Title: Night of the Virgin (Fantasia 2017)

Also known as:
La noche del virgen

Year: 2016

Genre: Comedy / Horror

Language: Spanish

Runtime: 116 min

Director: San Sebastián

Writer: Guillermo Guerrero

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4982166/

Nico, a hopeless dork, wanders through a club on New Year’s Eve in a desperate attempt to hook up with a woman. After countless rejections and embarrassing situations, Nico catches the attention of Medea — an older woman who finds his awkwardness cute and charming. She eventually invites Nico back to her place, and while he thinks tonight will be the night he sheds his virginity, Medea has different plans for the young man.

Our thoughts:
The Fantasia International Film Festival has a such a wide variety in films available that it’s hard to predict what you’re going to get with some. In the three years that we have covered in the festival, there’s been many surprises — one of which is “Night of the Virgin”. While it was a surprise, I went into the movie thinking I had a firm understanding of what I was going to be watching. The trailer and information indicated a silly horror-comedy where a young man’s libido gets him into trouble. That is true in terms of a general concept but the actual movie itself was not quite what I was expecting.

A young man named Nico is out hitting the clubs trying to find someone to hookup with during New Year’s Eve. A bumbling dork, he continuously strikes out. That is until he catches the attention of Medea — an older woman who takes a liking to Nico and finds his awkwardness charming. When she takes him back to her apartment, the evening takes one strange turn after another and Nico slowly learns that he may be involved in an ancient summoning ritual.

When I say that “Night of the Virgin” surprised me, I don’t mean it in a positive way. Part of the problem is that I went into the movie with expectations. In this case, I thought I was going to get another “Witching and Bitching”. Admittedly I didn’t care for that movie, but I thought “Night of the Virgin” would follow a similar plotting of a man getting into supernatural shenanigans after being enticed by a woman. However, the two films are nothing alike. “Night of the Virgin” was nothing at all that I was expecting — instead of a silly horror-comedy, I ended up watching a tedious film with bad sex jokes. While I can’t fault Roberto San Sebastián or Guillermo Guerrero for not meeting my expectations it doesn’t change the fact that their film is a rough one to get through.

The first issue is that “Night of the Virgin” is not a horror movie. It is a sex-comedy that has the trappings of a horror movie. That doesn’t affect the movie in a negative way but it does make it less interesting only because all of the jokes and all of the content are centered around sex. It’s also done in the most simplistic ways possible because the only thing that “Night of the Virgin” wants to do is shock and offend you — which is strange since the movie is sold as being extreme, graphic yet never vulgar. Because the movie hinges itself solely on its comedy and the sex aspect, it needed to do something unique to help set it apart from, let’s say…every National Lampoon movie since 1995.

As an example: you have a scene where Nico, in an attempt to gain the attention of Medea’s upstair neighbors to try and get help, hangs his head out the window only to find two men having sex on the balcony. Even though Nico is screaming for help, the two men take offense to him spying on them and drop a used condom on his face. The resulting punchline of the scene is that, in an attempt to get help, Nico instead has cum all over his face.

In a movie where a woman is using a doofus of a virgin to summon the children of an ancient god, the best joke that the movie has to offer a viewer is a guy who has cum on his face.

Actually, that seems like a well crafted comedic gag in comparison to a scene later on in the movie where Nico is doing nothing more than violently shitting all over Medea.

Take jokes like that and spread it across an almost 2-hour runtime and you run into the film’s other issue: pacing. In a world where mindless action movies now push obscene runtimes of 2-hours and 30-minutes, “Night of the Virgin” running for 116-minutes isn’t the worst thing in the world. The problem is that, for what kind of movie it is, the pacing and the jokes need to hit fast and hard. Instead, the film takes its time and drags out every moment in every scene. There’s enough content to justify maybe 75-minutes at best but even that is pushing it because the structure of the individual scenes are extraordinary monotonous. It becomes a repetition of Nico being awkward around Medea, there’s a hint of something off about Medea, then she comes onto Nico, then the scene ends with something sexually embarrassing happening. Like Medea falling asleep in the middle of giving a handjob and Nico going and masturbating to a photo album.

Eventually the scenes simply degrade into Nico trying to escape but then gets injured in the process, and with some sort sexual twist on it. Again, the content isn’t there to justify the runtime and the viewer definitely feels by the mid-way point as scenes become absolute slogs to get through. The juvenile simplicity of its humor also contributes to the experience of watching “Night of the Virgin” feeling like a chore.

Having said that, “Night of the Virgin” has its audience. There are people out there who will absolutely love it — especially with the ending it has. Unfortunately I am not a part of that audience so, for me, I found little joy in the movie. It tries too hard to be confrontational with the crowd and desperately wants to garner a shock and offense reaction to the sexuality of its content. It doesn’t want to offend you to a point that it turns you (the viewer) off, but it wants to feel like one long inappropriate joke. The kind of joke you laugh at because it’s funny, but also laugh at because its inappropriate. Because of it’s fixation on being a gross-out comedy, it never offered anything else and I spent the time watching the film hoping that the ending would come sooner rather than later.

And you know what? Pun intended.

Positive things:
- Javier Bódalo (Nico) and Miriam Martin (Medea) were well cast and did a good job of doing what they could with the material they had.
Negative things:
- It's nearly two hours of dick and poop jokes.
- Because of the needlessly slow pacing, the movie felt like it took longer to watch than it did.

Gore: 2/5
Nudity: 1/5
Story: 2.5/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 1/5

We watched this movie thanks to:
Fantasia International Film Festival 2017

Reviewed by:





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