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LEECHES! - Skull
Rated R
Copyright 2003 Rapid Heart Pictures
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 8 June 2009

The Characters:  

  • Spencer - Model science student who is majoring in annelid annihilation.
  • Sarah - Her classes are filled with hot guys who are probably gay. So, she goes looking for love in the science department, where she finds an intelligent hunk (who is probably gay).
  • Jason - He successfully resists the peer pressure to do drugs, but fails to refuse his girlfriend's offer for kinky sex. This is a horror movie; he has to die. Leech chow.
  • Casey - She likes to play dorm blanket boink bingo with Jason. She is also leech kibble.
  • Fish & Tony - Just two guys who are sucked dry by the leeches.
  • Angela - Tony's girlfriend; yet another leech entree.
  • Stevo - He talks about himself in third person, engages in unprotected sex with a girl who probably has had a lot of unprotected sex during her college career, and encourages the other members of the swim team to take steroids. With such a laundry list of sins, it should not be any surprise that his death is the most painful of them all. He is attacked by mutant leeches and electrocuted at the same time.
  • Sabrina - Her body often serves as a private pool for Stevo's little swimmers. Munched by leeches.
  • Coach Foster - He wants his team to win, so he sells steroids to Stevo for redistribution. When the leeches start killing the swimmers, he eats a steroid-packed leech and freaks out. Spencer stabs him with a lug wrench.
  • Dr. Manning - Even though she is a college doctor and local coroner, I think that her decision to run a test to check for steroids in a drowning victim was odd. Strangled to death by Coach Foster.
  • The Leeches - Exposure to unknown chemicals and steroid-suffused blood creates these mutant blood-sucking monstrosities. They apparently swallow fishing lures quite often, because I noticed that several of them were being pulled along the ground by monofilament line.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

This is yet another of David DeCoteau's mild homoerotic films that still manage to make us straight guys feel uncomfortable. If you read the DVD cover, the movie is supposedly about mutant leeches terrorizing a college swim team. In reality, the plot is just an excuse to display a lot of fit young men wearing tiny swim trunks (or at least walking around without their shirts).

During the opening scene, we see Jason slowly stretching before diving into the water. Then he climbs out of the pool in slow motion with water cascading off of his body. This same sort of scene has been used countless times when the focus of attention was an attractive woman in a skimpy bathing suit (or less), like in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Except, this is a guy. It's not Phoebe Cates; it's a guy. Insidiously, this movie causes me distress by replicating the style of countless titillations, but by using a male subject.

Early on, I paused the movie and made a quick trip to the kitchen. My wife watched me go without a word, but her eyes widened in surprise when I returned with a glass filled with pure Jack Daniels. "Is that whiskey?" she asked, and I responded, "Yes. It is Jack Daniels. Straight Jack Daniels."

This is so not my kind of movie.

Stevo, Jason, and a few other members of the college's swim team have been taking performance-enhancing drugs to help them win competitions. They have been using a lot of steroids, especially the nights before a big meet. I guess that Stevo's steroids are the fast acting kind. Anyway, the trouble begins when the steroid-stuffed swimmers take a dip in the local swamp. A bunch of large southern leeches latch onto the young men and ingest the steroid and blood cocktails found within.

Of course the members of a swim team would spend their free time hanging out at the dock in the swamp and swimming in muddy, leech-infested water. Even worse for me (or any other heterosexual men watching), if they are not swimming, then they are taking showers and giggling as they pick the leeches off of each other. The steroid-engorged leeches are quickly kicked down the shower drain to mutate in peace. The next team member who tries to take a shower is attacked by a leech that crawls into his mouth. He stumbles back to his dorm, vomits out the fat and happy leech, and then dies. His roommate comes home and, completely oblivious to the dead kid on the floor, strips down to his underwear and languidly crawls into bed for a nap.

"Languidly crawls into bed" is an accurate description of the young man's activity, and he does it with a sly smile on his face. Ahhhhh! If it was Phoebe Cates I could deal with it, but it's a guy! I don't want any! I don't want any!

The leech slowly crawls up the napping, nearly-naked young man. This was accomplished with a latex leech hand puppet passing up the soon-to-be victim's thighs and back (of course he is sleeping on his stomach; of course). I just know that the director would slip on that special effect glove and say something like, "Oh no, it's time for Mr. Leechy to come visit!" The leeches always attack the young men by crawling up their thighs, stomach, or chest. DeCoteau gleefully donning the leech glove sprang to mind every time an attack happened, and I always envisioned him grinning like a madman and wearing red devil horns as he waved the latex hand puppets in the air. The man has become my personal Satan. Damn him.

You probably want to know why I force myself to review DeCoteau's movies. I do it because people find my discomfort to be terribly funny. You are probably laughing at my suffering. God damn you, too.

One of the leech victims is finally discovered when Tony's pale body is pulled from the swamp. Dr. Manning discovers steroids in the dead swimmer's bloodless body, so she informs Foster that the entire team is going to be tested for drugs. While the leeches killing people is an inconvenience, mandatory drug testing signals the end of the world for the Coach and Stevo. The remaining students are confined to campus - a campus infested with mutant leeches.

The other thing infesting the campus is young men, like Jason, sans their shirts. Actually, he ends up sans his pants. Casey convinces her boy toy to let her tie him to the bed. So, there is Jason, wearing just his underwear and a blindfold. Casey starts to strip off her clothes. Side note: finally, a girl is going to show something; even if it is just her bra and panties! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Wait a minute, Casey stopped taking off clothes. She is telling Jason that they are out of condoms. She is leaving the room to obtain prophylactic protection. It is time for Mr. Leechy to put in another appearance! Jason is being pawed by latex leech hand puppets! ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH! Damn the Devil DeCoteau, and his penchant for torturing me this way! The only people who get even half naked in this cursed movie are guys!

Make it stop! I don't want any! I don't want any!

Now I know how my wife feels when I watch movies like "Hardbodies" or "Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers".

At long last, Spencer and Sarah learn that giant leeches are killing the students. They literally trip over Angela, who is dead - her body covered with sticky goo and bite marks. Those have to have been caused by mutant leeches. The only other plausible explanation is that Angela was attacked by a swarm of flying piranha that were finally driven off by Peter North, but Peter did not arrive in time to save the poor girl from the flying razorteeth. Wait, didn't you know that Peter North is a superhero? He is "Max Blaster" in DC comics, but known as "Captain Super Soaker" in the Marvel Universe.

OK, I probably should not be giving Mr. DeCoteau any ideas for scripts involving Peter North fending off a school of flying piranha by using his manhood like an anti-aircraft gun. Even worse, I know that the scenes of Peter's piranha-defeating "barrage" would be filmed in slow motion. Egad. Please no. Anything but that. I would rather some college students just come up with a harebrained plan to lure the piranhas into a swimming pool and then electrocute them, like Spencer and Stevo try to do to the leeches in this film.

Just like "Voodoo Academy," the problem with "Leeches" is that I am not its target demographic, and it twists something I am familiar with (water slowly dripping off of Phoebe Cates' bikini) into something that I did not want to see (water slowly dripping off of Jason's chest and itty bitty swimsuit). Not to mention the fact that I am going to lay awake at night worrying that David DeCoteau's next film might be "Flying Piranha D-Day" starring Peter North.

I don't want any! I don't want any! I don't want aaaaaaannnnnnnyyyyyyy!

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Steroids are nightmare fuel.
  • Leeches speak Orca.
  • There is such a thing as a bad shower scene.
  • Swallowing a five pound leech will give you a belly ache that Alka-Seltzer cannot cure.
  • It is impossible to overdose on steroids.
  • Leeches love disco.
  • The first thing you should do after pulling a drowning victim out of the water is to check to see if they have a concussion.
  • Drying your hair while taking a shower is not a good idea.
  • Automotive work lights can be used in lieu of an electric chair.
  • Fog is caused when electricity reacts with chlorine and hair mousse.
  • In their natural states, testosterone and estrogen are, respectively, blue and pink liquids.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 3 mins - Looks like you have a secret admirer...
  • 12 mins - In real life that would have been cemented in place by a combination of hair and gray gunk.
  • 19 mins - Beef gravy?
  • 21 mins - No! No, no, no, no, no! NOOOOOOOO!
  • 26 mins - "I call dibs on Jason! Dibs! Dibs on Jason!"
  • 34 mins - Somebody has been shopping for hammocks on the Videodrome home shopping network.
  • 58 mins - If it was not for all the homoerotic overtones in this movie, I would be completely bored. Being bored would be better. Much, much better than this.
  • 62 mins - That leech is touching him in his bikini area. Arrgggghhh!
  • 71 mins - What would Freud have to say about this situation?
  • Ending Credits - Right now I am trying to coax my libido out from where it has been hiding for the last eighty minutes: behind the rack of Andy Sidaris DVDs.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note leeches1.wav Jason: "It's just stress, Casey. You know I've got that meet coming up."
Casey: "It's not the meet, Jason. It's what you're doing to win it. Those things are messing with your mind. God knows what they're doing to your body."
Jason: "Hey, you didn't seem to have any problems with my body a few hours ago. Now, did you."
Green Music Note leeches2.wav Foster: "Yeah, Franklin!"
Franklin: "Franklin here."
Foster: "It's Foster, down here in the men's lockers. Look, we got some sort of leak down here."
Franklin: "What kind of leak?"
Foster: "Well, I don't know what it is."
Franklin: "Is it sticky?"
Foster: "Look, I'm not touching it. I just want it fixed, OK? Right now!"
Franklin: "Gotcha."
Green Music Note leeches3.wav Foster: "If any of you are on anything, you're stopping cold turkey as of right now. Thanks to Dr. Manning, you're all being tested at some point of the break, and I want you all clean."
Jason: "Isn't that unconstitutional?"
Foster: "As far as this team is concerned, this is not a democracy, and I am the President of the United States of your a**!"
Green Music Note leeches4.wav Stevo: "What the hell was that?"
Spencer: "A leech."
Stevo: "That was no damn leech. Man, they don't get that big!"
Spencer: "Well, I haven't exactly had time to study them..."
Stevo: "Them? What, you mean there's more than one that size?"
Spencer: "It's my educated guess that they're the result of your little steroid program."
Stevo: "Oh, that's bull!"
Spencer: "From what I heard, Tony was full of stuff the night he died, and Dr. Manning said he was covered in leech bites. Not to mention any one of you guys they might have been feeding on in the lake!"

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipleeches1.mpg - 7.3m
Jason and Casey are about to have kinky "tie me up" sex when she realizes that the box of condoms is empty. As a result, the only person nearly naked is the young man. Why? Why can't we the girl nude?

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2 3
Re: Leeches!
Reply #1. Posted on June 08, 2009, 10:49:54 PM by Ash
OUCH! 
This film sounds really, really bad!
There is no way I'll ever subject myself to this movie.

NEVER!!!

Andrew, you truly went through some torture to bring this movie to our attention.
I applaud you my good sir!   TeddyR   Thumbup
Bravo!!
Re: Leeches!
Reply #2. Posted on June 09, 2009, 01:42:29 AM by Trevor
Thanks for the review, Andrew. And virtual karma to you for making it through this film, sir!  Smile

A cinematographer friend of mine worked with David DeCoteau on the TV film The Raven and said that the director was an OK guy to work with.

PS: Is it just me or is that leech in the last still slightly penis-like?  Buggedout
Re: Leeches!
Reply #3. Posted on June 09, 2009, 07:10:38 AM by InformationGeek
I've been waiting for this review since you annouced it back in Feburary or March.  I have been curious about this one for a while and I do like any film with a mutant animal, insect, or whatever a leech is.  However, I think it would be in my best interest to stay away from this crapfeast.  While I agree that this film is probably targeted at the female population like you hint at, I do find it strange that the director would use giant leeches in it.  I'm not sure many women would want to watch this, even with all the shirtless guys.
Re: Leeches!
Reply #4. Posted on June 09, 2009, 08:03:28 AM by SynapticBoomstick
Nearly three skulls in a row Buggedout. You're a helluva trooper!

I remember seeing this movie on TV and being annoyed with myself for not only finishing it but for having stayed up late enough so I could watch it; cable summaries are not your friend. Months later I was ask by, of all people, my mother if I'd ever seen this movie with giant mutant leeches that squeak. I blinked until she mentioned "guys running around in speedos", at which point I said with a great amount of disgust that I did in fact know the title she was talking about.
Re: Leeches!
Reply #5. Posted on June 09, 2009, 03:00:46 PM by El Rico
I've been following your website for years and in all my time I have never been visibly bothered by any of the movies except for now. Man this movie this incredibly awful! I want to hurt this movie, but I can never hurt it the way its hurt me. Congress should pass a bill to ban David DeCoteau from making films.
Re: Leeches!
Reply #6. Posted on June 09, 2009, 07:48:07 PM by Andrew
While I agree that this film is probably targeted at the female population like you hint at, I do find it strange that the director would use giant leeches in it.  I'm not sure many women would want to watch this, even with all the shirtless guys.

Errrr...ummm...how do I say this?  "Leeches!" is not targeted at the female population.  It does feature lots of young men in tight swimsuits, and the movie does play out like a titillation flick, but the target audience is the other group of people who like to watch that sort of stuff - not the girls.

Nearly three skulls in a row Buggedout. You're a helluva trooper!


Looking back at the past 4 movies I reviewed, I wondered what the heck I was thinking.  Maybe I'm turning into a masochist.
 

A cinematographer friend of mine worked with David DeCoteau on the TV film The Raven and said that the director was an OK guy to work with.

PS: Is it just me or is that leech in the last still slightly penis-like?  Buggedout

He might be a really swell fellow, it's just that all of his recent films seem to share a common theme, and that theme causes me great anguish.

Andrew, you truly went through some torture to bring this movie to our attention.
I applaud you my good sir!   TeddyR   Thumbup

Am I allowed to watch some fun bad movies for the next few reviews?  Please?  PLEASE?
Re: Leeches!
Reply #7. Posted on June 09, 2009, 08:29:23 PM by Nik
I watched Leeches last summer with my in laws, while drinking beer.  We'd bought a copy of the film out of the bargain bin dumpster.  The homoerotic element really made my father in law very uncomfortable.  My mother in law and I joked about it.  And like you, I found the homoeroticism the only really amusing part of the film.

LEECHES ARE KILLER PENISES!  THIS MOVIE IS ABOUT AIDS OR SOMETHING! 

Even though I'm a straight male, I found the film enjoyable.  it's easy to imagine straight boys seeing this film, feeling creepy and grossed out, without ever realizing it's because of the hidden gay agenda.  Maybe the insane preachers are right? ;-)
Re: Leeches!
Reply #8. Posted on June 09, 2009, 11:22:35 PM by Cindylover1969
Well, why shouldn't gay directors "indulge" themselves as much as straight male ones? That said, I doubt I'd see this even if it involved women.
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