6.5/10
11,501
97 user 139 critic

Society (1989)

R | | Comedy, Horror | 11 June 1992 (USA)
An ordinary teenage boy discovers his family is part of a gruesome orgy cult for the social elite.

Director:

Brian Yuzna

Writers:

Rick Fry, Woody Keith
Reviews
Popularity
1,700 ( 680)

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Warlock ... Bill Whitney
Devin DeVasquez ... Clarissa Carlyn
Evan Richards ... Milo
Ben Meyerson Ben Meyerson ... Ferguson
Charles Lucia ... Jim Whitney
Concetta D'Agnese Concetta D'Agnese ... Nan (as Connie Danese)
Patrice Jennings ... Jenny Whitney
Heidi Kozak Haddad ... Shauna (as Heidi Kozak)
Ben Slack Ben Slack ... Dr. Cleveland
David Wiley David Wiley ... Judge Carter
Tim Bartell ... David Blanchard
Brian Bremer ... Petrie
Maria Claire Maria Claire ... Sally
Conan Yuzna Conan Yuzna ... Jason
Jason Williams ... Jason's Friend
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Storyline

Bill is worried that he is 'different' to his sister and parents. They mix with other 'upper class' people while Bill is more down to earth. Even his girlfriend seems a bit odd. All is revealed when Bill returns home to find a party in full swing. Not for the weak of stomach. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If you don't belong, they'll eat you alive See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bizarre sexuality and violence, and for language. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 June 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Shunting See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Billy Warlock and Ben Meyerson who played enemies in the film, actually became good friends during the shoot. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the movie Bill goes home to confront his parents. When looks out the window and sees their car pull up it's night, but when he goes down stairs to greet them it's suddenly day. See more »

Quotes

Bill Whitney: Fuck you, butthead!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK version is uncut. See more »

Connections

References The Spiral Staircase (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Eton Boat Song
Composed by Algernon Drummond (as A.D.E.W.) with Evelyn Wodehouse (as A.D.E.W.)
New Arrangement by Mark Ryder & Phil Davies
New Lyrics by Mark Ryder & Phil Davies
Contralto: Christine Dix
Soprano: Helen Moore
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Anything for Society!
3 August 2010 | by Cujo108See all my reviews

Beverly Hills teen Bill Whitney (Baywatch's Billy Warlock) is good at sports and popular at his high school, but he feels alienated from his upper crust family. His parents are indifferent towards him while lavishing favor upon his sister. Sometimes he even feels like they're conspiring against him, but is he just paranoid?

This was Brian Yuzna's first film as director, and it's still his best. My love for this thing knows no boundaries. It's such a wonderfully unique mixture of social commentary, the 90210 lifestyle and incredibly warped horror. Oh, is the horror in Society ever warped! It's always fun showing this to first-timers and seeing their reactions to what unfolds on the screen. Horror aside, the film also works as both a joke on the rich and a scathing indictment regarding their tendency to leech off of the have-nots.

Even though it's pretty clear right from the start that things aren't what they seem, there's a great sense of paranoia present in Society. Is Bill's rich family plotting against him? Are they even human? You wouldn't expect a former Baywatch star to be an alienated sort, but in the context of the film, it works. The pitch black humor works too, though there are a few more juvenile attempts at comedy (the kids on the beach) that are admittedly lame. In a way, however, they do add to the film's bizarre tone. I used to see the weirdo mother character as another pointless attempt at low-brow humor, but the more I've thought about it, she's likely there to represent a mishap through the shunt. Former Playboy centerfold, Devin Devasquez, plays her quirky daughter, Clarissa Carlyn. She's very appealing in the role, and it's refreshing to see a rich beauty portrayed as something other than an evil vixen for a change.

The climactic scenes involving the big shunt are really something to behold. Words cannot do justice to the madness of this sequence. Spectacular, glorious madness! Nope, even those words don't do it justice. The very idea is quite perverse, and the special effects by Screaming Mad George are jaw-dropping. I'd be hard-pressed to come up with another horror film that comes close to rivaling Society's climax.

I also can't go without mentioning the sinister reworking of the "Eton Boating Song" which plays over the film's opening credits. It's pure gold, and since the Anchor Bay DVD's menu has it playing on a loop, I like to leave it on the menu for a bit after I've finished the film.

Society has a never-ending charm that's impossible for me to tire of. I'd probably rank it somewhere among my top ten personal favorite horror films if I were to make such a list. I remember trekking all over the metroplex just to find a copy back on the DVD's release date (the same day Near Dark hit DVD from what I remember). Good times!


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