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After I watched May, Lucky McKee's "debut" film (in the sense that it was his first movie to be released to the general public), I thought that the man had a bright future ahead of him in the movie business. Then, he moved on to his next project, a film entitled The Woods; however, thanks to some studio shakeups and the powers-that-be not being able to come up with a way to market it to the average Joe and Jane Moviegoer, it has sat in a studio vault for a couple of years now. Currently, the film is set to hit DVD in October, but release dates have been set before and forgotten about, so I'm not going to hold my breath on it. Anywho, back to the subject at hand: with one film under his belt, I thought that the man had promise, but it was hard to judge how his career would turn out with just the one film to form an opinion around. With the release of Sick Girl, it's official: McKee completely deserves to be called a "Master of Horror."
Review by Chad
Added: August 02, 2006
The film centers around Misty Falls (Erin Brown, better known to some as Misty Mundae) and Ida Teeter (Angela Bettis), a pair of quirky gals who also happen to be falling in love with one another. Ida is an entomologist, and she happens to enjoy her job more than most would, especially more than most ladies would. In fact, she has a wide variety of insect pets living in her home; needless to say, this doesn't boost her chances at finding a girlfriend, as most ladies are "creeped out" by these bugs. In Misty, however, Ida has found a lady that is damned good-looking, intelligent, as quirky as herself, and most importantly - she loves bugs almost as much as Ida does. It's a match made in heaven, up until an unclassified bug that mysteriously showed up on Ida's doorstep escapes in the apartment that the two ladies are now sharing. This bug manages to bite Misty, and let's just say that calling the bug 'poisonous' would be an understatement.
What makes the film work so well is not the storyline itself; a film about a pair of lesbians and a killer bug in and of itself would have been average at best. In the hands of McKee, however, the film is turned into a magnificent piece of cinema thanks to his style of storytelling and the way that the characters are built up. Yes, there is a lot of character development in this film, so those of you who want to see some cheap lesbian action and a lot of blood will want to look elsewhere. In my eyes, however, this makes the film infinitely better than it could have been in the hands of a more mainstream-oriented director. These two ladies are given ample time to develop their characters, and the end result is a pair of leading ladies that the audience connects with and feels for. Taking this single aspect away from the film and handing the script over to someone else who decided to make a by-the-books sci-fi / horror movie would have produced a mediocre film, but thankfully, that was not how it happened.
Angela Bettis impressed me with her leading role in the aforementioned May, and her character portrayal here shows that her acting abilities in that film wasn't a fluke; the lady is a damned talented actress, plain and simple. In this film, she plays a role that was originally written for a man, and as such, she brings some masculinity to the role to offset the girlishness of her on-screen love interest. However, this is done in a very feminine way; while it's readily apparent that Bettis is the "man" of the house, she still comes across as very feminine. This seems to be a running theme with this film, but in the hands of a lesser actress, this character would have been laughable at best.
On the other side of the screen, we have former sexploitation-starlet Erin Brown. Longtime readers of this site may have realized that I highly enjoy her work (and no, not just the T&A aspect of it), and I've always said that the lady can bring a damned fine performance to the screen when given the chance. Well folks, this is one of those films where she is given a chance to shine, and it very well may be the role that gets her out of the b-movie circuit. She plays both sides of her character with ease, and she keeps up with the amazing Bettis in every scene that they share. Watching her transform from the shy, ultra-feminine girly-girl into an over-the-top bitch and finally into the "infected" side of her character is damned impressive, and she handles it all with ease.
Highly recommended, as if that wasn't obvious by the review thus far. McKee's entry into the Masters of Horror series rests comfortably alongside the work of Tobe Hooper, Stuart Gordon, Dario Argento, and all of the other masters... and never once does it seem out of place in comparison. 10/10.
- added 08/03/2006, 10:02 AM
He has the same character base idea for both of
the movies he's made. Shy lesbian seeks
acceptance. He even uses the same actress from
May. I loved the film, but this guy shouldn't be
considered a master just yet. If The Woods has a
lesbian or basic plot idea as his other films,
then i'm going to say he's a one trick pony. I
give the "film" 6/10.
- added 08/03/2006, 01:30 PM
The two films were completely different from one
another. The lesbian angle was used in both
films, true, but it's not the main focus of either
by far. In May, it was just another rejection,
while in Sick Girl, it was just there - it wasn't
the focus of the film and it wasn't even a big
deal in the grand scheme of the story. Sure, it
got the two lead actresses together in the same
storyline, but it could have just as easily been a
man and a woman playing the roles with the same
result. Every good director has their own style
of film (Kubrick, Miike, hell, even Peter
Jackson), and while these two films share the
style of character development that McKee is known
for, the general ideas behind the films (killer
woman / killer bugs) are like night and day.
- added 11/23/2006, 05:35 PM
Wow, I really enjoyed this. I was really looking
forward to Lucky's film for the Masters of Horror
series and when I heard that Misty Mundae was
going to be a part of it, my heart almost stopped.
I will say this, that Misty stole the whole film,
at least for me she did. I enjoyed everything
this film had to offer and I think it shows that
Misty Mundae can actually act. I'd definately
recommend this over The Woods any day of the week.
- added 04/14/2007, 10:30 PM
I really enjoyed this one. I watched it not
knowing it was a Masters of Horror entry, and just
assumed it was a short movie. The ending was
actually quite disturbing, as Misty really looked
creepy, and gross. 8/10
- added 11/09/2007, 08:26 PM
Saying I really enjoyed it is actually a bit of an
understatement. It's definitely the best entry of
the whole season, and one of the best films to
come out that year. And that's not even a biased
remark, considering how much I adore Misty. Lucky
McKee is just a very, very talented filmmaker, and
it really shows in this one.
- added 11/07/2009, 12:22 PM
it suck it had it good part from me i did not like
bug that make people crazy is a bad idea and about
the acting was not so great 1/10
- added 04/20/2015, 08:26 PM
I absolutely loved this addition to Masters of
Horror! I thought both of the lead actresses did
extremely well, the story was unique and
interesting, and creepy and sweet