For the past few years, I’ve been a regular contributor to the Terror Dave site since I love horror movies and have a soft-spot for independents. I get excited every time Dave requests a review but this one was particularly alluring. Last week he shot me an email saying, “Hey, Jason! I’ve got a movie I hope you’ll have time to view and write a review about. The title is Deadly Crush and it’s an erotic, supernatural thriller which the Director warned is rather risque.” Was he kidding??? He had me at Erotic! So let’s dive in.
Straight from the film’s opening title sequence, you can see that it’s a quality production despite its lower budget. Now I have nothing against low budget films, in fact, I usually enjoy them better than the films Hollywood churns out these days, but this one was top notch. Independent films are often a labor of love and I could tell the Director, Dakota Aesquivel, cared a lot about this one.
Among its cast, are a few familiar faces. These include the beloved comic, Judy Tenuta, as a would-be ghost hunter, Courtney Gains (Children of the Corn, Memphis Belle) as a recovering alcoholic, and William Sadler (Iron Man 3, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey) as Sheriff Dusty; a man with something to hide. The lead is Aria London who plays Brynn – a painter renting a cabin in the woods to focus on her work at the behest of her self-absorbed agent, Sophia (Murisa Harba). In my humble opinion, this could be a breakout role for London who’s performance proves she’s a lot more than just a pretty face.
The film starts with a flashback to 1972 were a trio of masked robbers pull of heist and getaway to a secluded cabin in the woods. There, they divvy up their loot before things take a turn for the worse. Once blood is spilled, the story’s supernatural elements come into play and remain potent when Brynn shows up 45 years later.
Things get downright weird when whatever possesses the house begins sexual relations with Brynn while protecting her from living visitors with bad intentions. After four decades of celibacy, this ghost has no intention of letting her leave despite her torment and Sheriff Dusty showing up every ten minutes telling her to leave.
This film could easily have come off as campy but didn’t. The script, cast, and direction all work well and the cinematography was fabulous thanks to Wey Wang who did an amazing job setting up shots and giving you a spirit’s eye view inside this cabin. He also proved particularly deft at filming ghost sex (yes, you read that right). Let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed by the eroticism I was promised. Dakota Aesquivel not only wrote and directed this movie but played a pivotal role as well. And did I mention he also worked on its soundtrack?
The film takes a few twists and turns that make for a fun ride. I did feel the story could have benefitted from more backstory on Brynn and Sheriff Dusty. Still, it hits all the marks an “erotic, supernatural, thriller” and I give Deadly Crush a solid. 8 out 10 buckets of blood and supernatural, erotic thrills! Watch out for Aria London and Dakota Aesquivel, I think you’ll be seeing a lot more of them!