EXQUISITE CORPSE (2010)
Written and Directed by Scott David Russell
Available on Amazon Prime Instant Video
A neuroscientist student’s worst nightmare becomes his reality when the girl he has loved from afar drowns during their weekend break away. Having recently experimented with bringing his lab mice back to life and succeeding, he decides to use the same method on his beloved Sophia after stealing her body from the morgue. With his beau back alive and walking and talking, his world has once again become complete but after his mice turn savage after two days through some kind of withdrawl, he has no option to continue to kill and resurrect Sophia if he is to keep her on this Earth but to do that he needs a chemical that can only be produced by live humans…
EXQUISITE CORPSE combines the Frankenstein morality issues and meddling with re-animation with the need to kill in this horror cum romantic thriller. The latter aspect is something which we’ve seen before in film, the most obvious for me being Julia helping Frank in Hellraiser. In this effort, Nicholas needs to extract a chemical from human hosts as they orgasm, give birth or reach near death. Whichever one of the methods he chooses results in the murder of the victim, after all, you can’t exactly stick a needle in them during one of these episodes and expect them to be happy about it. This isn’t the first film to toy with resurrection either and unfortunately it’s not one of the better ones.
One of the main issues of EXQUISITE CORPSE is the characters and their lack of persona development and depth. We have Nicholas (Steve Sandvoss) who’s head over heels in love with Sophia (Nicole Vicius) but so far in his life has just been her friend and, to quote his words, been like a little brother to her. When he asks her out and she says yes and that she’s been waiting since prom for him to do so, you’d think that the sexual or romantic chemistry would show? Wrong. Whilst he may be infatuated with her, she seems more interested in her paintings and artwork. Every opportunity, even after her numerous resurrections, she’s obsessed with her creative endeavors yet makes a point of not wanting to hear Nicholas prattle on about his science experiments. She seems to take, take, take and give nothing back to Nicholas who seems to be blind to the way she mistreats him emotionally. With Sophia wrapped up in her own bubble, it’s hard to actually like the character and I found that most of the dialogue spoken by her in the movie sounds mumbled and hard to decipher. Their love or romance is over before it even began with her death but even before and after resurrection, there’s no chemistry whatsoever between the two “romantic” leads. The supporting couple, Henry and Liz, who are friends of Nicholas and Sophia, have a much more convincing relationship going on and I found their scenes to be far more interesting and watchable than that of the two leads.
The science aspect of the film is also questionable but most of it washes away into the overall blandness of the film and weak script that fails to grip the viewer. It’s like watching a love-sick puppy moping about, happy to take a pan to anyone’s head just to feed his lust and infatuation without fully understanding the consequences.
As the film reaches it’s final third, it all gets a bit daft but the film does leave on a redeeming note that put a smile on my face but overall its slow-pacing, weak characters and script left me dissatisfied.