Bill Whitney is a 17 year old with a problem, he has to see a psychiatrist as he feels paranoid that his parent's, sister and even the psychiatrist himself are hiding a terrible secret from him. His parents treat him differently than his sister, and they seem disgusted that he mixes with the "lower class" which they would never do. He begins to suspect that his parents and sister have an incestuous relationship, and the horrible truth about his "upper class" family and friends is revealed in one twisted, horrific, bizarre night.
The acting is good, tv veteran Billy Warlock was very likeable as Bill and I genuinely hoped his character would be okay. Evan Richard's impressed as his best friend Milo, and Devin DeVasquez was terrific as the love interest Clarissa who may know more than she lets on. I could pretty much name the whole cast, as everybody played their part in a very well acted movie.
Society was Brian Yuzna's directorial debut, he'd been producer on several of Stuart Gordon's early movies including Re-Animator and From Beyond before deciding to direct himself. Society feels very similar to those early Gordon movies, it's pretty creepy before the outrageous final 20 minutes that's as weird as the last 20 minutes of Re-Animator. The first hour of Society is a very subtle, creepy movie with great atmosphere that only hints at what's to come. The final 20 minutes or so is very different with subtlety replaced with a visual treat of in your face, crazy gross out, stomach churning effects. For some people the ending ruins the film as it seems out of place and too different to the first hour, for other people it's by far the films biggest draw and it's what makes the film as good as it is. I really didn't mind the drastic change and enjoyed the whole film, and if your going to spend an hour hinting that something's going to happen, it might as well be shown.
Society is a horror film with social commentary, it's basically about how the rich stick to their own and the poor get eaten. I loved the theme song to Society, they reworked the Eton Boat Song with new lyrics and it sounds great, it's especially creepy when played near the end of the movie. The effects in the last 20 minutes look pretty cheap and rubbery now, but i'm sure in 1989 they were fantastic. Despite the effects not being the most realistic you'll ever see, in the context of the movie they're still rather unsettling and gross.
The film was made in 1989 but didn't get released until '92, i'm not sure why exactly but it may have something to do with the social commentary making the rich Hollywood types feel a little uneasy. The picture quality on the dvd is pretty good, there's cast and crew filmographies, Brian Yuzna production notes, Mark Kermode film notes and a couple of trailers. Society is a well made, funny, creepy, vomit inducing towards the end, classic 80s horror film. Yuzna actually directed the two Re-Animator sequels, and any fans of Stuart Gordon's early work should like Society.