Kinky Killers

 (aka Polycarp 2008)

by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

There have been attempts to create erotic entertainment from just about every type of film, but this is the first softcore film I've seen in the form of a theological thriller.

There's a police procedural overlay. Two cops have to solve a series of murders in which the killer removes one body part from each victim and tattoos one of the parts left behind. The tattoos seem to have some religious significance related to St. Polycarp, the very first Christian martyr. In fact, Polycarp was put to death twice. According to Christian legend, he survived being burned at the stake, although some 85 years old at the time, at which point he was stabbed to death. Apparently he was quite the tough old buzzard. The original title of this film was "Polycarp," until somebody decided that the name of an obscure second century bishop probably wouldn't pull in a lot of traffic in the erotica section of your local video store, sandwiched between "The Doctor Is In" and "Spring Break Sluts." The new title works better for that purpose of course, but to tell you the truth, I didn't find the subject matter any more erotic than the old title. There's a little torture, some dismemberment, and plenty of screaming, if those sorts of nasty things get you in the mood.

In case you were contemplating watching the film for its non-erotic elements, I wouldn't advise it. The presentation is virtually incoherent. The film goes for an obscure "mind-fuck" approach in which characters talk in riddles or recite biblical quotations, and in which every single witness questioned by the cops turns out to be somehow involved in the actual murders. The conspirators also murder one another when they get bored with the routine practice of killing strangers, and when they get really bored, they kill the investigators as well. As you can imagine, that really puts a damper on the police procedural section of the entertainment.

When the cops are dead, as the film concludes, something completely different happens. I think it is supposed to be a big surprise plot twist. Unfortunately, I'm not quite sure what it is or what it means!

On the road to the befuddling conclusion, the film's biblical details, though repeated again and again with confidence, are simply wrong. Polycarp's legendary double martrydom could not be mentioned in Revelations or any other book of the bible. The various parts of The New Testament were written before ol' Poly died in 155 AD. But we need not rely on theoretical presumptions. The University of Virginia has the entire bible online and searchable, and a search for Polycarp yields no results.

Surprisingly, two familiar mainstream actors appear in this film. Charles Durning, who was once a great character actor and is now just a shell of his former self, appears briefly, and his appearance will break your heart. Michael Par, a former 80s heartthrob, is the film's other established performer. There was a time in the early 80s when Pare seemed destined for stardom. In 1983-84, when he was in his mid-twenties, he had solid parts in four pretty decent movies - the first four movies he would ever make.

  1. (7.20) - Undercover (1983)
  2. (6.27) - Streets of Fire (1984)
  3. (6.26) - Eddie and the Cruisers (1983)
  4. (6.07) - The Philadelphia Experiment (1984)

That seems so long ago now that it's more like the memory of a dream than a real recollection. Many of you are probably surprised to find out that Par did not retire in the early 80s and disappear mysteriously, like his most famous character, Eddie the Cruiser. It turned out that those four movies would constitute virtually the entire worthwhile portion of his career. It would be 15 years before he had another important role in a good movie. (The Virgin Suicides, 1999). Oh, he still makes plenty of films, at least 15 so far in this century, with ten more currently in the pipeline, but they're just not any good. Polycarp, with a mediocre 5.3 score, is rated the highest of all his 21st century films at IMDb - and by a great distance. Eight of the others are rated below three.

  1. (5.28) - Polycarp (2007)
  2. (4.30) - Postal (2007)
  3. (4.21) - Heart of America (2003)
  4. (4.09) - Fate (2003)
  5. (3.88) - Gargoyle (2004) (V)
  6. (3.83) - Furnace (2006)
  7. (3.67) - Crash Landing (2005)
  8. (2.97) - Komodo vs. Cobra (2005) (TV)
  9. (2.90) - Space Fury (2000)
  10. (2.89) - Sanctimony (2000) (TV)
  11. (2.80) - Red Serpent (2002)
  12. (2.61) - BloodRayne (2005)
  13. (2.58) - Blackwoods (2002)
  14. (2.34) - BloodRayne II: Deliverance (2007)
  15. (2.07) - Seed (2007)

How bad are things going when four of your recent films were directed by Uwe Boll and a nudie movie is the top one on your personal totem pole? (Well, to be fair, Polycarp has very few votes and the ballot has obviously been stuffed, so it will undoubtedly end up much lower than its current rating ... but still!)

Getting back to the point, at least briefly, Polycarp is dark, confusing, unpleasant, and horny, which means it plays out like Donny Darko does Dallas, with a little satanism stirred in for seasoning. Your tastes may differ from mine of course, but these sorts of things are not the proper kindling for my erotic fires.

DVD INFO

* no widescreen

* there is a "making of" feature in which the director goes a long way toward explaining the film's more cryptic plot points.

 

THE CRITICS AND ACADEMIES

  No major reviews online
   
   
   
   

THE PEOPLE

   
6.1 IMDB summary (of 10)
  It will undoubtedly be much lower by the time you read this.

 

 

 

THE BOX OFFICE

Straight to video.

 

 

 

 

 

NUDITY REPORT

The bulk of the nudity comes from softcore veteran Beverly Lynne, who gives it all up repeatedly.

Also chipping in with a strong completely naked contribution is Alison Whitney.

The last nude scene includes three women. The one who keeps her bra on is Brooke Lewis. Beverly Lynne (again!) is the naked blonde. I think the brunette with Michael Pare is Kelli McCarty, but I won't swear to it. I think it is her character, but she hasn't done a nude scene in six or seven years, and that body looks much too good.

 

 

 

 

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Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:

C-

It is a marginally watchable genre film. I considered rating it lower, but I concluded that it may be to the tastes of some genre fans.