VOD Releases: She's a Man Eater! The Lure (2017) - Reviewed

The Lure is one of those genre-bending films that are hard to categorize and dissect. For the most part it's a musical, but like a swimmer testing the temperature of a body of water before diving in, it dips its toe into other styles, splashing around but never completely submersing itself. This makes the narrative feel a little uneven but the sheer creativity on display makes up for any shortcomings the story may have.

The story follows two young mermaids (sirens, really) Golden (Michalina Olszańska) and Silver (Marta Mazurek) who come ashore and try to integrate themselves into the local populous. They end up getting a job as singers at a seedy strip club where their innocence is exploited for profit. When they are in their human form on dry land the mermaids have human legs though they do not possess any genitalia. They can only have sexual intercourse in their fish form. Several other characters make mention of their sliminess and "fishy odor" which is a parallel to how women are often made to feel ashamed about their vaginas and natural body functions. It's an intriguing way to approach feminist issues but under the veneer of fantasy and allegory. These women are wild creatures that have been removed from their habitat and though they can assimilate to an extent they have a certain...hunger that must be satiated.

As for the musical side of The Lure, I personally really enjoyed the songs. They lean towards an eighties style with lots of cheesy synth sounds and catchy hooks. The way the musical scenes are integrating into the non-singing parts isn't exactly seamless though and it makes the film seem disjointed at times. The body horror aspects are at odds with the more whimsical parts contributing to an uneven tone throughout. If anything this movie feels like a live-action Disney production--if it were made by John Waters. It has that perverted, campy vibe that he is known for but I never found it to be offensive--truth be told, it's almost impossible to offend me.

I loved the color palette used in The Lure, it's a mixture of shimmering pinks and blues and is reminiscent of the iridescent hues of fish scales. The lighting gives everything a dreamlike quality which is befitting for a fairytale. There are similarities to The Little Mermaid story, which I am sure was intentional, but the dark Grimm's version and not the family friendly sterilized Disney animation. Though this movie is bizarre at times, it is well worth watching as it's a fresh take on the mermaid myth. Throw off your clothes and dive in, baby.


--Michelle Kisner