�Leeches� is a horror movie of superleeches attacking and largely wiping out the Lakecrest College men�s swim team.
Swimmer Stevo Robbins (played by Matt Twining of �The Frightening�) pushes steroids onto many other team members, partly to help the team win its competitions. Jason (played by Josh Henderson), Tony (played by Stephen Swan), Hank (played by Mark I. Miller), and Fish (played by Greg Lyczkowski) have all received drugs from Stevo. One day the team swims and parties at a lake. Stevo and Jason run back to the showers while carrying rather large leeches on their backs. The guys pluck off the steroid-engorged leeches and toss them onto the shower floor. Later, Tony kicks these leeches down a drainpipe, where they grow bigger and meaner.
The first leech attack is on an incapacitated showerer, Doug (played by Trevor Harris), who gets a mouthful. Doug goes home, vomits up a huge leech (the best effect of the movie), and dies. The leech goes on to the next victim, Brian (played by Mike Cole). The superleeches multiply and are soon all over the campus.
In general, the women are the consciences of the group. Girlfriends Sarah (played by Alexandra Westmore), Sabrina (played by Charity Rahmer), Casey (played by Stacey Nelson), and Angela (played by Maya Parish) resist the take-drugs-to-win positions of the men. Dr. Alice Manning (played by Julie Briggs) finds steroids in the blood of a dead swimmer and wants to test the whole team, but she doesn�t live long enough. Sarah is especially brave about touching leeches and their slime.
The other counterpoint is science student/swimmer Steve (played by Michael Lutz) and his study-buddy (played by Tyler Sedustine). They hit the books while the others party.
Of the fifteen credited characters appearing onscreen, twelve die over the course of this 85 minute movie. That�s once every seven minutes, which suggests there is a lot of action but not a lot of character development. The early kills are people we hardly know. The later the kill, the more we tend to know and not respect the character. There is a surprise at the end.
At a higher level, the movie portrays the bad side effects of tinkering with our bodies and of putting the wrong chemicals out into nature. Booze and steroids figure in the ends of most. Steroids make the leeches larger and more aggressive. Being a studious scholar-athlete is not a complete answer either, as will be made clear.
At a lower level, the movie displays male skin galore in swimming, bondage, and sleeping situations. The girlfriends go no further than brief bikini shots at the lake. All the men, other than the study-buddy and Coach Foster (played by Tony Carroccio) have lots of time in their swim suits. There is no [alternative]angle; all relationships are straight.
Producer/Director David DeCoteau has created a rather good movie, much improved over Brotherhood III. The camerawork, lighting, and pacing are excellent. The leeches are acceptable, although some unnaturalness of motion is apparent. The acting is average overall, although I liked Matt Twining�s Stevo, Julie Briggs�s Doctor Alice Manning, and Alexandra Westmore�s Sarah a bit more than the rest. The director�s commentary is very good, filled with interesting points. There are various plot holes, but these come with the genre.
There are very few naturalistic horror films with lots of handsome, male college boy skin. This is as strong an entry as there is for that niche. 3.5 stars, call it 4 for daring.