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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Devil's Bloody Playthings
The Devil's Bloody Playthings
POPcinema // Unrated // September 20, 2005
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by das Monkey | posted July 8, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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"I can't say it enough: these films aren't for everyone." - Chip Lamey

INTRODUCTION:

Christine (Ruby LaRocca) is an obnoxious, nasty creature who fancies herself as a stylish hipster and apparently makes an income shooting hidden camera videos of women urinating. Periodically, she finds a new unsuspecting female roommate and treats her like crap for her own amusement. Karen (Zoe Moonshine, executive producer and wife of the director), a young girl who has just arrived from South Africa with no possessions, or dignity for that matter, becomes the latest to participate in this idiotic exchange, and The Devil's Bloody Playthings chronicles the lifespan of their relationship for an excruciating 84 minutes.

CONTENT:

Content? Not much. The story begins with the final confrontation between Christine and her previous roommate. The roommate returns home from a night out, and Christine goes on a profanity-laced tirade that proves ineffective, as the object of her abuse has finally decided she has had enough and will no longer tolerate Christine's games. Christine gets angry, breaks a few things, and then goes off to find her next victim.

Enter Karen, a South African girl almost completely devoid of character or personality, who is so lacking in opportunities that she willingly moves in with Christine, a set of circumstances that makes even less sense when we meet a friend of Karen's family who actually lives in the city and would be willing to give her some money and a place to stay. Christine begins their relationship by criticizing the new roommate's clothing selection and slowly begins to invade other areas of her life, taking Polaroids of Karen while seated on a toilet and filming her in compromising positions with a hidden camera.

Mixed into this story is a couple of sequences with Christine's group of loser friends (including a viewing party for another of director William Hellfire's works, Orgasm Torture in Satan's Rape Clinic), some scenes with Karen's friend of the family, and a subplot about Christine trying to sell her wares to a lowlife producer of sorts named Swine (Shannon Selberg). None of it has much coherency, and without rhyme or reason, characters begin getting killed, culminating in a final "showdown" between the two lead characters. Little of consequence really happens, and most of the film is spent with characters yelling at each other or simply sitting on a couch exchanging awful meaningless dialogue or cheap visuals of female nudity that aren't even remotely erotic.

It really is difficult to find anything in this film that works on any level. In fact, calling it a "film" in the first place almost seems like misinformation. Your average low-budget porno has a more involving story and more compelling performances than The Devil's Bloody Playthings. The camerawork is amateurish at best, the story is largely nonexistent, and the acting of pretty much everyone involved reminds me of a staff line-feeder in a first round of auditions. The back of the DVD case calls it a "tense psychological horror with a potent dose of meanspirited sexploitation to pinch the nerves of those daring enough to view it." At least they have a sense of humor. Nothing about this film is tense or psychological, and I'm not even sure you can get away with calling it "horror". I do agree with the "daring enough to view it" part, though. Before I looked it up, I could have sworn the 84-minute runtime was closer to 6 hours, and I wanted a medal when I made it to the end without giving up.

As I sat staring blankly at the screen while watching this mess, I kept hoping something -- anything -- of interest would occur, or at the very least, there would be some level of USA Up All Night comedy to be found within the disaster. Sadly, The Devil's Bloody Playthings is worse than bad; it's boring, and doesn't even reach that classic so-bad-it's-funny milestone. Wait, I take that back. There is one sequence where a character is killed with a blunt object, but the striking blow is short-armed so as not to make contact between the actor, and the victim follows by spitting out a red liquid that looks nothing like blood in what has to be the least-convincing on-screen death I have ever seen. I chuckled at that. So, score one for the Electric Daisy Pushers.

PRESENTATION:

The Devil's Bloody Playthings is presented with a full frame transfer that doesn't look too bad considering the terribly low quality of everything else. Colors are adequate, and detail is clear. There are numerous little hang-ups here and there, but nothing so bad as to ruin the viewing experience.

The audio, on the other hand, is a complete disaster. Shot with a handheld camera and on-board microphone, dialogue clarity is inversely proportional to the distance between the actor and the camera. At best, the audio is muffled, and at worst, it's incredibly difficult to understand what anyone is saying. With the background music added on after filming at a constant volume, it often overwhelms the dialogue, and the balance between the two is in constant shift.

WHISTLES & BELLS:

The only real extra is a blooper real. It isn't particularly interesting, but it does make it seem like the filmmakers are nice people who had a lot of fun working on this project. Also, there are trailers for The Devil's Bloody Playthings and Orgasm Torture in Satan's Rape Clinic.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS:

The Devil's Bloody Playthings is a disjointed mess of unmotivated scenes cobbled together into 84 minutes of complete boredom. It's not scary or creepy or sexy or funny or interesting on any level of any kind. The author of the insert states, "these films aren't for everyone." I question whether Playthings is for anyone. Since "Avoid at All Costs" is not an official rating, all I can do is advise you to Skip It.

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