1992, R, 99 min. Directed by Brian Yuzna. Starring Billy Warlock, Devin Devasquez, Evan Richards, Ben Meyerson.
REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., July 24, 1992
Never trust the British press. Case in point: our friends on the other side of the Big Lake went ga-ga over Yuzna's Society upon its release there a year and a half ago, calling it “amazing and unforgettable,” brilliant,” “not to be missed,” “wildly original,” and so on. The fact is, Society is none of these things. Instead, it comes across as yet another in a long line of poorly produced horror/paranoia bloodbaths, short on everything except cheesy effects (this time around created by the notorious Screaming Mad George, of, um, Big Trouble in Little China). Michael J. Fox's evil twin, Billy Warlock, is Bill Whitney, a young kid who feels that the members of his wealthy, Beverly Hills family may not be what they seem (I can see what they mean by calling this “a startlingly original premise”). When a friend of Bill's turns up with an audio tape of chilling evidence confirming those creepy suspicions – and then turns up dead – Young Master Bill realizes what the rest of us have known for years: the rich are not like you and I. More specifically, they're a shape-shifting polymorphous species that can not only blow off their parking violations without fear of reprisal, but also feed off the less fortunate among us (that would be anyone under $3.5 mil a year, I think). Yuzna, who last year directed the moderately entertaining Bride of Re-Animator, and co-produced Disney's Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, has really blown it this time out. While the Brits may go ballistic over the notion that their class-heavy society is indeed a plot against the everyman, here in the States we tend to be more wary of the electorate than the greed-mongers who finance them. Kudos to Billy Warlock, though, who will doubtless one day nab the title role in The Michael J. Fox Story. God knows he's got those Fox-esque mannerisms down pat.