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Two lovely American girls go to Italian castle to paint and restore pictures.During their visit they run into a traveling sideshow and invite all the members of said sideshow over to the castle for dinner.An orgy results with the girls being drugged and raped by two men.One of them is transforming into beast due to the curse.The romance between the beast and Sherilyn Fenn ensues...I wanted to see "Meridian" because of "Twin Peaks" starlet Sherilyn Fenn,one of the most beautiful actresses of 80's and early 90's.She and Charlie Spradling have some wonderfully sensual sex scenes in this mildly interesting and rather watered down Walerian Borowczyk's "The Beast" clone.Still "Meridian" is worth watching for stunningly ravishing Sherilyn Fenn.6 out of 10.
The first half hour or so is entertaining, but it tends to shift around
from there. It oscillates between interesting and boring.
Meridian is a beautiful movie, and it contains some of the most beautiful actresses I have ever seen. Meridian maintains a dreamy elegance throughout its length and rarely fails at that.
The settings, music, and sequences successfully convey an ethereal world. Despite a few slightly unsettling carnal scenes, Meridian is a pretty romantic movie that may move you. This may be true, if you believe in soul mates, or finding a true love. I was hopelessly in love when I saw this 10 years ago, so it kind of was on the same wavelength as me.
Yep, that's about what you get. A strangely warped Beauty and the beast (with twin beasts) story whose main benefit is it's two gorgeous heroine's Sherilynn Fenn and Charlie Spradling. Never can any film have featured two such beautiful actresses and the director is quick to get them drugged and stripped.
The Spradling character (she was credited as just "Charlie" in this film) allbut disappears from the plot thereafter leaving La Fenn to wrestle with the beast twins and eventually fall in love with the good one of the two.
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?
This film will not challenge anyone intellectually. The castle where a good portion of the movie is filmed does have an eerie feel about it. Charlie Spradling and Sherilyn Fenn play the two women who are drugged at the castle where they live by some weird circus performers. The leader of the group takes Fenn into a back bedroom and strips her down and looks like he is going to have a good time with the nubile, lovely lady but then he passes her over to his twin brother. The leader then goes and strips down Charlie Spradling and and ravages her body while his brother gets it on with the drugged Fenn. Weird!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Give Charles Band a little credit for stepping outside his genre
comfort zone. Here he attempts to create a deadly serious Gothic
romance. While it's going to be much too slowly paced to suit some
tastes, others will appreciate the heavy atmosphere, and the incredibly
The premise is essentially a variation on the classic Beauty and the Beast theme. Two art school graduates, Catherine (Sherilyn Fenn), and Gina (Charlie Spradling), travel to Italy. Gina goes to work restoring paintings, while Catherine goes to live in the opulent castle that she has inherited. Soon, Catherine finds herself caught up in a love triangle with twin brothers (Lawrence and Oliver, both played by handsome Malcolm Jamieson). Lawrence is cruel and controlling, Oliver is the much more sensitive one. Yet Oliver is the one suffering a sad curse.
The movie is worth watching for Ms. Fenn. She's absolutely beautiful, as always, but also delivers an appealing performance. Fenn and the equally ravishing Spradling do show off quite a bit of their bodies in some extended love making scenes. Jamieson does a respectable job at portraying these two wildly contrasting characters. The strong supporting cast includes Hilary Mason as the wise and loving old nanny Martha, Phil Fondacaro as the dwarf, Vernon Dobtcheff as the priest, and Alex Daniels as the beastly incarnation of Oliver.
Pino Donaggio composed the haunting and lovely score, the lighting is by genre veteran Mac Ahlberg, and the castle sets look pretty good. There aren't that many visual effects to speak of, but the beast makeup by Greg Cannom is reasonably impressive. Another enjoyable element is watching a painting reveal itself under another painting, as Gina goes about her business of restoration.
Worth a look for people seeking a change of pace from more typical Full Moon product.
Seven out of 10.
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If there was one word to best describe this movie, it would be: Gorgeous. If a second word was required, it would be: Beautiful. Even though the movie takes place in present-day Italy, we are soon transported to an elegant, dreamy countryside populated by rolling hills and enchanted castles. At the start, an average-looking painting is donated to a church. But the priest wants the picture underneath to be restored. At the same time, the pretty art restorer named Gina is preparing to welcome back her best friend Catherine. It just so happens that Catherine has inherited a magnificent castle. Soon after Gina arrives, they spot a roving sideshow and decide to watch it. As day turns to night, they invite the freaks and magicians back for dinner. But all is not well as soon afterwards, the women are slipped a drug and then raped by magician Lawrence and his masked brother Oliver (get the reference?) You see, Oliver is really a beast and trapped in a never-ending spiral of striving for love and then Lawrence kills the women he loves. However with Catherine, he might finally be able to break free. Yes, it's essentially a modern and very adult-themed re-telling of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. But please gentle viewer, don't go thinking this is a Disney flick. Everything about this film is near pitch-perfect. The acting is excellent, as are the make-up and special effects. I must especially applaud the location scout. Whether it's a giant castle or a park filled with monolithic statues, every place fits the look and feel. So fall in love with the fantasy once more!
It's the moment you've been waiting for! Sherilyn Fenn in the buff, and
as an added bonus, some other actress too.
Sherilyn's just returned to Italy to her family castle as a successful sculptress, and is welcomed home by her old nanny. Her friend, also American, restores paintings and heads over for the weekend for a bit of a laugh. At the same time, however, a strange travelling freak show turn up and Sherilyn's a bit taken by the leader of the show: some guy who, judging by his dress sense, wouldn't have looked amiss singing for Spandau Ballet.
The freak show are invited to the castle for dinner, and before you know it, Sherilyn and her friend have been drugged and ended up getting raped by the ringleader and a mysterious masked man, who not only is the twin of the ringleader of the freaks, but also turns into some sort of beast mid-coitus. This actor, in real life, probably chalks up this scene, where he gets to lie naked with both actresses, as the 'best thing he's ever done ever'. I'll bet he's still grinning and pinching himself to this day.
Turns out these New Romantic twins are ancient brothers, and one of them is evil and the other one just wants to be free of the curse. This is all linked to Sherilyn's family, and a painting her friend is restoring, and one of the characters may even be a ghost, and by that I don't mean the actual ghost that's kicking about. Much spooky happenings, romance, and naked Fenn scenes ensue.
I quite liked Phantoms, for what it was. I've never been big on rape in films, mind you, but this all seems to be tied in with the plot somehow. There's effective scenes of the brothers emerging from the walls of the castle. It's very close in spirit to the actual home grown Italian horror movies of this era (Specters, Demons 3 The Ogre) although it's slightly lacking in the cheese department. Recommended for those who are unnerved at trying anything that has the name 'Charles Brand' attached to it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The talented & beautiful SHERILYN FENN stars as the inheritor to an
Italian castle, who falls in love with a beautiful looking man, that
unfortunately has been cursed for eternity to transform into a beast at
night, all the while being tormented by his wicked twin brother (Both
played by British actor MALCOLM JAMIESON) with only the one girl who
can love him able to break his curse, but his evil twin won't let him
go so easily. You know CHARLES BAND must look back on both this & other
FULLMOON efforts of the 90's & say to himself "How did I ever go from
making decent low budget B movies like these, to the no budget crap I'm
doing now?! MERIDIAN is an early FULLMOON effort that is actually
pretty decent. The film is basically an adult version of BEAUTY & THE
BEAST & is surprisingly well acted, given it's low budget origins. The
scenery in the film is quiet beautiful. It has several interesting plot
twists, the beast make-up is very well done & CHARLES BAND actually
knew how to direct at the time! Not to be left out of any of this is
the talented & sexy CHARLIE SPRADLING (who's last name is oddly not
credited on the opening & end credits or the box art?) & FULLMOON
regular PHIL FONDACARO both of whom turn in excellent performances.
Choosing MALCOLM JAMIESON as the lead villain & love interest was
definitely a spade in FULLMOON'S hat. He is both believable &
charmingly handsome in both roles & RICHARD BAND'S score is quiet
possibly the best he's ever done. The film despite having to bare the
title of a horror film over the years is actually a romantic fantasy.
All in all, I highly recommend you check the film out, it maybe a bit
slow in the first half, but stick with it.
The castle used in the film was also used in TRANCERS 4 & 5, The SUBSPECIES series, VAMPIRE JOURNALS, CASTLE FREAK & INVISIBLE: THE CHONICLES OF BENJAMIN KNIGHT & LURKING FEAR all from FULLMOON
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