A cult movie in search of a cult, this Canadian made outrage plays
like MARAT/SADE reconfigured as a nineties black comedy, being an
unrestrained blast of insanity with nearly every imaginable perversion
and a near-psychotic wealth of invention.
This was the third or fourth feature film by the
prolific TV director Steve DiMarco, who made his name part of the title:
STEVE DIMARCOíS SPIKE OF LOVE. The film was little seen, and has never
been released on DVD (as of 2013 its sole home video exposure was via an
out-of-print Alliance Video VHS), yet is easily one of the most
accomplished Canadian cult films of the mid nineties (see also HARD CORE
LOGO, THE WIDOWER, THE MICHELLE APTS, etc).
Fun fact: this peerlessly twisted
exercise was apparently filmed in a church!
Inside a dark and claustrophobic apartment the slutty
Jane is banging the businessman Harold, who she seduced in a bar. Itís
not long before Janeís boyfriend Donny, a petty crook, and the latterís
Bible-thumping brother Clem turn up, toting a severed head.
Understandably freaked out, Harold tries to flee but finds the apartment
is locked from the outside.
Donny and Clem decide to burn and dismember Harold but
succeed only in setting the furnishings on fire. Enter D & Cís mother,
who turns up with a handy fire extinguisher. This doesnít help Harold
any, as the woman quickly leaves and his tormentors once again try to
mutilate him--but theyíre interrupted again, this time by a local mob
boss whoís pissed that D & C killed the former owner of the severed
Following this a rift develops between Clem and Donny,
but Jane puts a stop to their fighting by donning a ballerina outfit and
kicking them both repeatedly in the face. Jane and Donny engage in an
ecstatic bout of S&M, and then two psychotic cops turn up at the
apartment, one of whom Jane kills with the titular spike. Clem,
convinced heís the new messiah, crucifies himself, and Janeís heretofore
unseen lesbian lover, the one-eyed Deb, shows up. Deb has a glass eye
that Clem and Donny joyously toss around, at least until Debís
aggressive manner gets on Janeís nerves, resulting in another death.
Jane and Donny decide to run off to Paris, but before
they can do so a band of red-suited freaks enter the apartment to take
down Clem, Donny and Jane. Clem and Donnyís mother also turns back up.
Needless to say, more killings are in store.
This film is broad, overwrought and almost pathetically
determined to shock and offend. Itís also quite brilliant in its way,
with an altogether unique vision and a willingness to follow that vision
to its most outrageous extremes. The film is only 84 minutes long yet
even with its confined setting contains enough inspiration for three
Itís also well made by most any standard, with an
assured visual style and staging thatís unerringly inventive, from the
rippling toilet water whose P.O.V. we assume as itís peed in to an
ingenious sight gag involving a row of locking and unlocking door locks
to the sight of a dying man spinning around on a spike driven through
his skull. The errant severed head also makes for a memorable source of
merriment, as does a glass eye that on more than one occasion winds up
in somebodyís mouth.
As for the acting, Iím not sure any of it can
reasonably be called ďgood,Ē yet the performers all seem at home in this
filmís demented atmosphere and emote accordingly.
SPIKE OF LOVE
Screaming Slave Cinema/Lightshow Communications
Director: Steve DiMarco
Producers: Robert Bergman, Steve DiMarco
Screenplay: Steve DiMarco
Cinematography: Michael Storey
Editing: Miume Jan Eramo
Cast: Gerry Quigley, Dyanne DiMarco, Tony Munch, Ron Lea, Thomas Hauff,
Christina Cox, Steve Whistance-Smith, Beverly Murray, Adam Adach