Monday, August 28, 2006

REVIEW: MAIL ORDER BRIDE

Writer/Director David Quitmeyer pairs up again with his SLAUGHTER DISC star Caroline Pierce for another tale about an unlucky-in-love loser who turns to mail order to get his romantic jollies off, this time going the more comedic route and letting the hardcore horror stuff rest. The 36-minute short MAIL ORDER BRIDE concerns Steve (Corey Foxx), a guy who has endured one failed relationship after another and turns to more desperate means after a Myspace-type hookup goes horribly wrong. Steve's solution to his problems is the "Personal Concubine 2000", a $3,000 lingerie-clad blond android he sees in a late-night TV commercial. When the PC 2000 arrives, she looks more like BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR, covered in stitches and sporting bizarre pupil-less eyes. Amazingly, Steve reads the instructions and follows the proper procedures for charging the battery and programming the android to please him in any pornographic ways he desires. All he's got to do is let her absorb data by watching videotapes, as long as he's super-careful what kind of movies she sees! Any horror fan can probably guess where this is headed, especially when numerous mentions are made of an "all-night horror movie marathon" happening on TV while the android is at home, but this film, like SLAUGHTER DISC, hinges on another amazing performance by Caroline Pierce. She plays the PC 2000 with absolute skill and chilling accuracy, to the point where even though you suspect what she might do to Steve, there's no way you'll be able to predict just how things end up.

MAIL ORDER BRIDE is actually four movies in one, as Quitmeyer had to create not only the main film, but two television shows, three horror movies, a porno and the PC 2000 commercial as well. All this is very well put together, and makes for a quick-paced and entertaining viewing experience. Anyone who is familiar with RealDoll.com knows that MAIL ORDER BRIDE has roots in real life (that website inspired the underrated horror flick LOVE OBJECT a couple years back), and like SLAUGHTER DISC, it's a cautionary tale about the dangers involved in trying to replace human interaction with technology. In our text message e-mail based culture, face-to-face communication is slipping away daily, and people are becoming less able to function the way humans are supposed to. It may seem easier to go the cyber route, seemingly avoiding the pain and disappointment that relationships can bring, but ultimately you're only gonna fuck yourself up. To me, this is what Quitmeyer's films are about, and he and the amazing Caroline Pierce have come up with another horror movie that holds a mirror up to the parts of ourselves we would rather admit don't exist.

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