starring Elias Toufexis and Stefanie Von Pfetten

3 stars


The premise for Decoys --Hot Chicks Are Space Monsters-- is so deliciously simple and exploitive and perfect that I hate myself for not having written it already. The only problem is the title, Decoys, which is the worst; in a brief pre-screening survey I heard as alternate titles Ice Queens, Frigid Bitches From Outer Space, and Earth Guys Are Easy, all of which outperform the forgettable and non-pertinent "Decoys".

Nonetheless, you can't beat that premise. What could possibly be a better idea for a movie than a story with tons of scenes of sexy girls desperate to hump? And then they grow tentacles and freeze-kill you? Brilliant! It's scary *and* it speaks to the concerns of real life! How is it possible that nobody's made this movie before now? The closest we've come was Species a few years back, but it doesn't count cuz it's a pretentious mess that never truly embraced its exploitive heart.

Well, thank God for Canada, because Decoys is a Canadian movie, the bastard spawn of a multi-cable-network gangbang with Space The Imagination Station, Movie Central, Telefilm and others all chipping in for the funding. We Canadians don't get the reputation we deserve for sleaze, especially considering our tax-dollar commitment to high-minded filth like Kissed and The Adjuster along with cheeseball low-rent licentiousness like the recent Rub & Tug, the titty-movie classic Porky's, and now Decoys.

Filmed in Ottawa, Decoys has that trying-but-still-somehow-slightly-cheap-looking quality common to a lot of low-budget Canadian films. So, no recognizable stars and nothing really startling or astonishing about any particular element of the movie. The look are visuals are good but not super good, the jokes are kinda good but not super good, the chicks are kinda hot but not super hot. But as a Canadian cheeseball B-movie experience, it's a larf.

In feel, it's goofy comedy-horror, American Pie meets Archie Comics gets a phone call from The Thing. It opens in classic Letters to Penthouse style: the main guy never thought this would happen to him, but one night he was washing his socks in the dorm basement when these two incredible blondes walk in and get all lolipop-lickin' and hint-dropping and they announce that they're cousins. Yow. Then the main guy also ends up seeing that they're also tentacle-whipping aliens and the plot trundles into motion with main guy running around trying to warn everybody, especially his buddy Roger, that these two chicks Lily and Constance are evil space monsters. Oops, but Roger's already started dating Constance.

There's nobody recognizable here, but there are some performances with pop. The guy who plays Roger, Elias Toufexis, is doing basically a copy of the Finch character from American Pie, but he makes it kinda interesting, and he gets some actually funny lines. Meanwhile, both the two main girls are cool; Stephanie Von Pfetten as tall slender Lily comes off like a slightly hotter Lisa Kudrow while Kim Poirer as horny sweetie Constance --"I wanna have *sex* with you, Roger! I don't wanna frickin' *marry* you!"--makes you think that maybe scary-tentacle-space-women aren't so bad after all.

Indeed, as far as Women-Are-Evil-Tentacle-Monsters movies go, Decoys is probably more sympathetic to the tentacle monsters than any other movie with tentacle monsters. The ultimate theme of this movie isn't that women are evil space monsters who want to kill you by humping you; it's that women are scary space monsters who will *accidentally* kill you by humping you. There's no real bad guy here, or if there is it's main guy flamethrower-head who shows up in the final act to deliver Decoys to its anticlimactic horror-movie ending.

One wishes there was more polish, more flash, just a few million more dollars to make Decoys sparkle as brilliantly achieved trash. . But still, after the screening I overhead a couple of kids gleefully quoting: "More like the Belt of O--FRYIN'!!!" I couldn't really imagine telling anybody I knew that they had to run out to West Ed to see this, but I thought if I was 13 and saw Decoys on TV one night, I think I'd probably love and remember it all my life. links reviews fanklub t-shirts books annotations archive