Exploring the Twisted World of Society: A 1989 Movie Review

Society The Horror Review Cover
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The Twisted Plot of Society

Society (1989)” is a unique addition to the genre of horror movies. With its twisted and bizarre plot, it promises an experience like no other.

The plot follows a teenager named Bill Whitney who suddenly realizes that his rich and powerful family has been hiding a dark secret from him. As he tries to unravel the mystery, he slowly descends into a world of madness, bloodshed, and depravity.

The movie begins with Bill feeling like an outcast in his own family. His parents and sister seem to be part of a twisted society that he cannot comprehend. However, things take a turn when he discovers that his family is not entirely human and have been holding sinister gatherings with grotesque rituals. Bill becomes the target of their deranged plans as they try to turn him into one of them.

While I’d personally consider Society to be a “B” rated movie, the plot is intriguingly sinister and filled with shocking moments. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering what gruesome surprise will come next. 

There’s also a surprisingly deep accusation of the society we live in hiding in between the scary scenes that made me want to tackle the movie and review it, hoping it’ll encourage you to give it a watch and reason on the implications yourself.

A frame from the movie Society, the horror, with the rich family of the protagonist sitting around a table.

Exploring the Meaning of Society

At its core, “Society (1989)” serves as a chilling and thought-provoking commentary on the real-life dynamics of social class and power. Throughout the film, we are presented with a real but extremly twisted portrayal of high society, where the wealthy elites are depicted as alien and predatory entities who exist solely to exploit and subjugate those below them.

The movie is rooted in a stark reality that many of us may not like to confront: that wealth and privilege often come at great cost to those without it. “Society” takes this concept to an extreme level by presenting the higher-ups literally parasitizing on the lower classes. It portrays these wealthy individuals as not just figuratively but literally consuming the poor in grotesque displays of body horror.

Yet this vile behavior is justified by their belief that they are superior beings, entitled to every luxury and pleasure imaginable. They convince themselves that their victims are nothing more than objects for their amusement and experimentation, disposable so long as their own desires are being met.

But perhaps most disturbingly, “Society” showcases how these twisted dynamics reach far beyond momentary acts or rituals; they’re fundamentally ingrained into our culture. Wealthy people have been exploiting poorer ones for centuries – it’s part of how society has been established since ancient times -even if today we don’t see this happening in such an explicit way (although one can argue that modern day capitalism still operates under this same logic). By revealing these dark aspects of our societal structure through creatively warped cinematic conventions,”Society” urges us to question just how normalized this exploitation really is, both within ourselves and in our communities.

In summation,”Society” masterfully exposes longstanding themes of greed,power,demagoguery,objectification,self acceptance,fear,mistrust,and manipulation through unusually graphic visuals and allusions.The visual accuracy might not only keep you at the edge of your seat but also make you question just how much possessive and elitist elements might be present within our own personalities.

a frame taken by the movie society the horror, with the protagonist arguiing with a villain

Interesting facts and details related to Society (1989)

“Society” is a horror-comedy film directed by Brian Yuzna, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Rick Fry. Here are some interesting facts and details about the movie:

1. The movie had a low-budget and was not very successful at the box office initially. However, it has gained a cult following over the years and is now considered a classic within the horror genre.

2. One of the most memorable scenes in the movie involves a surreal, grotesque “shunting” ritual where members of high society literally merge their bodies together in an orgy of flesh. This scene is often cited as one of the most disturbing moments in horror film history.

3. The special effects team behind “Society” included David Grasso (who worked on “Aliens”) and Screaming Mad George (who went on to work on films such as “Predator” and “The Abyss”). Their work on “Society” showcases some truly innovative practical effects that add to the film’s unsettling atmosphere.

4. Billy Warlock, who plays protagonist Bill Whitney, went on to star in soap operas such as “Days of Our Lives” and “General Hospital”.

5. A sequel titled “Society II: Body Modification” was planned but never made due to budgetary constraints.

In conclusion, while “Society” may not be for everyone due to its graphic depictions of body horror and sexual deviance, it certainly has its place within the pantheon of horror cinema. Its imaginative use of practical effects make it an essential watch for fans of gore-filled movies, while its satirical commentary on social hierarchy adds an intellectual depth that elevates it beyond mere shock value.

a frame taken from the mobie society the horror, showing a grotesque being with a head placed between two legs

Performance of the actors

The performances in “Society” are overall strong, with standout performances by the main cast. Billy Warlock delivers a convincing performance as Bill Whitney, the paranoia-ridden protagonist who begins to question his own sanity after uncovering the horrific truth about his wealthy and influential family.

Devin DeVasquez also does an excellent job portraying Clarissa Carlyn, Bill’s love interest and confidant who aids him in his quest for the truth. Additionally, Evan Richards portrays David Blanchard, Bill’s best friend who is loyal but ultimately becomes manipulated by his wealthy peers.

Furthermore, several of the supporting cast do well in their roles as members of high society, including Charles Lucia as Bill’s father Jim Whitney and Patrice Jennings as Nanette Yellenberg – both complete with an air of superiority that makes them all the more eerie.

Overall, the performances in “Society” complement its unusual story and add to its dark humor elements. The characters feel like they’re playing into precarious stereotypes at times – however it could be argued that this is intentional and fits well with Yuzna’s themes on the lifestyle of wealth and social hierarchies.

Before ending the review

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And now for the conclusion of the review.


In conclusion, “Society” is a unique and disturbing horror film that delves into themes of social hierarchy, class division, and identity. While it may not be for everyone due to its graphic and grotesque nature, it nevertheless stands out as a noteworthy entry in the genre. The practical effects work is impressive and memorable, creating an unsettling and surreal atmosphere throughout the film. The strong performances by the cast add to the movie’s overall impact, making for a truly unsettling viewing experience. If you’re a fan of horror films that push boundaries and challenge societal norms, then “Society” is definitely worth watching.