Demented and stricken the mind of Glenn Danzig may be, his debut in the directing chair is more a horror show than a haunting piece for the horror genre. It is of a quality and style directly influenced by The Room and Birdemic: Shock and Terror. A beautiful crashing of monumentally poor proportions. An oddity in its own right, one that should never have seen the light of day. We should have learned our lesson when Fred Durst and John Travolta teamed up to make The Fanatic. Washed-up rockstars have no right directing movies of this magnitude, especially not a man whose most recent album was a cover of Elvis Presley songs. Thankfully, Verotika features none of those covers.
It is too busy covering the works of other, talented characters of this genre to focus on anything else. What little Danzig can do with camera movement and technical effects is lost entirely on a lacklustre cast of amateurs trying their hand at artistic expression. Said expressions are flat and unconvincing, the horror around them unmoving and borderline degenerate. It could be argued that the very appeal of horror is to devolve and delve deep into the disgust many fail to display in works that try and grapple with the sensitivity of the topics. Danzig rips away the sensitivity and correctness, but in doing so he does not know where to stop. He crafts a jumble of mediocre scenes, made even worse by his inherent inability to display any talent or interest for what he wishes his audience to process.
What indeed. There is nothing within Verotika that displays any functional message. No moment that dispels the idea that this is a vanity project for a fool who has watched too many horror films and thought he could give it a crack. Dreadful CGI mixed with acting, lighting and camera movement that lingers more as dreadfully uncomfortable erotica than it does actual moviemaking. These actors look uncomfortable and distressingly confused. Danzig seems to have offered very little direction to these characters, with wooden acting and stumped faces delivering an inadequate trilogy of terror. His actual horror is unintentionally hilarious, and that will be the draw for so many looking to be entertained by that bittersweet feeling of unintentional comedy.
Horror that is both gruesome and stupid, Verotika looks too cheap to appeal to horror fans and too sexualised to take any of its stories seriously. Whatever horror Danzig looks to feature is always founded through his fascination and obsession with introducing softcore pornography and stale acting to the mix. Laugh-a-minute brilliance in a feature looking to strike fear into the hearts of audience members. Bless his heart, for he has tried. He’s from that twisted background of heavy rock nonsense that believes spiders, Satan and sex are the three fears of audience members. They are not, and even with any verbose desire to exploit those maddening images as anything particularly frightening, Danzig would have to rely on a deep love of the 1980s to do so. Satanism isn’t scary anymore, now it just looks a bit silly, and so does Danzig in this reminiscent horror show which attempts to bleed life into dead iconography.