Leeches!: Speedos, Speedos Everywhere (Lean-n-Mean-2 W/O)
Dec 8, 2003 (Updated Aug 11, 2004)
Review by tbthorn
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Cons:Predictable, No Nudity
The Bottom Line: Drugs are bad. Okay.
Recommend this product?
Sub-categories: Monsters - Leeches, Teen Horror, Studs
Predictability: Called Every Move
Scare Factor: A Few Flinches
Gore Factor: Mild Gore
Look-at-these: Guys in Speedos
Synopsis: The college swim team is on the fast track to big wins, with a little anabolic boost from steroids. When leeches from a local swimming hole feed off of these buff young studs, they become a HUGE problem on campus.
Analysis: With the exception of David DeCoteau's The Brotherhood III, I've been generally satisfied with his work. His films are by no means perfect, or outstanding for that matter. I'd even say that they're mediocre, but anyone who can direct no less than a dozen watchable horror films deserves some sort of recognition. Leeches! is a departure from his most recent homoerotic thrillers, but is nonetheless satisfying in the end.
The scenerio, where the all-male swim team is jacked on steroids, is nothing more than an invitation to exploit the assets of it's hot young cast. Not that they seem to mind be exploited, with the vast majority appearing in earlier DeCoteau works -- most notably in The Frightening. Nobody does a particularly bad, nor a particularly good, job. They're here for their bodies, not their minds. I was glad to see Charity Rahmer (The Frightening, Cheerleader Massacre) return to work with DeCoteau, but her character was marginalized, which is the fate of most female characters in his films. I knew that I wasn't going to see her naked, but I still would have liked to see more of her.
The homoerotic potential of Leeches! is far greater than other DeCoteau films, but he seemed to squander that. If there was ever the opportunity for a bunch of guys to shower naked together, then this was it. There are many such missed opportunities, but for some reason unbeknownst to yours truly, DeCoteau sticks by his policy of no male nudity in his films. This seems particularly odd given his propensity for T&A in earlier films, dating back from Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama. There are plenty of slow lingering, Playboy-style surveys of the male characters, but why not a butt shot, or two, or three? For the sake of being realistic, if nothing else. Who showers in his speedo, anyway? I was hoping for some insight contained within the director commentary, but all DeCoteau could talk about was film formats and the cost of renting the pool. Please David, inquiring minds really want to know.
David DeCoteau is openly gay, and anyone who has seen his recent films wouldn't question his target audience. However, he completely avoids the topic of homosexuality in most of his works. In Leeches!, he even goes as far as throwing in a few token girlfriends who serve no legitimate purpose in advancing the story. I wouldn't expect all of the characters to be gay, because that would be, well, queer. Avoidance just doesn't seem like the appropriate solution.
Leeches! is DeCoteau's first creature feature, and he manages reasonably well at predictable and cheesy. The leeches are intentionally unrealistic, looking more like jello molds than anything sinister. Most of the film's punch comes from the stylish photography and musical score. The one thing that I missed was the creative ingenuity that I've come to associate with a DeCoteau film. The ending was appropriately twisty, but not entirely unexpected. I suppose it's the lack of this trademark whackiness that makes the film seem almost hollow.
Final Comments: Leeches! isn't this years Anaconda, because it's actually worth watching. DeCoteau insists on holding back on some of the goods, but he still manages to piece together a worthwhile rental.
DeCoteau's Homoerotic Thrillers: The Brotherhood I, II, III, Leeches!, The Frightening, Voodoo Academy
DeCoteau's Non-Homoerotic Thrillers: Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Witchouse, Ancient Evil: Scream of the Mummy
Lean-n-Mean 2 W/O
This is my entry into Tom's (Sleeper54's) Lean-n-Mean Write-off, dedicated to cutting down on unnecessary verbiage at Epinions. 616 words, on a real movie this time!
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