Society (1989), dir. Brian Yuzna. Wildstreet Pictures.
The penultimate film is Brain Yuzna’s directorial debut. Released in Europe in 1989, but not seeing an American release until 1992, Society is an interesting little yarn.
Bill Whitney (Billy Warlock) is a kid who seems to have everything going for him. Living in the most exclusive part of Beverly Hills, his rich parents indulge him, his classmates admire him, his cheerleader girlfriend loves him, and he just got a brand new Jeep. So why is he so depressed?
An old friend might have the answer. The friend in question gives Bill a tape, with the added warning not to trust anyone. The tape, when played, has on it sounds of a violent and depraved orgy, with Bill’s parents conducting the party. Bill gives the tape to his therapist Dr. Cleveland (Bill Stack), but when Bill returns later for it, the tape is now just a recording of his sister’s coming out party.
When Bill calls his friend to get another copy, he arrives at their meeting place to find police and an ambulance. It seems Bill’s friend just met with a grisly accident. From there things get weird and Cronenburg-ish.
This is a weird little gem. The whole thing has this lovely undercurrent of paranoia about it. The effect work is also very impressive. Worth a rental if nothing else.
“It is Not What You Think It Is”