It is a very rare occasion that a new concept rears its head in the horror genre, yet here, ‘Chastity Bites’ dares to do so, and it rocks!
With plenty of attitude, bad-girl clichés and a wicked sense of humour ‘Chastity Bites’ makes an effective horror comedy out of the most unlikely of concepts. When a mysterious foreigner joins the staff of a high-school in sleepy US town, local feminist, reporter and all round individualist ‘Leah’ is likely to take notice. Leah has made a career of reporting ‘her’ version of the latest scoop for the alumni paper, and in the process ostracised herself from everyone at school, bar her equally unpopular best friend. So, when said visitor turns up out of the blue and sets up the school’s first abstinence group she sets out on a mission to explore every angle possible on the history of one ‘Liz Batho’ – sound familiar? Well it should. The 600 year old Hungarian princess has found the perfect front for her unique brand of Botox, harvesting the blood of young American virgins!
The movie which I couldn’t get out of my head when watching this is the completely unrelated ‘Bubba-ho-tep’. That, like this movie, had a plot which has no place even as a B-movie, let alone a good one! But, again, like that movie ‘Chastity Bites’ mixes in just the right amount of ingredients to make the end result very satisfying indeed. First off this movie gets its characters established quickly and assertively, each one being brought to life by a very competent cast. There are the standard stereotypes – the midlife crisis conservative moms, the bitchy cheerleading girls, and then the two nerdy outcasts. Each character set alone would not be anything of interest, but with the decent script entwining their encounters together the story quickly becomes engaging and amusing. The banter and silly set pieces had me hooked even before the frighteningly contrasting Louise Griffiths enters into the fray with her eloquent portrayal of Liz Bathos/Elizabeth Bathory.
Once the movie gets into full flow I was surprised to see a slight shift in direction and pitch. I was honestly expecting the silliness and slapstick nature of the opening half-hour to continue in the same vein, however it’s not long before the movie turns on its sharpened stilettos and turns full slasher. Oh yeah! If the US poster art wasn’t a big enough give away – looking suspiciously like a homage to 80s grinder ‘Pieces’ and the black gloved Giallo stalkers – there are several stalk slash sequences in the movie which are perfect homages to the glory days of horror! There is even a really cool scene where one of the cast is chase in first person view by a killer wearing a black glove a wielding a knife. Even when the movie reverts back to its own identity the gore doesn’t stop, and it’s here the genre of slapstick, tongue in cheek humour which might have come across a little dorky to begin with, makes perfect sense as the movie actually becomes a fairly light hearted splatter movie.
There is plenty of blood and gore found in this film, and a variety of virgins to provide it. It was honestly a pleasure to see a number of the more (intentionally) annoying characters dispatched in a multitude of methods. There are no scenes of absolutely gross-out violence, but the effects are decent and bloody non-the-less.
Overall, to say anymore is to risk repeating myself. ‘Chastity Bites’ is one of those movies which is just made right. There is no singular reason why the formula works, it just does. It’s a funny, gory and unique slasher experience which already has a decent following and it’s not hard to see why. It is released in the UK through Safecracker pictures currently on iTunes and 20th April on DVD.