Excision (2012)

Time once again to pull from the list of movies I’ve referenced but haven’t reviewed, so let’s roll the equivalent of a 297-sided die! Yes, the number has grown from last time (The Phantom) because I cannot help myself. Anyway… #96! Hm, that’s the first of a trilogy and it would flow better if I did all three movies next week, so let’s roll again. #87! And that is… oh. Oh my. This is going to be a weird one.

Pauline (Ms. AnnaLynne McCord) is a disturbed teenager with dreams of surreal medical procedures that look like they belong in an industrial music video, and aspirations of becoming a surgeon. Her mother (Traci Lords) is a bitch, her father is a doormat, and her little sister is dying of cystic fibrosis. The film has a slow pace, showing how out of touch Pauline is from the rest of her class, family, and life in general. She does things like asking the boyfriend of her main bully to take her virginity and then tricking him into going down on her while she’s on her period. But it’s okay, because she prayed to God and explained her reasoning to Him! As her sister’s condition and the relationship Pauline has with her parents worsen, an opportunity arises for her to do what–she believes–needs to be done: knocking out her father, kidnapping a neighbor girl, and performing a lung transplant in the garage. This of course does not end well, and the movie ends with two dead bodies, Pauline possibly realizing she fucked up, and her mother screaming and crying. Holy fuck.

AnnaLynne McCord’s transformation into Pauline is a sight to behold. Pauline is, well… kind of gross. She’s got greasy hair, bad skin, and what appears to be a permanent hunch. But in reality AnnaLynne is very conventionally attractive! I showed my husband a picture of Pauline sniffing one her tampons (it’s one of the first images you see when looking up the film on IMDB and is etched into my brain forever) and then compared it to the DVD cover of Santa’s Little Helper where she plays the attractive, round-eared elf Billie. And IMDB says she actually shaved her head for the surgery scene? I’m not sure I completely believe that, though–in the interview with writer/director Richard Bates that appears to be the source of this tidbit, what he actually says is that when he brought up the need for her to eventually shave her head, McCord started cutting her hair in front of him. He never outright says that they actually shaved her, and considering her recurring role on the 90210 reboot it would make more sense if it was a very good looking bald cap. But still, the transformation she went through to become Pauline is amazing and the dedication is applaudable.

And real quick before the end, I want to talk about the rest of the cast. None of these actors had major roles, but this film also features John Waters (as a pastor, no less), Ray Wise, Marlee Matlin, Malcolm McDowell, and Matthew Gray Gubler. Those are sizable names for this weird little horror movie! But then again, Matthew Gray Gubler–you have to say his full name, I don’t make the rules–has been in three other movies Bates has made. And one of which is… a horror comedy co-starring Kat Dennings?! Oh shit, I have to watch that next!

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2 thoughts on “Excision (2012)

  1. Pingback: Are We Not Cats (2018) | Chwineka Watches

  2. Pingback: Suburban Gothic (2014) | Chwineka Watches

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