Two American girls in Italy are drugged and raped by an evil magician and his twin brother who suffer from a curse that turns them into beastmen each day. One of the girls falls for the good twin and decides to help him break the curse.
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Gina, an American art student who moved to Italy to work as an art restorer, is asked by the priest of the local gothic church to clean up an old painting that was found there and which may contain a second, hidden painting that was painted over for some reason. Gina later visits her best friend Catherine who's inherited a nearby castle where she once lived before moving to America as a child. Her old nanny is now the only other person there. The two girls visit a traveling sideshow carnival and invite the performers to the castle for dinner. Both girls fall for the handsome leader of the carnival who unfortunately turns out to be an evil magician and serial rapist. He and his evil dwarf minion drug the girls' drinks and have their way with them. The magician then takes Catherine to his twin brother who has turned into a beastman due to a curse to have sex with her while she's still out. In the morning the girls wake up barely remembering what happened. Gina leaves to work on the ...
Very good for a straight-to-video erotic horror film
Meridian is an erotic horror film that used to be known under the name 'Phantoms' here in the UK. It was directed by Charles Band for his Full Moon production company who were known purveyors of B-movie schlock. This one seems to have a bit more of a budget about it, although it was still a straight-to-video effort. In fact, it could easily pass itself off as an Italian movie, seeing as it benefits from a very nice on-location Roman setting; while the soundtrack from the popular composer Pino Donaggio gives it a lush Euro atmosphere, in a late 80's kind of way. Its story focuses on a young American woman Catherine who inherits an Italian castle. One day, she and her friend encounter a group of travelling carnies whom they invite over for dinner, only for this to end in both girls being drugged and raped by their guests. Supernatural events follow
The film is sort of a sex and horror version of the 'Beauty and the Beast' story and keeping with its fairy-tale roots it remains a pretty restrained, albeit erotic in places. The reason it's sexy is also the prime reason to see it and that is undoubtedly on account of its two incredible leading ladies, Sherilyn Fenn and Charlie Spradling. They are certainly the best thing about this one and both feature prominently in a very sensual and well shot erotic sequence, which you will sure know when you see it. As astronomically beautiful as Ms Fenn is, I actually thought that Charlie was - incredibly - even more attractive. Needless to say, these girls are pure candy for the eyes. Unfortunately Charlie more or less vanishes for the second half of the movie and the plot then focuses on the ghostly goings on surrounding Sherilyn. Perhaps inevitably after such a strong start the film does fade somewhat as it goes on, yet it remains pretty stylish and entertaining for the most part. But see it for Charlie and Sherilyn would be my advice.
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