Fangs Out (2023) Review
If you’re familiar with Sterling Films, then you’ll know what you’re getting into as soon as you see their name during the opening credits for Fangs Out (not to be confused with Fanged Up). For those that aren’t, it means a micro to no budget film shot in someone’s backyard with no production values to speak of. For fans of microbudget films, it doesn’t necessarily mean a bad film, but if you can’t deal with this level of DIY cinema, you’ll want to find something else to watch.
For those that stick with it, Fangs Out follows four friends, Madison (Stacy Aung, Daddy Issues, Bottom Girl), Allana (Heidi Hemlock) and her boyfriend (Brian Easter Jr.) and Skylar (Marlene Mc’Cohen, Her Morbid Desires, Alien Hunger) as they head to Mexico for Spring Break. Not, as you may think, to party in Cancun, they’re sneaking across the border to get some plastic surgery done on the cheap by Dr. Pavor (Samuel Code, Lord of the Streets, Bad Connection).
As they’re making their way through a storm drain to their destination, Detective Lee (Randy Oppenheimer, Rottentail, Amityville Vampire) is preparing to head South of the Border as well. His daughter Faye (Jessie Vane, Axegrinder 4: Souls of Blood, The Stupid Zombie) has gone missing, with only an alarming phone message for a clue.
Even if the title and poster didn’t give it away, director Dennis Devine (Camp Blood 8: Revelations, Fatal Images) and co-writer “Drake Cola” from an idea by Oppenheimer who is probably Mr. Cola as well, let us know well before the leads get there that Pavor, as well as his nurses like Anna (Veronica Ricci, Tickle Torture for Exposed Soles, An Hour to Kill), are vampires. And that they’re also the reason for Faye’s disappearance.
Given its budget, Fangs Out features lots of walking around in the woods and standing around in the clinic talking. Some of that dialogue, such as the doctor’s interviews with the patients, is supposed to be funny. I didn’t find it funny, but I’m sure any fourteen-year-olds watching will snicker, or maybe I should say titter, their way through talk of breast and penis enlargement as well as a porn star’s need for vaginal reconstruction, “Have you ever seen the Grand Canyon? That’s me down there.” On the other hand, a bit involving a character’s large tattoo of a cross is fairly clever.
The effects we get are a mix of cheap, but practical for things like a disembowelling and a decapitation, and even cheaper-looking CGI for fire and blood spray effects. It’s not a lot, though for one of these films, the twitching headless corpse is fairly impressive, but Fangs Out at least puts it on the screen rather than keeping it all off-screen like so many low-end films do. However, despite the nature of the surgeries and the characters, and the cast for that matter, including a porn star it doesn’t put any skin on the screen except for an ass cheek near the end of the film.
While it doesn’t really rise above its DIY nature, Fangs Out does rise above many films in its class. It’s obvious some effort was put into making the film. While several of the sets are obviously nothing more than a room with tarps hung up or someone’s garage, they did at least find what looks like an actual clinic to shoot the corridor scenes in. And rather than go the Mark Polonia route and just stand people in front of a bookcase, the filmmakers actually shot in a bookstore.
Fangs Out isn’t likely to win over many viewers who don’t already like microbudget films, but it should please most of those who are already fans.