By Dan Kinem
The second I heard about an obscure, shot-on-video horror movie called Venus Flytrap, I got so excited to see some killer flytrap action that I nearly shit myself. I could hardly wait to pop it in. After I got over the initial disappointment that not only was this not a horror movie, but there were no Venus flytraps involved, it actually proved to be a really unique, interesting, and ahead-of-it’s-time movie about a few punks who break up a yuppie party and wreak all kinds of havoc.
The movie opens inside a closed record store (oh how I wish it was a video store). There’s an aging hippie working the counter and he hears a girl from outside the locked door say, “Hey, open up. I’m looking for Moby Grape. You’re the only store in town with any Moby Grape.” Obviously, the girl is playing to the fact he is a hippie and loves himself some psychedelic pop (ala Moby Grape). He eagerly opens up and the girl and two other punks storm in and start trashing and robbing the place. They tie up the owner and torture him. He tries to reason with them — “Hey man, violence is not the way, man. I fought a war for you, man.” — but they don’t listen.
The lead punk, Turk (played by Steve Malis), is a serious bad ass. I mean, what better name for a punk than Turk? He is as mad as you could be and goes around fuckin’ shit up. The punks overhear there’s going to be a rich yuppie party at Rod’s house (played by Kevin M. Glover), so they decide to go crash it. What starts as harmless party crashin’ becomes something much more, something sadistic. You get everything from Russian Roulette and murder, to some weird guy watching everyone have sex on video surveillance, to more “fag”-bombs than you could imagine. It’s a party no one will soon forget.
It becomes a series of games that get more and more violent as they go. It all begins with darts. “Isn’t darts a fag game?” says Turk. Darts pisses Turk off so bad, that, in a five-minute stretch, he pretends to shoot and kill everyone, beats a Yuppie’s ass nearly to death, rips all of a girl’s clothes off and forces his obviously gay friend to rape her. The scene culminates in, “Be careful who you’re fucking with next time, bitch!” Turk is so fucking hard!
From that point, though, it switches from the punks being the bad guys. The twist is that the yuppies are actually insane murderers playing a game and they sexually seduce each punk so they can kill them. Turk is killed last, but not without putting up a fight. He is ultimately beaten to death by the nerdy camera-man yuppie — who was filming the whole thing – because Turk destroyed his cameras.
The yuppies at the end all embrace in hugging the nerdy one, congratulating him. “You were art. Pure art. Performance art.”
And they all live happily ever after.
This is a very strange movie that kept me engaged the entire time. It is packed with hilarious, ridiculous and over-the-top violence, homophobia, sex, nudity, blood, punk, etc. It also features a very catchy theme song that I can’t get out of my head. “Trapped! In a Ve-nuss fly trap!” (or something like that). It was really a breathe of fresh air, and while it might not have been technically well-made, it tried something that not a lot of other movies did and actually attempted a unique story with interesting and engaging characters. If you don’t go into this expecting it to be another typical SOV movie from the 80s, you will love it.
The VHS was released through Legacy Home Video/Campfire Video. Legacy Home Video released a couple other movies that I know of, like Pieces of Darkness and Desperation Rising and Campfire Video has been rumored to have some connection to Donna Michelle, though I’m pretty sure that isn’t true. If it is true, then this movie is basically the 8th Donna Michelle release, though, which is great. It fits right in with their catalog of films and ranks up there with Woodchipper Massacre as one of my favorite SOV movies. The movie is fairly rare since it has never gotten a DVD release and was probably printed in a small run. If you can nab this movie for $30 or less than that’s a great deal and go for it!
Read Dan’s interview with producer/actor Kevin M. Glover