It’s new years eve and uber nerd Nico is hell bent on losing his overripe cherry. After suffering rejection from women drunk enough to vomit on his shoes, his desperation propels him towards the slavering chops of Medea the charismatic cougar.
Once inside her lugubrious apartment, Nico turns a blind eye to the decaying decor, Asian black magic paraphernalia and the syrupy butcher’s shop slot drain in the bathroom. Even the teaming congregation of cockroaches can’t divert him from his genital generated destiny.
It is, of course, not long before he accidentally wank triggers a domino effect of psycho-sexual skullduggery that will leave his dreams of carnal excitement, and one of his orifices, in horrifically painful tatters.
Night of the Virgin is exactly the sort of squalid spume that would have risen straight to the tracking lined surface of the infamous DPP list of ‘video nasties’ back in the early 80’s.
Imagine Peter Jackson had forsaken the dewy-eyed time leech of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, deciding instead to spend his middlescence nurturing a 1980’s sex comedy fusion of The Graduate, and genre powerhouse À l’intérieur.
Think Delicatessen savagely squished into a David Lynch calibrated movie blender along with Night of Something Strange, Superbad, and Rosemary’s Baby.
The Night of the Virgin is, however, far more than just the sum of its depraved parts. An intrepid gender flip is inspired, as is the unapologetic excess that seeks not to push boundaries, but to draw chalk lines around them and call the coroner.
It could be argued that this bat-shit black comedy is overlong but the protracted war of attrition is a definitive flare path in safely landing many of the film’s best jokes. Furthermore, it remains resolutely tonally consistent, stoically refusing to clamber out of its own morally corrosive septic tank, thus elevating the repulsive punchlines above inane idiocy. Instead, this fucked up flick cajoles us to enter the sparsely populated vacuum of inspired farcical slapstick.
The script is undisputedly vulgar, typified by a fearlessly early George Micheal jibe, and is so exhaustingly scurrilous it could share a handicap with Goodfellas in the swear jar stakes.
Watching The Night of the Virgin is like waking from a particularly bruising Rohypnol rape and finding oneself imprisoned within the sweating walls of a machiavellian funhouse curated by Georges Méliès.
The final traumatic third spurts into life like the cinematic version of a Jackson Pollock painting, splatted into existence with blood, sperm and tears of pain.
The Night of the Virgin is definitely one of the most lurid horrors to emerge from Spain since Luis Buñuel last sliced an eyeball, and despite the freak show framework it hangs upon, it’s also the most scandalously entertaining European horror film in ages.
| Bradley Hadcroft
Dark Arts, Extreme Horror Comedy | Spain, 2016 | 117 mins | 18 | Platanoboligrafo| Glasgow Frightfest 25 Feb. 2017 | Dir. Roberto San Sebastián| Javier Bódalo, Miriam Martín, Víctor Amilibia