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 ...
The film Meridian is basically a live version of the classic cartoon "Beauty and the Beast" but without the singing teapot, candle, and clock and some other plot changes. The heroine, as played by Eye Candy Hall of Fame inductee Sherilyn Fenn, inherits a creepy castle. One day, she and her friend (fellow inductee Charlie Spradling) venture down to the village and watch a creepy little circus. They proceed to invite the creepy performers back to the castle for dinner. The creeps then drug our two ladies, and while in an altered state, the creepy ringmaster disrobes them to engage in a carnal act. Here at the academy we deplore the concept of date rape or any other act of sexual aggression within a film to justify a nude scene. In this case it is an important plot development, the film is of the horror genre, no physical abuse is incorporated in the scene, and the fact that it proceeds at a snail's pace causes us to forget what triggered the event. Putting our bias aside, upon viewing the de-clothed heroines, we realize that Sherilyn looks Fenn-tastic and Ms. Spradling ain't such a bad thing. In fact hold onto your beer while admiring the natural talents of Ms. Spradling. This scene alone fulfills the requirements of the academy but the film alone does not (no more worthy scenes of nakedness). As for the film itself, the story then proceeds along to answer the following questions: Can the curse of the Man-Beast be lifted?, Why are there strange happenings at the castle?, Will Ms. Fenn's character find true love?, and How come some of the castle walls are made of cardboard?
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