The Ladies of the House full movie review - All the ladies in the house say 'Die!!!'.
Three guys?Jacob (Gabriel Horn), his simple brother Kai (Rj Hanson) and pal Derek (Samrat Chakrabarti)?leave the strip joint where they have been celebrating Kai's birthday and decide to follow one of the strippers, Ginger (Michelle Sinclair), back to her home in the hope of partying in private.
Amazingly, Ginger agrees, inviting the guys (along with their bottle of tequila) into the house.
The merriment takes a downward turn during a drunken game of 'dare' when Kai assaults Ginger: weapons are drawn and both Kai and Ginger are shot, Kai in the shoulder, the stripper taking a slug in the belly. When Ginger's stripper house-mates, lesbians Lin and Getty (Farah White and Melodie Sisk) and young protégé Crystal, suddenly arrive home, the men panic and hide; their evening goes from bad to worse when it transpires that the ladies of the house are cannibals and intend to have Ginger's attackers for dinner.
Taking obvious inspiration from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (TCM's iconic shot of a sliding door slamming shut is mimicked here), with echoes of Wes Craven's The People Under The Stairs, Ladies of the House might seem derivative in many ways, but proves to be an impressive debut from writer/director John Stuart Wildman nonetheless. The film owes much of its success to the well defined characters, a testament not only to Wildman's writing, but also the skill of the cast, whose nuanced performances ensure that the film's more cartoonish aspects never verge on the downright ridiculous.
Inspired production design also helps to lend this film a unique atmosphere: the girls' style is a colourful mish-mash of '50s-themed pin-up kitsch and rockabilly, a garish look that lends itself perfectly to the tawdry subject matter, their home an eclectic collection of weird kitsch ephemera, the origins of which would most likely tell many an unsettling story.
With its obvious exploitational elements, The Ladies of the House doesn't shy away from the nudity and gore either: there's a rather graphic lesbian sex scene between Lin and Getty (as Derek hides under their bed!), while the film's more splattery moments include a brutal scene of butchery and the macabre sight of a mutilated corpse presented as a guest at the girls' dinner table.
A suitably downbeat ending sees the only survivor of the strippers' wrath dreaming of escape, while in reality resigned to his fate as Crystal's plaything.
7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb.