FEATURE FILM REVIEW
A solar eclipse turns the women of a New Jersey Town into enraged, psychopaths.
AS A SOLAR ECLIPSE approaches, weird things are happening within a town in Jersey. Women start to go a bit loopy and begin daydreaming about killing their male partners, friends, and strangers. As the mental state of the women continues to diminish, nobody is safe if they are male, and this doesn't seem to be a local phenomenon. Women all over the world are succumbing to the madness. When will it all end, and who will be left? Who says the bleeding stops?
Menopause is an independent and micro-production from Joshua Nelson with the intention of turning an old wives' tale into a gruesome reality. That tale? The moon makes people do weird things and sometimes even go crazy. For the residents of Nelson's world, the eclipse seems to be interfering with the menstrual cycle of women everywhere and wreaking havoc on their hormones. The result is a need to kill any and every man they see. Some women fight it, and some sink into it like a comfy couch. By the time the film is done, the body count is high, lots of blood has been spilled, and women everywhere become murder machines. How is that for a tagline?
IF NOTHING ELSE, MENOPAUSE DEFINITIVELY PROVES WOMEN ARE NOT THE WEAKER SEX.
All the lines are busy at the emergency centers, and half the population is killing off the other half. If nothing else, Menopause definitively proves women are not the weaker sex. For the most part, this is a movie all about the glory of the indie slasher with a few random facts thrown in that are scarier than the film itself—facts of abused women and the ratios of reported crimes. The truth is that these little snippets of truth add some depth to the story but also kind of detract from it, especially in scenes where the credibility of such dialog is destroyed by overly used cliche. A woman is asked why she didn't call the cops because of her abusive husband, to which she replies that her husband was a cop and his brother, who is also an abuser, was a member of internal affairs. This reminded me of the classic setup where someone dies a day before retirement or right as they purchase a winning lottery ticket. My point is that most of the true-to-life dramatic stories are watered down with cliche. That was a shame because it instantly removed any sense of a "real" message in the film.
WHY DID YOU KILL THE PIZZA GUY? HE WASN'T EVEN LATE.
But if you're looking for some cool kills with some imaginative micro-budget practicality, you need not look any further. This film has them, and nobody with a Y chromosome is safe. Good guy, bad guy, somewhere in the middle doesn't matter. If you're a guy - you're probably going to die, and there are even a few scenes that made me giggle a little. My favorite scene involves the death of a pizza delivery guy and the lines: Why did you kill the pizza guy? He wasn't even late. I laughed. Maybe more than I should have.
But there are also issues with pacing and bloat that, had they been remedied, would have more than likely given this film an extra star. Menopause is one of those movies that start slowly and end in a big way. It's not entirely eventless at the start because there are daydreams. But still, in many spots watching Menopause was like trying to keep track of two or three people in a crowd of a thousand. I did love how it all abruptly ended but won't elaborate on my deliberate pun.
IF I WERE TO DESCRIBE THIS FILM IN TWO WORDS THEY WOULD BE REVENGE MOVIE.
If I were to describe this film in two words, they would be revenge movie. Menopause bravely traverses the unwalked path of so many horror movies and does it with style. For such a low-budget project, there is so much to love here. And the blood. There's lots of that. If you're a fan of Disney-style movies, like one of the characters in this movie, Menopause probably isn't going to call out to you. If you're a fan of the slasher/horror movie genre, Menopause may be a title to check out.
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