Review: Meridian

Full Moon (Blu-ray)

Meridian (A.K.A. Kiss of the Beast) opens with Gina, an American artist just out of school, and now living in Italy.  A man from the church donates a mediocre landscape painting to a gallery and Gina is tasked with washing away the ugly painting to find the older but equally mediocre one underneath.

This has little to do with the story.  Gina isn’t even the protagonist, she’s just friends with her.  Anyways, Gina goes to visit her friend Catherine (played by Sherilyn Fenn, who that same year would star as Audrey Horne in Twin Peaks).  Catherine has just inherited a castle from her father.  While discussing what to do that day, a Gypsy circus shows up at the front gate.

The two girls watch the show and invite the performers in for dinner.  Of course, like all traveling circus people, they drug and rape the two girls.  Though they don’t seem to mind that much.  Actually, the official plot synopsis for this film describes it as ‘drug and seduce.’  Catherine even falls in love with her attacker, while Gina just goes back to work until the climax.

The rapist turns out to have a curse that turns him into a werewolf when in the presence of someone he loves, the only cure to which is being killed by that same person.  I think.  It gets very convoluted very quickly.  The rapist has a twin or something, and there’s some ghost hanging around.

Meridan is another effort from Charles Band (Puppet Master, Evil Bong).  While the story is an icky mess, it does show more effort than most of his filmography.  Of course, you could pick it apart and show it to be the pastiche of classic horror films that it is, but it is a colourful pastiche.

I think it was filmed in an actual castle, and the movie looks fairly nice as a result.  The monster in particular looks pretty good (at least compared to my expectations); and the whole thing has a low-rent Hammer horror atmosphere.  All in all, it’s a respectable effort.

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