Director: Brian Yuzna
Starring: Billy Warlock, Devin DeVasquez, Evan Richards, Ben Meyerson, Charles Lucia
Society. It’s all about fitting in.
Bill Whitney is struggling with his place in the world. He feels alienated from his rich family and he also doesn’t feel like he fits in at school. He gets so paranoid about this that he is sent to a psychiatrist to get control over his feelings.
His friend Blanchard, who was also dating Bill’s sister for a short while, also becomes convinced that there is a conspiracy going on. Shortly after he reveals this to Bill, Blanchard dies in a suspicious car accident. Bill is put over the edge and it won’t take him a long time before he finally finds out the deep secret of his family.
Society is a very original concept, something that could probably only be done this gooey in the late 80’s. I was shocked by it when I saw it as a young age, but as an adult I recognize and enjoy the humour and silliness of it. It is also easy to identify with young (well, would have been easier if he actually looked like a teenager I guess) Bill as many youngsters will at times feel alienated and disconnected from the rest of their social environment, even their own family.
Billy Warlock, perhaps mostly known from Baywatch fame, plays Bill and he does a good job portraying the distressed outsider. And it’s not an easy task to be taken seriously considering what type of clothes they wore at this particular time, something that just adds to the fun factor of this film. Ben Meyerson’s character Ferguson, the preppy villain of sorts, is the perfect example of this. The guy looked like he was 30 at the time and his 80’s clothes made him look even more ridiculous when he was trying to come off as a young teenager.
Director Brian Yuzna had previously worked as a producer on projects such as Re-Animator, From Beyond and Dolls before getting his directorial debut with Society. He does a satisfying job with his first full feature, although it really is the special effects by S.M.G. Inc and the funny dialogue in the script by Rick Fry and Woody Keith that really makes the movie.
Society is perhaps not for everyone though, as it really reeks of the late 1980’s. It is for those who enjoy those type of films and I find it to be quite enjoyable. You can choose to read into the story if you want or just enjoy it as a goofy and fun film, whatever you choose I do think it is worth checking out… the final party scene alone makes it worth it.