PUSSYCAKE (aka Emesis) ** Argentina 2021 Dir: Pablo Parés. 82 mins
PLAGA ZOMBIE / I AM TOXIC director Pablo Parés returns with this busy, eager-to-please splatter movie indebted to 80s gore flicks like THE EVIL DEAD and DEMONS, and with a mostly female cast.
“PussyCake”, which sounds like something that might be shoved in your face during a stag night in Amsterdam, is an all-girl rock band keen to snag a record deal and hit the big time – and fronted by Elle (Macarena Suárez), who has one of those abusive-ex backstories that the film tries hard to make us care about. With acid-providing girlfriend (Sofia Rossi), manager (Florenicia Moreno) and fellow band member Anahí Politi, she heads to what is intended to be a big step on their tour…but turns out to be a ghost town with a grim secret: a missing mad scientist’s experiments on his son, in a bid to open a new dimension (or something) has led to a fast-spreading virus.
Though energetic, and gamely performed by its cast, this lacks the wit, invention and charm of the movies it has so clearly used as inspiration. Amidst all the frantic action, it strives to make us care about the (one-note) characters, but sad music playing during a character’s death is no substitute for likeable protagonists. There’s plenty of well-executed practical gore gags: disembowelment, decapitation, creatures emerging GHOULIES-like from the toilet bowl and perhaps a world record for number of scenes involving people projectile vomiting cum-like goo into the mouths of others. But, for all its efforts, it’s just a bit tedious.
Review by Steven West