Satanic Yuppies DVD Review
Reviewed by Neon Maniac
DVD released by Tempe Video
Written and directed by Mark Burchett and Michael D. Fox
1996, Region 1 (NTSC), 99 minutes, Not rated
DVD released on August 16th, 2005
Reporter Pete McGavin is investigating a series of brutal slayings involving young women with their hearts cut out. The police detective on the case thinks it is the work of a serial killer, but McGavin has his own supernatural suspicions.
McGavin's leg work leads him to a modelling agency/PR firm where many of the victims were employed. This is no ordinary business, however. The owner, Brittany Drake, seems hell bent on doing anything she can to succeed. Drake has gone so far as to sell her own soul, and has possibly sacrificed the souls of others in the name of fortune and glory. Sensing a huge story, McGavin throws caution to the wind and ends up in deep trouble as he begins to unravel a Satanic conspiracy that reaches all the way to City Hall.
Clearly in over his head, can McGavin stop the Satanic cult's evil scheme to raise the Dark Lord himself?
Originally released in 1996 as Evil Ambitions, Satanic Yuppies is one of the worst films ever made. Billing itself as a horror/comedy/T&A film, there is no horror, no comedy, and only a limited amount of T&A. The film has a thin plot with even thinner characters and motivations. A lot of things happen for no reason, they just kind of happen. Storywise, the movie plods along like a drunk two year old. While Satanic Yuppies is a catchier title than the original Evil Ambitions, one has to wonder if the name was purposely changed to hide the shame from its original release.
There really is nothing redeemable about this movie. It is not scary or funny; it has some of the worst effects ever seen, and while there is some eye candy, it's just not nearly enough to make up for the rest of the films shortcomings. The acting is dull and uninspired. On quite a few occasions the actors mispronounce "big" words like "posthumous." Scenes run two to three times longer than they should. There are awkward pauses throughout. There is nothing tight about the editing or production of the film. It could easily be edited down to 70 minutes without taking any of the scenes away. The camera work is horrid. For some reason it was decided to film most of the film at a slight angle, not unlike how the villain's lairs were shot in the old Batman TV series.
There is no way that I could reccomend this film to anyone, for any reason. It's not worth renting, it's not worth spending 99 minutes of your life to watch it. If it showed up on Cable TV or you found the DVD on the street, just keep moving, nothing to see here. Some people reading this may be thinking, "Oh, c'mon now. It's probably got some entertainment value!" But I assure you, there is none. Satanic Yuppies moves past the "so bad it's good" type of movie and firmly plants itself into the "so bad it's really bad" category. There is no camp or cheese factor here. It is just plain bad.
Consider yourself warned.
Video and Audio:
This DVD has the worst audio ever. Not only is it muddled, but you can also hear every single audio cut made during production. There is enough background hiss present that it sounds like it was edited using two old Radio Shack cassette players that weren't actually wired together; the sound guy just kept pressing the play and record buttons and recorded it all from speaker of one into the built in condenser mic of another! At some points the audio isn't even synced up with the video. Other times, when two people are speaking, one voice is muffled and hard to understand, while the other voice is fairly clear. There are student films out there that have better audio quality than this DVD. And by student film, I mean 3rd and 4th grade class projects.
Picture quality is on par with the audio quality. The film is presented in full frame, and it looks like it was mastered from a VHS copy of the original 1996 release. It also looks like the mastering equipment used was not actually calibrated to NTSC standards. Colors are all over the place. They glow, bleed, blend and about anything else you can imagine. The pic is always soft and fuzzy, except for where it is shadowy and shimmery due to excessive edge enhancement. It never once approaches anything close to DVD quality, or even VHS quality for that matter.
The disc contains a cast and crew commentary track, 30 minutes worth of cast and crew interviews, and a ten minute fake newscast about the Satanic Yuppie murders. The commentary is hard to watch, because it means sitting through the film again. The interviews are kind of sad, mainly because the people involved in this film appear to believe they made a decent movie, and they seem proud of their work. The newscast is a bizarre addition, and pointless. It looks and sounds much better than the actual film does, though.
(Neon's Movie Lounge contains a Zenith 42" Plasma EDTV, Oppo DV971H DVD player using a DVI connection, JVC 5.1 DD/DTS receiver and JBL Northridge E Series speakers.)
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