DRAINIAC. (2000) WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY BRETT PIPER. STARRING GEORGIA HATZIS, ALEXANDRA BOYLAN, SAMARA DOUCETTE, ETHAN KRASNOO, ROB GORDEN, STEPHEN BORNSTEIN, PHILIP BARBOUR AND LESLIE CULTON.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
I quite liked this low-budget horror movie, although it must be said that it’s not exactly THE EXORCIST in terms of well-made scariness. It’s the story of a pretty brunette high-school student called Julie, whose home life is not exactly a bed of roses.
Her Mom committed suicide a year ago and her Dad is such a prize a**hole to her that at first I thought he must be, like, a wicked Step-Dad or something but no, he’s her real Dad and he really seems to hate his daughter. She’s actually a lovely decent girl, so God knows what his problem is.
Anyway, Julie’s Dad is in the habit of buying houses that are real fixer-uppers and selling them on for a few quid. The bad news for Julie is that she seems to be the one who gets landed with the job of cleaning these dumps while Dad buggers off down the pub for a few beers and a moan to his mates about how tough it is to be the parent of an ungrateful offspring…
The house Julie has to clean this time round is a real doozy. It’s big and old, surrounded by trees, and it hasn’t felt the flick of a duster since Jesus was a lad. Her friends, a typically whiny teenage trio called Lisa, Tanya and Jake, drive round to the house to visit her and she ropes them into helping her to clean up.
Naturally, they’re not impressed at having to spend their precious Saturday playing at being Mrs. Mopp. No doubt they’d rather be drinking milkshakes at the mall or texting on their cellphones, or whatever it is that American teens like to do in their free time.
It’s hard to describe where the horror comes in exactly. The house, which we the viewers know has already killed a homeless man when he touched some unidentified slime down in the basement, is not haunted by a ghost in the traditional sense but there’s something evil in the water-slash-plumbing, something that seems to want to kill selected people with whom it comes in contact but not, apparently, others. It’s a discerning evil, see?
The scariest scene is probably when Wade, a local bully who’s followed the teens to the house, jumps out at Julie in the bedroom wearing a genuinely freaky monster mask that looks like the undead villain in THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY.
That picture of Wayne on the back of the DVD box made me think that this was a good old-fashioned mutant/monster film, so yes, I was disappointed when I found out that all we were dealing with was a few gallons of possessed water. To quote the teens of today, I was all like, so what, you know, whatever…!
Julie has various nightmares that are spooky enough and there’s a totally gratuitous nude bathing scene involving the leading lady that should keep any male viewers interested. There’s also some tickling and some very mild spanking in the film and a near-rape scenario when Wade the Bully Boy makes a play for Tanya, Julie’s whingy blonde friend.
Tanya, by the way, with her curly blonde hair and permanently pouty, sulky expression, is a dead ringer for Nellie Oleson from sappy (but brilliant!) drama serial LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE. I often used to wonder what it would be like to get a spanking from Pa Ingalls, who was always firm but fair…!
I digress, haha. The exorcism scene at the end of DRAINIAC is pretty cool, with all the weird little creatures and everything, and shows a love of horror on the director’s part that goes a long way towards redeeming the film. Don’t you just love it, incidentally, when a fully-equipped exorcist turns up at your house just when you’ve decided that the place is probably haunted…? Wouldn’t you say that that was just marvellous timing…? Yes, haha, I’m being sarcastic.
I loved the nudie dancing scene that accompanied the end credits. I always watch end credits for that exact reason, to see if the director’s put in any little surprises or extras or whatever. I’ve been last out of the cinema on many occasions, braving the wrath of the popcorn-picker-uppers just to see if there’s ‘a funny bit at the end,’ as we call it in my house.
I’m off now to refresh myself with a nice cool glass of water. Oh wait, on second thoughts, maybe I’d better just have a Coke…
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
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