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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 

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 


 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 #17. Posted on June 24, 2009, 08:08:30 PM by Andrew
I am certainly NOT this movie's target audience.  Are there others who will like it?  Yes, certainly, but that does not mean I have to feign any sort of appreciation.  There really is not much in the way of giant killer leeches running amok and the acting is just competent enough to be bland, which means the only reason I might enjoy this film is for the male titillation - but that's not my thing.  Believe me when I say that David DeCoteau's recent films make me appreciate my wife's point of view when I watch Andy Sidaris movies (although she does occasionally find a source of amusement in one of those breast extravaganzas).

Not to mention that my history with David DeCoteau's films reveals that I tend not to like his films, even back when he was making low budget movies that did have scantily clad (or less) young women.  The only movie of his that I can remember liking is "Dr. Alien."  Otherwise, whatever he does with film seems to pain me.  I will say that Mr. DeCoteau's near-copying of the style that usually works in mainstream teenage sex comedies was exceptionally well done in "Leeches."  That's probably why it disturbed me so.

Finally, yes, I've been known to hide under furniture during certain parts of Sextette.  I also have a review written, pending proofreading, for "The Pink Angels," which is a movie about a transvestite motorcycle gang.  Reading through that article, what seems to have traumatized me the most was a very old, very blubbery, female prostitute.  I actually refer to her as Shub-Niggurath.
Re: Leeches!
Reply #18. Posted on June 24, 2009, 09:19:39 PM by Paul H
I have not posted here in years but Leeches forced a response. Especially after you just reviewed Teenage caveman. These are my two least favorite movies of all time.  They have placed a mental scar on me and my friends.  To this day I get blamed for Leeches on a monthly basis. This movie has become a part of our lexicon as a form of a hate and insult between friends. (Along with the phrase "Nemesis 4?, what were you thinking").  We don't even speak of Teenage Caveman as the thought of it still cause bouts of rage. 
Re: Leeches!
Reply #19. Posted on June 25, 2009, 01:32:17 AM by ShifterCat
I look forward to the day when a camera lingering on an attractive male happens just as often as a camera lingering on an attractive female, so that even if someone isn't interested in that sort of body they won't freak out about the "inversion".

And dude, all that whimpering about hot young men fresh out of the pool and you only have one screenshot of guys in tiny swim trunks? Tease!
Re: Leeches!
Reply #20. Posted on June 25, 2009, 10:02:44 AM by InformationGeek
As a gay horror movie fan, I think the little boys on here complaining about seeing scantily-dressed males is hysterical.  The prior poster said he wanted horror, not "thinly-disguised gay porn" or words to that effect.   Funny, he doesn't seem to mind the hundreds upon thousands of horror films that are basically excuses to show teen sex and bare lady-boobs.  I've sat through a lot of such movies and never ssw a reason to whine about it.  I defy this poster--or any other poster--to tell me why a very small number of horror films that show men as sex objects for a change make them THAT uncomfortable.

Now, if you want to complain that the director is just not all that good, I'll back you up on that.  But agqain, there are a lot worse directors out there--and most of them cover up their inadequacies by uncovering women's chests.

Usually, the reviews on this site are funny and entertaining, but this one is just whining that one guy saw another guy when he wasn't fully dressed.  Get over it; junior high was a LONG time ago!

I am so glad someone said it I myself AM gay and have found many of these comments extremely offensive and homophobic.Maybe I shouldnt have joined this site beginning to think I made a mistake a big one.

Don't say that!  We accept all types of people on this board!
Re: Leeches!
Reply #21. Posted on July 26, 2009, 04:51:33 AM by Christian
You should get the Nobel Peace Prize for watching a movie like this! Your humor, though, kept me reading your article. Great job!
Re: Leeches!
Reply #22. Posted on October 24, 2009, 03:34:34 PM by myrrdnemrys
Call me crazy, but have I not had to sit and watch countless numbers of boob action and ass shaking on any number of media outlets.  I can't even watch a commercial without having to see some beer commercial that features scantily clad women fishing beer out of a lake, or something to that affect. 
I think (more as a feminist than a gay man) that a movie that objectifying men is fantastic.  Also, isn't there some pop-psych theory that the more disturbed you are by something - the more you feel you can relate to it?  Just throwing it out there.   Oh yeah, and there are some psych studies that back up the homophobic person is more aroused by queer porn than even the homosexual person....  Again, just throwing it out there.
That all being said, this film (i agree) is nothing but faux queer porn.  In one scene in particular, the leech is crawling this dudes leg seemingly toward his ass... haha
Essentially I'm just saying...  SUCK IT UP p***y!
Re: Leeches!
Reply #23. Posted on October 24, 2009, 04:31:40 PM by Andrew
Essentially I'm just saying...  SUCK IT UP p***y!

Is your argument that my review should have praised the film because, while I did not like it, you did? 

To me, the point in writing a review is to entertain the reader as I convey how the movie made me feel and what it made me think about.  I did not like "Leeches!"  Nor did I like "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" or "Nail Gun Massacre" (and the latter film had lots of girls showing off their funbags).  Reading those reviews should give the reader a good idea of how I felt about the movie, and perhaps whether they should avoid it themselves.

If you would like to read another review with comments that also attack my opinion of the film, because the film's view (and the commenter's) is not how I see the world, perhaps check here:

The Trial of Billy Jack,111919.0.html
Pages: 1 2 [3]
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