Review: CONJOINED (2013)

Stanley (Tom Long, GETTING SCHOOLED) loves Alina (Michelle Ellen Jones, DAWN OF THE CRESCENT MOON, KILD TV). Alina has a sister, Alisa (Keefer Barlow, PICKAXE). The problem for Stanley is that they’re joined at the hip, literally. The girls are conjoined, or as they said in less enlightened times, Siamese Twins. There’s also the little matter of Alisa’s homicidal ways. As Shakespeare once said, “The course of true love never did run smooth.”

CONJOINED is a dark comedy of at times absurd proportions. After watching Alisa kill an obnoxious would-be boyfriend, a very shocked Stanley asks Alina if this has happened before. Her reply, “Don’t worry, we’ll clean it up.” isn’t what he needs to hear. But soon the bodies are piling up and the police are on the trail. Desperate action may be needed.

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Spoofing everything from horror films to romantic comedies and police procedurals, CONJOINED quickly leaves good taste behind and goes for the jugular among other body parts. And that’s a good thing in a film like this, the subject matter is not given to subtle humour. And besides, who doesn’t get a good laugh out of some dbag getting his junk bitten off and spat onto the floor?

Working from a script by Chuck and Tim Norfolk (THE HAUNTED TRAILER) director Joe Grisaffi (DEAD OF KNIGHT, LARS THE EMO KID) pulled CONJOINED together on a budget so low he was able to finance it out of pocket. It mostly shows in the obvious lack of locations. Just about everything is shot on the same couple of sets. The film’s effects are mostly impressive for its budget and the number of them it contains. It also looks very good, I was surprised to read it was shot on a DSLR, not a dedicated video camera.

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The film’s three leads also deserve credit for selling the film’s outrageous concept so well. There’s great chemistry in the video chat scenes between Long and Jones at the start of the film. Barlow just oozes malevolence as the evil twin. Their performances help the film succeed where others like THE GREASY STRANGLER and LOWLIFE fail, by giving us characters we can believe in and get behind.

CONJOINED is available on Amazon Prime, Screambox, and has been made freely available on YouTube.

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