Raving Maniacs (2005) (RePost from the old Ryan’s Reviews site)

Description (from bloodydigusting.com):
There’s a rave going on. It’s gonna be great. Tuesday and her boyfriend J.T., and their friend Katie, and Katie’s brother, are going out partying to the biggest rave in Providence, Rhode Island. Of course, the reckless kids become part of an alien plot to distribute some strange drugs (they’re so strange, that they glow in the dark) among the ravers at the party. The socially smart storyline tells a tale of reckless youth with no control over the substances they ingest in heir endless quest for stimulation, feeling, and euphoria. The risks of doing some drugs may never be discovered until it’s too late, when the party’s over.

Major Cast:
Patrick Cohen as Jessie Dorfner, Emily Morettini as Tuesday, Andrew Vellenoweth as J.T., Christine Peltier as Katie

Special Features:
None (Screener Copy)

Written by Richard Griffin, Trent Haaga, and Christine Peltier
Directed by Richard Griffin

Raving Maniacs is a heady combination of a drug movie, a zombie movie, and a bit of twisted romance.  Tuesday and J.T. are going to Providence’s biggest rave, and they brought along Katie and her little brother, who’s having a crappy birthday.  Things aren’t going to get better.

From the introduction of Raving Maniacs, titled “Supply,” we meet the villian of the film, a large glowing pill known as HDD, or the more ominous “Los Huevos del Diablo.”  Right from this scene we can feel that there is something not right about this stuff.  First off, it glows.  No backlight needed, HDD has its own luminance.  Maybe it’s just me on this point, but anything that can generate its own light is not going inside my body, thanks.  Right from this introduction we also get the mood of the film.  Raving Maniacs is dark, with a sprinkling of comedy, and I felt this mood continue throughout the film; as the film progressed the darkness became much more prevalent than the comedy.  This is a horror flick, after all.

“Supply” also introduces us to the almost psychedelic lighting scheme used in Raving Maniacs.  “Supply” is bathed in a lemon light , with fog rolling around the corner.  This light is so obviously not natural, but I didn’t feel that it detracted for its unnaturalness.  The lighting adds to the threatening feelings attached to HDD, and foreshadows what the drug is to do.

When we meet J.T. and Tuesday, the lighting is natural, reminding us that the villain is not around.  The lighting will not really return until the drug is back and about to take over.  The lighting was outstanding in this film, and made the sometimes vileness (this film gets DARK) on the screen easier to stomach.

As the story moves from “Supply” to “Demand” and on to “Abuse,” the four soon-to-be ravers nearly strike a hitchhiker who is also attending the night’s festivities, Rave to the Grave.  The hitchhiker supplies the group with some glowing pills, and things turn downward.  While watching, I was reminded of a line from Mr. Show: “Hey kids, only take what you can handle and always know your dealer.”  These people are asking for trouble when they not only take a glowing drug, but they take a glowing drug from some guy they’ve never seen before!  Always know your dealer!

I don’t want to go too much into what happens from here on, as it gets really sick and twisted in a good way.  I saw some things coming and was surprised by others, and was even surprised when
something I thought I saw coming actually happened (it was THAT TWISTED).  Needless to say, carnage akin to Lamberto Bava’s Demons ensues.

I don’t want people to think that this film is all evil and darkness.  Raving Maniacs is very funny when it wants to be.  Especially funny Patrick Pitu’s Keith, who is constantly disappearing from his
bus boy job at the club holding the rave to play a modified Game Boy’s Japanese porn game.  Also highlighting the comedy is William DeCoff’s Vietnam-scarred Benny the security guy.  There are
more laughs in this film as well, but do not mistake Raving Maniacs for a comedy!

At heart Raving Maniacs is a beautifully shot sick, gory horror film and a hell of a ride.  I enjoyed squirming while trying to get through the darkness, and laughing when I needed to at the comedy.  Raving Maniacs was a pretty, disgusting film to watch, which says that both the cinematography and make-up design did top-notch jobs.  The acting was good, better than most people would expect from a film shot so inexpensively.  Raving Maniacs script takes the time to introduce and develop the characters, so that when the carnage finally does ensue, we care what happens to the people up there except maybe J.T., ’cause he’s a dick!  Overall I felt that Raving Maniacs was a solid entry in the independent horror genre, and I hope to see it received well when it is distributed (hopefully soon!)

Overall 7.5 / 10

Raving Maniacs on the imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0455997/

Raving Maniacs is not for sale yet, but should be available soon from Brain Damage Films:

Raving Maniacs site for the time being: Richard Griffin on Myspace

Raving Maniacs official site: http://www.scorpiofilmproduction.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s