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China White Serpentine (2004)
Movie Review by The Mortician

China White Serpentine (2004) Here's a noteworthy little movie in the underground scene that merges the hopeless worlds of drug addiction with a bizarre RING-like demoness who holds victims in her web of destruction until she uses their souls up. Told in nonlinear fashion, this latest offering from filmmaker Eric Stanze (co-writing and co-directing with Robin Garrels here) is morbidly fascinating, although I must admit that the filmmaking style Stanze and company have adapted for most of their SUB ROSA EXTREME movies is extremely depressing.The story, as best as I could follow it, deals with a writer named Dave, who is struggling to make ends meet. His writer's block has been enhanced by the recent death of his brother Trent, who passed away amidst mysterious circumstances...Well, Trent's ghostly apparition shows up at Dave's front door, handing him a DVD to watch...which explains Trent's story, sort of. Actually, Trent's girlfriend Beth, who is also deceased, explains things on disc and we see how Trent and Beth were both seduced into the world of TRACEY---a woman who fed them sex, drugs, and aplace to live---if the couple would do her bidding (which included making Internet sex videos and delivering drugs for her.) Of course, this doesn't last and Tracey tires of her pawns when they actually fall in love, and things end up very bloody, including a chainsaw castration that will leave you gasping in pain!The supernatural DVD Dave watches causes VIDEODROME-ish hallucinations and unleashes otherworldly things...so Dave calls his sister and her 'psychic' lover Zenna (who has had some premonitions about things) to help him make sense of all this...and of course, the proceedings only get worse, including a twisted revelation of deceit that horror fans should enjoy.There's a line in this movie that pretty much sums up how low-budget movies should be watched. Dave says, 'Don't hand me money for McDonald's and expect steak and lobster' or something to that effect, and this principle should be applied when viewing all low-budget movies- don't expect TOO MUCH from the indie scene and you won't be disappointed. The moviemakers can only deliver so much with McDonald's budgets!What's delivered in CHINA WHITE SERPENTINE is what hardcore fans of the scene are usually looking for---graphic sexuality, brutal gore, and a twisted storyline that takes some thought and a couple of views to figure out. If that, coupled with a very nihilistic and depressing tone, are what you enjoy, then you won't be disappointed with this flick! Just don't compare it to stuff with millions of dollars behind it and you'll be all right.The performances of all the actors in CHINA WHITE SERPENTINE are decent, especially DJ Vivona as Dave and Jason Allen Wolfe as Trent---both bring a nice, desperate reality to their parts. There's also a nice cameo appearance by Emily (SCRAPBOOK) Haack, who has a pretty large fanbase that is always growing... The music score, by a variety of artists doing industrial-style/techno metal, keeps the movie going with a steady, relentless beat. This 'pulse' keeps you interested as things unfold.Definitely check this movie out if you like your horror deep, dark, and oppressive---CHINA WHITE SERPENTINE is one heavy load! And keep watching after the end credits for further explanations of how the Tracey-thing got its origins...She could very well return in other movies or a sequel!
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