Alyce Kills Reviews
"Alyce" is a unique blend of art-house expressionism and surrealism. It is a very dark comedy that plays with the whole "Single White Female" personality disorder pushing the scenario beyond the traditional outcome. The film takes a very quirky off-beat approach that reminds me of Todd Solondz's or Alexander Payne but with a lot of gore and blood. The character of Alyce is one of the most twisted sisters that I have seen in cinema in a long while that is as likable as she is horrifying. The movie starts casually, building on the close yet distant emotional relationship between the friends. It is close in the fact that in the beginning they really do seem to be the only one each other can connect with and yet distant due to the fact that Alyce tends to absorb Carroll's personality traits to become her own in that "unsettling- uncomfortable" manner. The series of events that unfold after the tragedy and Alyce's fall from her own state of normalcy is one that both entertains and chills. It is one of the most disturbing slides into madness I have seen on film. I really found no fault in the movie and enjoyed every gory psychotic hot-mess act of homicidal mania that Alyce displayed. Plus the gore and bloody kill shots were pretty d*mn cool and gruesomely in your face.
Alyce is a recluse with a basic office job and a best/only friend, Carroll. Carroll's boyfriend is caught cheating on her one night while at the club. Carroll gets real drunk and depressed over the affair and Alyce and Carroll start playing on the roof when Carroll falls off. Alyce blames herself and goes on a drug binge...leading to eccentric and violent behavior.
"She bit her tongue off in the fall."
Jay Lee, director of Zombie Strippers, House of 100 Eyes, Death Chair, Area 407, and Noon Blue Apples, delivers Alyce Kills. The storyline for this movie is a bit cliché in some ways but is an interesting take on the drug underworld. The scenes were gritty and well done and the kill scenes were really good. The acting was very average and the cast includes Jade Dornfeld, Tamara Feldman, Eddie Rouse, James Duval, and Bret Roberts.
"Who's in control now, bitch?!"
I grabbed this movie off Netflix because it seemed like it may have an interesting plot. I did like the main character and her interactions with the drug dealers. I felt those aspects of the film were pretty well done. I also liked the perspectives of her lives from different angles (work, legal, drug dealers, and her own). Overall, this is a worthwhile addition to the genre that is worth a viewing but is not worth adding to your DVD collection.
"I'm going out like a candle."
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: Jay Lee
FEATURING: Jade Dornfeld, Tamara Feldman, James Duval, Eddie Rouse, Larry Cedar
GENRE: THRILLER, NON-SUPERNATURAL HORROR
TAGS: rape, dismemberment
PLOT: In this pointless, yet engaging psycho-thriller, a young woman unintentionally destroys her best friend while on drugs, then spirals into anti-social behavior, dragging her acquaintances into the dark morass of her twisted psyche.
COMMENTS: With a cursory acknowledgment of the Lewis Carrol tale, Alyce is as much an entry-level clerical answer to the Fortune 500 American Psycho (2000), as it is a morbid odyssey of self discov- uh, make that self-destruction. Like a high-speed bullet train to Hell, Alyce Kills is novel, slick, and exciting, but it doesn't take us where we want to go.
Young, pert Alyce (Jade Dornfeld) toils away in a depressing corporate cubicle for a shrewish boss at a thankless job. After work she trudges home to her cramped apartment to freshen up before some much needed steam-venting at dingy nightclubs. It's not much of a life, but Alyce has her friend Danielle (Rena Owen), an alpha female who provides Alyce with a framework of guidance upon which follower Alyce proves to be reliant.
When Alyce and Danielle take the Generation X drug "ecstasy," Danielle sexually leads on Alyce. It comes out that Alyce has a crush on Danielle who then rejects her.
Is it an accident then when Alyce "accidentally" pushes her off the roof a short while later? It's not clear whether Alyce is vindictive and a little crazy, or merely reckless, and irresponsible. Danielle stands on the ledge, tempting fate, Alyce mock-pushes her. Alyce is playing a game and behaves as if she doesn't intend the result -Danielle's dive to the pavement. But Alyce definitely intends to make contact, and under the circumstances it's no surprise when Danielle plunges to her doom.
Despite that it led to tragedy, Alyce decides she likes ecstasy and trades sex for the drug from a repulsive dealer. Under the influence of the psychedelic, Alyce locks herself in her apartment for marathon-length trips during which she perpetually masturbates to violent videos. Conniving to obfuscate her complicity in Danielle's misfortune leads Alyce to take increasing risks until she pulls out all the stops. Traipsing across an urban landscape of bizarre characters, settings and situations, Alyce taunts the family of her victim, and eventually conspires bloody murder against those who annoy and inconvenience her.
Having now lost Danielle's boundary-defining structure, Alyce's fragile veneer of sanity falls away like an uncoupled caboose from a speeding express. Her locomotive throttle is wide open and there's no engineer in the cab. Alyce resolves to take charge of her own life, but her brand of self-assertive, feminist "empowerment" is to embark upon a self-indulgent journey of risky behavior. Yet it's more like a spree, and it degenerates into a maelstrom of self destruction, dragging those closest to her along for a hell-ride on her crazy train.
The theme of women scheming against men has been around at least since ancient Greece. From Aristophanes' Lysistrata, to the Biblical Eve convincing Adam to bite the proverbial apple, we've seen versions of the femme fatale in various literary incarnations through the ages. A few include Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth, and Cleopatra, Daniel Defoe's opportunistic Moll Flanders, Oliver Goldsmith's lighthearted, scheming, Katie Hardcastle in his 1773 play, She Stoops To Conquer, the conniving Matilda in Matthew Gregory's 1796 supernatural Gothic novel The Monk: A Romance, and the malevolent man-hater, Miss Havisham in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.
Whereas these feminine plotters employed cunning and sexual manipulation to achieve their aims, their modern counterparts resort to brute force. The concept of the fairer sex outwitting men has evolved into the myth of womens' domination over men, and convoluted orchestrations have given way to the karate kicks and machine guns used by characters such as secret agent Emma Peel (Diana Rigg; Uma Thurman in the 1998 film version) in BBC's The Avengers, to Max Guevera (Jessica Alba) in TV's Dark Angel, and La Femme Nikita (Anne Parillaud; Bridget Fonda in the US remake). The latest trend has dark-psyched vixens engaging in just plain psychopathic killing sprees.
Alyce's quirky, but undeveloped character may be inspired by the leads in May (2002), and Neighbor (2009), two similar stories about loner hellcats who indulge their necrophilic and cannibalistic urges through acts of violence. Yet May (Angela Bettis), the film's namesake, commits her violence via a misguided search for an similarly misfit mate. In Neighbor, "The Girl," (America Olivo) thrill-kills for the sheer sadistic pleasure of it, making a living by robbing her victims and using their homes like motels.
Alyce however, lacks any sensible or even cognizant motivation at all. Her deeds defy logic, her methods are unsound, and Alyce's lack of planning is sure to bring her only more trouble. We're not sure if even she understands her actions. This makes her singularly one dimensional.
It's a profound disappointment, too. What's engrossing about Alyce's sexy character is not what she does, but the wry way she does it with her distinctively iconoclastic demeanor. It's not the revulsion inherent to her wanton acts of sex and violence that catches our attention, but the manner in which her smug, witty bearing holds out the promise of a satisfying payoff. We keep waiting to tumble into an epiphany of insight into her disturbed psyche, or at least some commentary about human nature or revenge. It never happens, and we're left feeling like the lone passenger on a runaway train with no destination in sight, and no emergency pull-cord to stop the projector.