There are certain films that you question why the producers even bothered to make. “Decoys” falls nicely into that category. An uninspired mating of sci-fi, horror, and campus sex comedy, it’s as awful as it is ridiculous.
“Decoys” transports us to St. John’s College campus, where buddies Luke (Corey Sevier) and Roger (Elias Toufexis) are engaging in the worthy pursuit of having sex with hot girls. Lady luck seems to smile on them when a pair of gorgeous blondes aggressively flirts with them and practically promises to fulfill their goal. Problem is, these aren’t ordinary women — they’re aliens that kill their partners during sex by freezing their internal organs. Now with their minds set on just survival, the guys set out to destroy the aliens and make sex safe for horny college kids again.
You’d have to wonder what in God’s name was going through the minds of writers Tom Berry and Matthew Hastings when they dreamed up this turkey. The idea isn’t terribly original and the execution isn’t particularly well done. The characters are thinly drawn and unlikable, and the dialogue is likely to induce wincing rather than laughter. The storyline is predictable to the extent that you can accurately predict what a character will do several minutes before he or she even does it. It’s hard not to get the impression that the writers rented a bunch of other films, watched them, and then tried to condense what they’d seen into a script.
Hastings also directs this mess, and he seems to have no illusions regarding what he has to work with. Still, you have to give him credit, because he does seem to have put a lot of effort into a film that doesn’t really deserve it. Hastings seems like a man who’d rather light a candle than simply give up and curse the darkness, and that comes through in the final film. Hastings does do some good things, notably providing numerous shots of female nudity to the eternal gratitude of male viewers and keeping the film moving along at a reasonable pace.
However, the director does skimp on the gore, which is a cardinal sin for a horror film. The winter setting is visually appealing, but Hastings has trouble wringing decent performances out of his cast. That isn’t entirely his fault, however, considering what he has to work with. Trying to get heartfelt performances out of this cast would be like trying to teach Quantum Physics to Attica inmates.
There are some notable exceptions, however. Kim Poirer and Stephanie von Pfetten are radiant as the murderous aliens. They exude such an erotic presence that you feel sorely tempted to initiate first contact with them even knowing the consequences. Meghan Ory is also good as the girl with a secret crush on one of the leads. She’s such a likeable actress you wish she had better taste in men. As for leads Corey Sevier and Elias Toufexias, the aliens are more than welcome to them. These two won’t be missed.
“Decoys” is silly and almost impossible to enjoy, a misfire that forces its audience to bear witness to its deficiencies for over 90 minutes. We could really do without that, but at least there are attractive and naked women to ease our suffering. Unless you’re a practicing masochist, it’s best to avoid “Decoys”.
Matthew Hastings (director) / Matthew Hastings, Tom Berry (screenplay)
CAST: Corey Sevier …. Luke
Stefanie von Pfetten …. Lilly
Kim Poirier …. Constance
Elias Toufexis …. Roger
Meghan Ory …. Alex