Fantasia Film Festival Movie Review: THE NIGHT OF THE VIRGIN

Welcome witches and warlocks,

Today I will be reviewing the horror/comedy THE NIGHT OF THE VIRGIN by director Roberto San Sebastian. To best describe the story, I will use my own plot summary:

“A young man vows to lose his virginity at all costs, little does he realize when he meets Medea that his night is going to spin wildly, violently out of control.”

Right from the top I feel I must include a warning: this feature is incredibly gross. There are so many bodily fluids at play and this is a body horror/comedy that leans hard into the icky viscous fluids, so this will not be the type of film that everyone enjoys. Those who do stick around are sure to be impressed by the fact that they went practical to achieve all of the disgusting effects.

The amusing part about the use of practical effects is how they are beautifully utilized to portray some truly nasty moments. Just when I thought they had gone as gross as they possibly could, there was some new viscous fluid or bodily function plastered on the screen that was pulled off without the use of computers. From the deteriorating face to the incredibly long birth scene, the effects never cease to impress as they highlight each grisly turn of the plot.

While the story itself seems like a relatively simple teen comedy, it is the supernatural aspect that takes it to a much darker place. Even before things really begin to go sideways, there is a layer of grime over most of this movie that sets it apart from the average National Lampoon fare. The gap becomes even more apparent as we begin to realize that no level of nastiness is beneath this story. Apart from the gross out moments, those who sit through to the end credits will find that the comedy is incredibly pitch black and has a take no prisoners attitude.

Thankfully, this black comedy has a solid anchor in Javier Voldalo’s performance whose facial expressions are spot on for the proceedings. In many ways, he walks the line as the put upon performer who finds himself having to be constantly reactionary to the chaos that keeps happening in his midst. This allows for some wonderful body contortions and some bang up reaction that allow the events to feel funny even as they keep spiraling out of control. Without him in this picture, I imagine the comedy aspects would have fallen flat which would have given this an entirely different tone.

All in all, this is not going to be for everyone, but those who appreciate body horror and pitch black comedy are sure to find this amusing. It helps that the events are anchored by a solid leading man combined with wonderfully disgusting practical effects. Fans of body horror features like THE FLY (1986) that also enjoy such gross out fare as PINK FLAMINGOS (1972) should definitely give this a view.

NIGHT OF THE VIRGIN had it’s Canadian Premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival on July 22nd.

Shannon McGrew
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