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MERIDIAN - 1 Slime
Rated R
Copyright 1990 Full Moon Entertainment
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 23 November 2007

The Characters:  

  • Catherine - One of the few women on the planet who can wink in Braille.
  • Gina - Wow, for a mousey art restoration expert, she is a lot more filled out than I had expected. Not bad at all. Maybe it is time that I painted over a Renoir.
  • Martha - She was Catherine's nanny, but died. Now she is Ghost Nanny. Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah Ghost Nanny!
  • The Dwarf - Phil Fondacaro wearing renaissance clothing and brandishing a whip! Not since the reign of Louis XIV has a character of such style existed.
  • Oliver - Centuries ago, he was cursed by a wizard and will forever turn into a hairy beast when aroused.
  • Lawrence - As Oliver's evil twin, he is also under the effects of the curse. While this does not cause him to turn into a beast, it has greatly extended his life. Finally released from his Earthly prison and sent to the big magic act in the sky.
  • The Beast - Well, nobody would ever say that this thing looks like Fabio. What it looks like is the Homo Habilis equivalent to Ron Jeremy. Acts like him, too.
  • Strong Man, Lunatic Man, Fire Eater, and the Belly Dancer - Other members of the troupe. They remind me of people I knew in high school.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

I think that this film's major claim to fame is the scene with the mesomorph werewolf engaging in sexual congress with Catherine (and not, surprisingly, doing it doggy style). So, if seeing that is your thing, skip forward to around the thirty minute mark and have at it.

Gina works as a restoration specialist in an art studio. She went to art college with Catherine, but the two girls have not seen each other in years. Then Catherine moves back to her family's castle in Italy. That Friday, as Gina waits impatiently for the workday to end so that she can visit her friend, the local priest brings in a painting for immediate restoration. The priest believes that an ancient masterpiece was painted over and wants the "new" paint removed so that the original artwork can be viewed. Get this - the restoration must be completed by Monday morning! The starving would-be artist argues, but finally resigns herself to working most of the weekend.

Let me provide everyone some advice about work done by talented craftsmen: you can have it cheap, fast, or right. Pick any two. Even if you do select "fast" and "done right," I have my doubts that two or three people working together could completely remove the obscuring layer of amateur paint and touch up the original work in less than seventy-two hours. Tell you what, you give me a painting to restore on my weekend off and I will ensure that you have a hopping mad priest on Monday morning. I guess that is why I am a Marine, not an artist.

It's not that I go out of my way to annoy the clergy. Some things are important enough to sacrifice a free weekend; restoring a painting that has been sitting in someone's storage closet for eighty years is not one of them.

Reunited, Catherine and Gina make their way to the outer grounds of the castle where a small troupe, Fauvrey's World of Wonders, is entertaining a crowd of villagers. The act is the usual mix of knife throwing, flash powder explosions, and the like. What is out of the ordinary is Oliver's obvious interest in Catherine (you can tell, despite the rigid black mask he wears). Following the show, Gina is still flying high on excitement; she convinces Catherine to invite the magician and his troupe back to the castle for dinner.

The dinner party is...interesting. Following the meal, toasts are proposed and the Dwarf slips a little something extra into Catherine and Gina's tankards. Whatever it was, the medieval roofie works; both girls become disoriented and sexually pliant. Lawrence throws Gina down on the table in slow motion, then starts tearing her clothes off as Catherine fumbles around in a useless attempt to stop him. Finally tiring of the interference, the wicked illusionist carries her into a bedchamber, then throws her down onto the bed in slow mo and tears her clothes off. Just when you think he is going to stop with all the ruffling cloth and slow motion rape prep, Lawrence leaves the room.

Where does he go? Back to where Gina is waiting. What follows? More slow mo "girl tossed onto the couch and rendered naked as the firelight licks her skin" nonsense. I swear, these sex scenes are taking forever. Meanwhile, Oliver enters Catherine's room and mounts the horny filly. During the (again with the slow mo) sex scene, the man transforms into a snarling beast.

So, both Gina and Catherine get boinked and wake up alone in the morning, though the latter must have been worried about some of the little details that a casual observer would notice. "Oh, my head. I must have been drugged. I think I had sex, but can't remember...is this dog hair all over me?"

After freshening up, Gina departs to work on restoring the painting that is due on Monday. Catherine spends her time in the castle, working on a sculpture and also seeing the ghost of a young girl in white in one of the abandoned bedrooms. Martha, once a nanny, now the caretaker of the estate, is quite distressed by Catherine's otherworldly encounters. You see, the whole reason that Catherine's father sent her away to school was due to Catherine telling him about the ghost when she was a little girl.

Lots of stuff happens in this middle section. Catherine encounters Oliver in the castle's sculpture garden, is nearly raped again by Lawrence before the beast intervenes, and we, the audience, finally discover what is going on. The performers were cursed by the original lord of the castle after a lovers' spat between Lawrence and Oliver resulted in the death of the lord's daughter. In order to break the curse, Oliver must be killed by someone who loves him. A direct descendent of the lord, such as Catherine, is the obvious choice. Lawrence and the other members of the troupe have spent their centuries doing little more than spoiling Oliver's attempts at falling in love. Each time that a lady of the castle starts to show feelings for Oliver, Lawrence kills her.

Oliver is a complete dummy when it comes to his brother. From what I can tell, Lawrence has killed a number of young women over the centuries, but Oliver keeps trying. Many viewers will also notice that Lawrence helped Oliver "meet" Catherine by getting her drugged. Why he did that is never explained; chalk it up to bad writing.

Back in the studio, Gina is hard at work. Her restoration method is pretty simple: brush on turpentine, then rub off the top layer of paint with a rag. Surprisingly, the antique painting is not damaged by this abuse. How in the dickens does the solvent not dissolve the original painting? I mean, really. This is one of those silly "restore the painting" kits that somebody purchased from craft store, isn't it? Anyway, the original artwork quickly emerges from under the newer paint. It is a picture of Catherine being menaced by Lawrence, as the beast, brandishing a crossbow, looks on.

The movie is building to a climatic ending. My problem is that I want it to hurry up and get there and my frustration intensifies once it is revealed that Martha died six months before Catherine returned home. The heroine has been interacting with a ghost the entire time! That only makes sense if the other servants are also spooks, which doesn't make sense at all when you think about it. Are the ghosts of dead servants going to the market to shop for food? As if that would not cause a stampede. Ghost asks to buy a watermelon, farmer recognizes the man as someone who died, and bedlam ensues. Arrgggghhh! I want it to end! End the curse - don't end the curse - whatever, just end!

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Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • The restoration of a centuries-old painting is a simple weekend project.
  • Snapping a whip at the crowd is not always the best way to attract volunteers.
  • Performers have terrible table manners.
  • Artists and magicians are polar opposites.
  • Confessing your love to the woman you slipped a dose of roofies = a wasted effort.
  • S&M was so much better in the old days.
  • Within twenty-four hours of a sexual encounter, a woman will be driven to create a drawing or sculpture of Abraham Lincoln (let's see what Freud says about that).
  • If you love someone, set them free and shoot their evil twin brother with a crossbow.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 12 mins - Klytus?
  • 13 mins - Ozzy Osbourne did it better.
  • 21 mins - From now on, Catherine will need to use a different set of tankards when serving eight guests.
  • 22 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOT!
  • 24 mins - RANDOM GRATUITOUS BREAST SHOT!
  • 28 mins - Where did you buy your "Official Orthopedic Gym Teacher Medieval Pants?"
  • 32 mins - Catherine is probably thinking that nothing has changed since college. She is still waking up sticky and without a clear memory of what happened the night before.
  • 68 mins - When will this movie end?
  • 79 mins - Had this been Alabama, vice Italy, Oliver probably would have been lying on top of a fire ant mound.

Quotes: 

  • Lawrence: "We artists are visionaries, magicians, outlaws of time and space! We scoff at the rules of polite society, we flout the laws of physics, and we laugh at death!"

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note meridian1.wav Lawrence: "Tonight was a most successful performance of Fauvrey's World of Wonders. First, everything worked and no one in the audience or the cast was injured."
(Laughter from the other performers.)
Green Music Note meridian2.wav Catherine: "Martha, come with me, quick! Someone's been killed; she's in the North Wing!"
Martha: "But that's been closed for years - ever since you left."
Green Music Note meridian3.wav Lawrence: "I love you too much, dear brother, to let her kill you."
Oliver: "You mean, Lawrence, you hate me too much."
Lawrence: "That too."
Green Music Note meridian4.wav Catherine: "Is that why you came back here? To kill me. To shoot me with an arrow."
Oliver: "Just the opposite - to have you kill me."
Catherine: "Kill you?"
Oliver: "Yes, to kill the beast. To save my human soul from this eternal torment."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipmeridian1.mpg - 2.4m
Lawrence smacked Catherine unconscious and was about to rape her when Oliver intervenes. The funny thing here is that, I believe, Oliver only turns into the beast when he is sexually aroused. What was it about watching his brother violently rape Catherine that he found so titillating?

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1]
Re: Meridian
Reply #1. Posted on November 23, 2007, 03:22:21 PM by 316zombie
i thought this was pretty boring,i'm sorry to say,as it could have been quite intriguing,if the story was better...too much of a gothic bodiceripper for my tastes.
Re: Meridian
Reply #2. Posted on November 26, 2007, 06:08:34 PM by Flangepart
And the title?
Tells ya nothin' about whats in store.
Now BLOOD, BEASTS AND BOOBS...that kinda gives ya a heads up..
Re: Meridian
Reply #3. Posted on November 26, 2007, 09:23:30 PM by BoyScoutKevin
Now, I know where Francis Ford Coppola got his idea for a werewolf to roger Sadie Frost in the garden. As "Bram Stoker's Dracula," came along only two years after this film.
Re: Meridian
Reply #4. Posted on November 27, 2007, 03:41:59 PM by raj
Watched it years ago, couldn't figure out what was going on, but with a topless Sherilyn Fenn, I didn't care.
Re: Meridian
Reply #5. Posted on December 07, 2007, 10:00:49 PM by Patient Zero
*Looks at the third pic* It's Doctor Doom!
Re: Meridian
Reply #6. Posted on December 08, 2007, 01:41:17 PM by indianasmith
I remember this one . . . watched it in college.  Arguably the best werewolf sex scene ever!
Re: Meridian
Reply #7. Posted on February 29, 2012, 12:35:50 PM by FatFreddysCat
Just watched this bizarro flick last night. It's on an 8-pack bargain DVD called "Midnight Horror Collection" with a couple of other Full Moon flicks and assorted weird stuff.

Anyway, I couldn't really make heads or tails out of what was going on in this softcore "Beauty and the Beast" variation until the film was about three quarters of the way over, but I was mostly entertained. As Charles Band's films go this is definitely one of his better ones from a technical perspective, it has a nice "look" to it and the creepy Italian castle settings were effective. The hairy "Beast" costume, not so much.

It definitely helped that Sherilyn Fenn was at her peak of hottie perfection at the time this flick was made (1990) and that she's undressed for about a quarter of the run time.
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