Ladies of the House is the kind of rape/revenge horror we don’t see much of anymore. It’s about three guys out enjoying an evening at a strip club when they get the horrible, horrible idea to follow one of the strippers home. As is typical, the three men have a range in their awfulness. Jacob is the nice guy, in the wrong place at the wrong time, just looking out for his brother, Kai. A man of huge size, Kai looks intimidating at first but he’s “simple” and appears to be disarmingly harmless. Derek is clearly the worst of the three to such a degree that it even if nothing awful happened, Jacob and Kai would still be to blame just for knowing him. He tells them that there are secret things to say to a stripper to get them to have sex with you. Things, shockingly, don’t go as planned.
In the obviously foretold struggle, they accidentally shoot Ginger. When the girls finally go about exacting their revenge, it feels like it couldn’t come fast enough. One of the impressive things about the violence here, which is surprisingly rare for a film of this type, is that the men are taken out in ways very similar to how women tend to die in horror. Especially the more modern ones. They’re bound and tortured, some stripped naked and hung upside down, others having their clothes cut off to reveal a close up of an exposed nipple. This is definitely one of the movie’s more impressive and thought-provoking aspects.
Overall, the cast does a decent job. The women do much better than the men, though. In the conversational scenes, the guys are easy to buy, but their performances falter when the action heats up and don’t really sell what they’re going through, except for maybe Kai.
Ladies of the House feels like a short film that was padded for length. It would have been just about perfect it was somewhere between 40 minutes and an hour in length. As it stands now, there are definitely some scenes that feel tacked on to give it a feature-length running time. It’s primarily set in one location and the inverted home invasion plot works well for the most part, but it does get a little slow here and there. It’s clearly not a large-budgeted movie, which makes the single location setting perfectly understandable, and the setting even helps to make this feel slightly more expensive than it is.
This isn’t the kind of feature that’s meant to surprise you, and it doesn’t. From the beginning, it’s pretty clear what’s going to happen. The real question is how it’s going to happen, and that’s where Ladies of the House gets inventive. It’s a fun, gory, feminist revenge thriller, but it doesn’t reinvent the wheel.
WICKED RATING: 5/10 [usr 5]
- Director: John Stuart Wildman
- Writer(s): Justin Walford, John Stuart Wildman
- Studio/Production Co: Soaring Flight Productions, Femmewerks, Wildworks Productions
- Stars: Michelle “Belladonna” Sinclair, Gabriel Horn, Farah White
- Year: 2014
- Running Time: 93 minutes
- Sub-genre: home invasion, suspense, rape/revenge