "thing"?!? My "thing"?!? It makes up the bulk of my wheelhouse. In fact, take away chicks and their non-existent dicks, and my wheelhouse is an empty room filled with nothing but torn fishnets and empty cans of Fresca.
Since you're already in a bit of a tizzy, I might as well inform you that Louise (Priscilla McEver), a Lilin woman born during the flapper era, now works at Adult Sinema, a video store that may or may not have Untamed Cowgirls of the Wild West Part 1: The Pillowbiters in stock. Why the confusion? Well, I couldn't quite make out the box art, but it definitely looked like the elusive Rinse Dream video. Speaking of R.D., the use of static in the opening sequence had a real Dr. Caligari vibe about it. Hell, even the television sets themselves seemed to be tuned to the dead chinchilla, chinchilla, chinchilla channel. And, as most of you know, I don't like to play my Rinse Dream/Stephen Sayadian card too often. However, I'd be a fool not to play it in regard to Video Diary of a Lost Girl, as the film practically oozes the rinsey dreamy stuff.     
Spending most of her nights watching films like, Nosferatu, Night of the Living Dead, Savage Weekend, and Carnival of Souls, Louise seems like your typical sullen video store clerk. In-between making sure all recently returned tapes (My Demon Lover, Slumber Party Massacre II, Burial Ground: Nights of Terror, etc.) have been rewound to the beginning, and telling her boss Michael (Casey Puccini)–who is a dead ringer for fashion designer and Project Runway Canada mentor Brian Bailey–to "get off my dick," life is pretty boring underneath the static moon (on top of being staticky, the moon also seems to be having tracking problems).
Boredom quickly turns to panicked desperation when the moon's eyeball is fully dilated and fluorescent menstrual blood starts to spew from Louise's unusual vagina. You're probably asking yourself, how unusual is this vagina of hers? I mean, are we talking Charlee Danielson from Bad Biology unusual, or something even more fucked up? First of all, you can't go more vaginally off course than Charlee Danielson's recalcitrant cunt in Bad Biology. But all the same, Louise needs a cock and she needs it fast. Since she doesn't want to kill everyday slobs with her squishy girl patty, she targets would-be rapists (the alleyways of this crotch burn of a universe are apparently replete with would-be rapists).
Luring them with her shapely gams–gams that have been poured into the finest leopard print tights a person can buy on a video store clerk's salary–Louise usually ties them to her bed (which, of course, has leopard print bed sheets and American Psycho pillow cases), and performs a ritual that involves a cloak, a mask, and ritual-friendly music. (Quick correction: Louise's couch, not her bed, is adorned in leopard print and American Psycho pillows.)
As Louise tells the would-be rapist, and I quote, "I'm going to fuck you to death now," we're treated to a Dr. Caligari/The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari/Un Chien Andalou-esque flashback to the 1920s. It would seem that the cocks attached to the men Louise has sex with act as a sort of tampon. Dampening the pain of her menstrual distress with their cock-like cockiness, each man who relieves Louise of premenstrual tension is summarily dismembered, Nekromantik 2-style, in her bathroom. 
Dismembering fully grown, would-be rapists is a lot harder than doing inventory at a video store, and I should know. Don't worry, Louise receives help from two of her fellow Lilins, Emily (Erica Gressman) and Jane (Monica Panzarino). Deeply committed to the Lilin lifestyle, Emily and Jane try to provide Louise, who, despite being born in the 1920s, is pretty young for a Lilin, with the guidance she needs. That being said, have you ever tried to set a video store clerk on the path of righteousness? Exactly, it's nearly impossible.   
Complicating this path to righteousness is Charlie (Chris Shields), a shoplifter in a Cannibal Ferox t-shirt. Catching him in the act, Louise asks him, "Who robs a video store?" To which he replies, "Blu-Rays!" You can almost predict her response to that comment, "We don't carry Blu-Rays." Oh, I almost forgot, this Charlie fella looks exactly like the guy Louise had PMS-alleviating intercourse with back in the 1920s. Apparently, all the men the Lilin have sex with come back to life. Of course, the versions that return have no idea their soul was sucked through their penis by a shapely succubus in a black sleeveless Street Trash t-shirt.
Even though I've mentioned a shitload of movies in relation to Video Diary of a Lost Girl (it's nearly impossible not to, as every scene features some sort of reference to another movie), I think the one it's most indebted to is My Demon Lover, the 1987 horror comedy where Scott Valentine turns into a demon whenever he is aroused by Michele Little (which, as you might expect, puts a bit of a damper on his social life). If you take away all the film's weirdness, what you're left with a bright and shiny romantic comedy. Sure, it's a profoundly strange romantic comedy (one that contains more menstrual blood than all of Jennifer Aniston's movies combined). But make no mistake, it's romantic ("are you on the rag right now?") and it's definitely a comedy (Louise stabs herself in the arm with a fork at one point).
Utilizing her scrunchie face like were a ten ton mallet, Priscilla McEver is adorableness personified as Louise, a character who was named after actress Louise Brooks (Pandora's Box). If you don't know, the "scrunchie face," is something talented actresses use to convey disaffected annoyance (see Reese Whitherspoon in Freeway). At any rate, whether staggering through a 1920s graveyard covered in embryonic fluid or casually walking through a more modern day graveyard in a totally chic zebra print top (everything in this film is bathed in animal prints), Priscilla gives the film its snarky edge.
Just in case you were wondering, the modern day graveyard has headstones that are marked: Peter North, Jeanna Fine (the star of not only Party Doll A Go-Go! Part 1 and 2, but Untamed Cowgirls of the Wild West Part 1: The Pillowbiters and Untamed Cowgirls of the Wild West Part 2: Jammy Glands from the Rio Grande), Ted V. Mikels, Alan Fudge, and Doris Wishman.
While I'm at it, I might as well list all the horror movie t-shirts I spotted throughout Video Diary of a Lost Girl: Street Trash, Day of the Dead, Dolls, Basket Case, City of the Living Dead, and Cannibal Ferox.
Boasting more colours than a diabetic's bat mitzvah (yeah, it's that colourful), Video Diary of a Lost Girl is a film that seems like it was specifically made for fans of transgressive and cult cinema. And as a supposed fan of those kind of movies, I appreciated the amount of reverence it has for them. I also liked the hardcore inserts, the gothy music (the synthy bits, too), the drink cozys, the "shadows connected to the light" chant, the fact you could probably use Priscilla McEver's cavernous eye sockets to serve salsa (they're deep and mysterious), the interior/exterior of Adult Sinema, and the repeated use of the term, "doll face."

video published by Lindsaydfrom5to7

Special thanks to Lindsay Denniberg for providing me with a copy of this film.


  1. Can you get candy colored insulin that's kosher? I'd for a diabetic Bat Mitzvah to be ruined because the coming-of-age princess passes out.

    I'm glad you mentioned some of the little references. I think I decided to skip over that because of brevity. There's just so much packed in there.

    We both came to the conclusion that there's a Dr. Caligari influence. I wonder if that's really the case. I can ask Lindsay I guess.

    P.S> I think this Rinse Dream talk will get me to finally watch that "Best of Silk Stalkings" DVD I have that I got for $2. I watched the show a little when it was on FWIW.

  2. @ido: :)

    @Thomas Duke: I'm sure some of the better Jewish delis carry kosher insulin.

    You should check out Stephen Sayadian's IMDb page, Francis Delia's credits are all now credited to Stephen Sayadian.

    The season one episode "Going to Babylon " is probably the most Rinse Dream-friendly Silk Stalkings show out of the lot.

  3. Although if this film is at its core a romantic comedy, I don't think I can watch it. Romantic comedies just remind me of everything lacking in my life.

  4. It's a romantic comedy the same way Nekromantik 2 is a romantic comedy. Yeah, I think that makes sense.

    Nah, actually, it's more romantic than Nekromantik 2. If you like My Demon Lover and Liquid Sky (which I recall you not liking all that much), you'll dig VDOALG.

  5. @yum-yum: I think it was my mood that day. Plus Adrian was really getting on my nervous. I know she was supposed to be street-smart and tough. But she just came off as a self-centered asshole. I dunno, I just don't like heroin dealers.

  6. @ miami: I think a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR is missing from my lifestyle. You guys finance?

    Anyways, this looks like a visually STUNNING film with gorgeous sets and excellent acting. Is this Ms. Denniberg's first feature length film?

  7. Heroin dealers are the worst!

    It's Lindsay's first feature.