Director: Samuel M. Johnson (2011)
Starring: Chris Schleicher, Maura Murphy, Simone Frajnd
Find it: IMDB
Occasionally, being a horror fan who enjoys (probably not the right word) watching movies from the more extreme end of the spectrum, you have to balance your sucky taste in scary movies with family life. You don't want everyone thinking you're a psychopath, for example, because that sort of perception tends to prevent one from having friends, a job, girlfriend, or not being in prison. Generally I do a good job of not being seen as a complete psychopath. I keep my collection of ball gags somewhere they can't be found by snooping family members, always clear my Internet history and try to avoid saying things like "I really know where that Dexter fellow is coming from" in front of an audience. And then something like 9 Days comes along.
Bearing in mind that my Dad thinks I watch Snuff movies, the last thing I needed was Chemical Burn Entertainment coming along with their terrifying envelopes. "There's an envelope on the stairs," said my mother, as I arrived home from the day job last week (yes, I live with the folks at the moment - like a less well-dressed Howard Wolowitz). "And what's 9 Days?" I had no idea what 9 Days was. A white airmail envelope, as advertised, sat on the stairs. On it, a black sticker. On that black sticker was printed the words '9 DAYS: WHIPPED, CHAINED AND TORTURED BY A PSYCHOPATH.' With my name stickered next to it, thank you very much. Even dodgy fetish sites (so I'm told) have the good grace to send their kinky tickle videos (other fetishes are available) in unmarked envelopes (apparently) or even with a little fake company name printed on it (I'd imagine). Ahem, yeah, I think I got away with that one. Anyway, yeah, 9 DAYS: WHIPPED, CHAINED AND TORTURED BY A PSYCHOPATH does my "totally not a weirdo" protestations no favours. And never mind my parents, now the Postman carries protection (not a condom) whenever he comes to my door. Thanks a lot, Chemical Burn. And I don't think any of them believed me when I said, "no, right, it's actually an adaptation of Dante's Inferno!"
Actual image from the movie.
Really, it is. On the run from her abusive foster father, Danielle (Murphy) hitches a ride with nerdy Virgil (Schleicher) who offers her a room for the night. Having apparently missed every single after school special about not getting into cars with strangers and definitely not going home with them, Danielle agrees. And yet she seems surprised when this edgy, bug-eyed creep breaks out the chloroform and locks her in his cellar. Virgil's plan: to 'cleanse' Danielle of her sins through the medium of torture (the least popular bath bomb in Lush) and his own verbal diarrhoea. It's like Martyrs crossed with Captivity, as made by someone who played Dante's Inferno once.
A predictable, grimy torture movie, 9 Days is amateurish on most levels. The acting is particularly suspect, although Murphy garners some goodwill simply by not being co-star Schleicher (who actually is playing Howard Wolowitz). The torture scenes are unpleasant but not particularly memorable, the story old and overplayed. Kudos though, for the lack of rape. I had envisioned 9 Days being a veritable rape fest, so I was glad to be proven wrong there. It's no Divine Comedy, but it is amusing in places too.
Actual image from the movie.
As low-budget torture movies go, 9 Days isn't entirely without merit. It's cheap, amateurish and stupid, but it's also strangely watchable. Call off the Criminal Minds team Mother, 9 Days is not the film you expected it to be.