Movie Review: Sunset Society (2018)

July 5, 2018

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

The Sunset Society are a cadre of vampires (played by sunset strip rock icons such as Tracii Guns and Dizzy Reed…and Ron Jeremy?!!) who meet in an opulent mansion (the exterior of which is inexplicably realized through animation…we’ll get back to that in a paragraph or so) to drink the blood of strippers (apparently), and shoot the shit with their overlord Ace (Lemmy) and his mate Sophia (Phoebe Dollar). As that goes on, we also get some hoo-ha about some footage of the Society that has been secretly shot and is in danger of exposing the clan to the world of mortal men. Bodies are switched, blood is drank, and ropes are jumped…
Where to even begin with the uneven ride that is Sunset Society…for starters, it is painfully obvious that the film is comprised of two separate elements that have been Frankensteined together to create a cohesive fright flick. The main meat of the narrative; a secret tape (supposedly shot as a gift for Ace by Sophia) is watched by a gangster (and his blood hungry henchmen) in the employ of Ace. It shows (in a much cruder fashion than the slick scenes that proceeded it) the creation of the other secret film (yeah…) that threatens to send the Society’s world into ruins that Sophia has spirited away when she left the society. During the course of that flick we get all manner of craziness…you get a hilarious turn from Ron Jeremy as a sort of low level gangster vampire, Guns N’ Roses Dizzy Reed as a bored vampire that wishes he could be human again to alleviate his eternal boredom (a wish that is granted in a particularly goofy sequence), L.A. Guns’ Tracii Guns as a loose cannon vampire who’s careless ways result in all manner of trouble…the whole affair is disjointed and more a collection of scenes rather than a strong narrative…but, a story is told…eventually…in it’s own surreal way…
As stated previously, there is a wrap around sequence (directed by Rolfe Kanefsky , rather than Phoebe Dollar who directed the older footage, but stars in both old and new footage…I’m getting a headache…), and it’s polished, stylish and filled with fun, over-the-top gore…it also effectively explains the story from the unfinished film, while tying up the loose ends (as do the entertaining animated sequences peppered throughout that appear to present un-filmed material…including the establishing shot of the Society’s mansion as referenced above, as well as Ace’s origins and violent proclivities).
So with all of that, you’d have to imagine the film is hard to sit through, right? Well, I for one enjoyed it; it’s loaded with flubbed lines, seemingly improvised dialog, bizarre story turns, rando animation…but god damn if it doesn’t have a “Let’s make a movie no matter what because we love vampire flicks with all our hearts” aesthetic that makes it hard to hate for your’s cruelly!
If you are looking for any sort of fully polished, technically perfect (or in some instances remotely competent) jaunt into the horror biz, then Sunset Society is definitely not the film for you…buuuut, if you want to have some brain-in-park fang bang thrills…with hard rockin’ legends, beautiful babes, some great gore and cool animation…then this is just what the mad doctor ordered my creeps…it ain’t perfect, often ain’t pretty, but it does what it came to do and doesn’t give a fuck if it’s warts are showin’…and that’s how rock n’ roll and the independent horror biz make the magic happen!



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