Schlock du Jour: Dead in the Pool (1993)

directed by G W Lawrence.
distributed by W.A.V.E.

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I hold the DVD in my hands, shown above. First impressions are that:

-Someone will die in a pool, and—

-There will be a lot of wet T-shirts.

Let’s get into it.

The movie opens with super synths over simple blue credits. Great fucking start. Nothing gets me going quite like knowing I’m about to enter the W.A.V.E. zone; a place of cognitive dissonance with its own internal beats that doesn’t make sense, but it feels like it does.

(Sidebar: That description was stolen from a gentleman’s review of the Heathcliff comic strip penned by Peter Gallagher, but it says perfectly what I feel in my heart about these movies.)

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Like so many other fine films, DEAD IN THE POOL is a tale of revenge, and sitting on couches.

18 year-old high school student Melissa needs a job. We know this immediately, as she sits on the couch in silence and makes circles in the classifieds for several minutes with the only sound being the rustling of her hopes of potential employment from the newspaper in her hands.  Finally, she picks up the phone and pantomimes dialing numbers. Unfortunately for our heroine, the positions have all been filled. Her touchy feely scumbucket stepdad is pissed and gives her an ultimatum. He knows this guy John Clark, who “runs a shop or something down at the marina”.  Get this job or else is the gist.

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pictured from left to right: Scumbucket Stepdad, Melissa.

But what about this pool the movie promises?

Poolside, a couple sisters in bikinis sorta bicker about the swim team. The younger one leaves, and the older one gets the pool net, and pantomimes cleaning the pool. These characters don’t feel very important. Let’s check back in with Melissa.

Well this John Clark seems like a reasonable guy as Melissa approaches him in her Morrissey T-shirt. As long as she can be on time, she’s hired. Smell like foreshadowing to anyone else? Her dad also now demands that she also try out for the swim team. That meeting will be right before her first day at work. Needless to say she doesn’t exactly receive a warm welcome and is bullied and tossed in the pool and dunked repeatedly, traumatizing her, making her late and getting her fired.

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She has to confess this to her stepdad. The synths become appropriately dissonant and confusing as the stepdad rapes her.

Time for vengeance, straight up.

She declares ”Nobody’s ever gonna hurt me again!”, grabs a gun, and shoots her scumbag pop in the ticker.

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Time’s up.

The swim team coach offers his home to her as she mocks mourning the death of her stepdad.

She ruminates on getting thrown into the pool, and turns her singular murder into a murder spree of gat blasts and drowning bitches. Every time she drowns a bitch she announces “That’s one drowned bitch!”

Things DEAD IN THE POOL has in spades: flashbacks, wet wrestling, and yes, wet t-shirts. A little choreography would have gone a long way given how much grappling there is during the kill scenes, but it honestly doesn’t even matter. When it comes to W.A.V.E. I just can’t stop watching.

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That’s one soon-to-be drowned bitch!

This is as enjoyable as any other W.A.V.E. feature. The movies as a whole either resonate with you in a busted-up, disjointed, helter-skelter way, or they don’t. And if you are wondering if I will continue to shove W.A.V.E. down your throats like Brazzers dot com, the answer is yes.

Stay wet at all times!
-Elliot Ian Ross


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