THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE is a post-feminist thriller, following the events surrounding a birthday outing with two brothers and their friend which turns into a fight for survival after they become trapped in a house with a pin-up style-loving amilyof malevolent women.
The film THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE, begins as two brothers; Jacob and Kai, along with their friend Derek, are at Ritz, the local strip joint. The reason? Well, they are out celebrating Kai's birthday of course! With a few drinks and the view of several beautiful ladies, you'd think that the guys would be set. However, when the obviously mentally slow Kai becomes infatuated with one of the strippers, whose name is Ginger(stage name: "Wasabi"), the group of three decide to follow her home after she leaves the club. Bad idea. After warming up to them, Ginger lets them in. However, the night that began with an innocent game of drunken quarters, soon turns into a nightmare for the three guys, when the three other women of the house, also come home after a night of working the pole. Linn, Getty, Crystal and Ginger, all live under one roof, and all have a lot in common. Not only are they strippers, they have a love for all things retro, and when it comes to dinner, the women have no prejudice when it comes to eating human flesh. So, now with all four women now present in the house, the men are put in immediate danger as they must fight to survive, or become tonight's main course.
Although it is now currently available on video on Demand via Gravitas Ventures, the road leading up to this point, hasn't been an easy one for Director John Stuart Wildman's film, THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE. Spawning from a sudden joke about "cannibal strippers" in 2009, the Husband and Wife writing team of John Wildman and Justina Walford, quickly went to work on their first collaboration together. This was the followed up with casting in 2010 - a cast that included the casting of our good friend, and indie Horror mainstay, Tiffany Shepis. However, when unable to raise funds, eventually, the project fell through. So, in 2012, John and Justina opted to focus on another project, but when the budget for that film failed to measure up, the idea of switching their focus back to their previous project(then known as STRIPPED), quickly came about. After securing the film's cast(all but Shepis, who was forced to drop out of the film), filming finally commenced sometime in 2013, which eventually led to the film's premiere in the Spring of 2014.
With all of its pre-production troubles coupled with the fact that it was shot on a lower budget, THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE, very well could have been just another "throw away" Horror film. But luckily for us, a throw away it isn't. Wildman and Walford's film, is a film that is far more than a cheaply made, and thoughtless effort. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Although it was shot on a budget, THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE has surprising depth in a number of areas. The film's script paints vivid details of both the characters and the environment in which they live. While our four main women do have a lot in common, they also have their own identities, which the script makes abundantly clear as the film progresses. There's "Linn". who's the "motherly" figure of the "family", "Getty", the tough and brash one, "Crystal" who is more timid and childlike, and "Ginger", who I took to be more of a follower of sorts. The film avoids your typical "slash and kill" mentality, by creating a relationship between these characters and further demonstrating how their different personalities clash. This to me, made the things that are beyond the film's gore content, that much more interesting. By the film's end, these are characters that the viewers become truly invested in. But the film's great writing isn't the only thing to impress, as it appears that the script wasn't the only aspect of the film to have been well thought about. The entire art direction of the film is also top notch. The true emphasis, on color, from the brightly colored walls, down to the vivid hues of the clothes which they wear, send the viewer a subliminal message, hinting that the women seem to be trapped in their own little world. Also contributing to this train of thought, is the particular style of said clothes, and the music which can be heard playing though out the film. The film seems to have been inspired by a number of films, and the filmmakers who made them(I loved the slamming of the sliding door of the torture room ala THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, which seems fitting, seeing as the film was shot in Dallas Texas). However, instead of closely emulating its predecessors, it merely borrows hints from them, making them it's own, resulting in a film that is pretty unique.
When speaking on the film's acting, bringing our four main female villains to life are some pretty dedicated performances. When it comes to the four actresses, there really wasn't a performance that I didn't enjoy, as they all played the part well. As I said, each of the four characters have their own little individual traits about them, and it is via very good performances that we are able to believe it. All of the actresses; Farah White("Lin"), Melodie Sisk("Getty"), Brina Palencia("Crystal"), and Michelle Sinclair(Pornstar Belladonna as "Ginger"), work together to create a believable "family" of characters. Without the chemistry, I couldn't imagine the film working out as well as it does.
Although Wildman and Walford were first time filmmakers here, one couldn't tell. Together the two of them have created a story as interesting as it is fun. And although their film goes where many Horror/Thriller's have gone before, they have given their story enough care to ensure that it offers its own unique spin on things. Without the extra planning, and without the extra creativity, THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE would have just been another one of those bland Horrors that would likely be forgotten by most viewers in a matter of days(if not a day, tops). But instead, here, not only do we have a story that is memorable, but we also have a group of characters that are memorable as well. To be remembered are the colorful clothes and the surroundings, the various nods to Horror films before it, and of course there's the gore, and the many ways which the filmmakers chose to play it up. In the end, it's all great fun, to say the least.
5.5/10 Aside from multiple instances of blood through out, there are things such as a gun shot wound, a bloody hook to the neck, a disembowelment, a severed limb, as well as several other lacerations.
6/10 The film features a decent orchestrated score. But what truly stands out about the film's soundtrack is the inclusion of several, vintage '50s syle pop tunes that go hand-in-hand with the style that the "ladies" seem to embody.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
Although it is low budget, THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE is a film that ranks high with creative expression. I know that many of you have probably seen a cannibal film. But when was the last time you've seen a film, in which the cannibals were pinup girls? Exactly! THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE is a film that brings something a little different to the tried and true idea, and it's fun. I enjoyed it. And I didn't even mention the secret that the ladies keep locked away in a cage(one that they feed dog food)! I guess you will have to see the film to find out! I recommend.