Review of Marla


This slow burner horror film is a woman’s worst nightmare. Going to the OB-Gyn to get a birth control device inserted is difficult enough, let alone having a deadly device inserted that can kill. Such a horror film can only be written and directed by a woman, Lisa Van Dam-Bates, in which she also stars as Marla Mae, a waitress in Washington State working hand to mouth. Marla is in a relationship with the bartender of The Valley bar, Jake (Travis Johnny Ware), and she’s not in a rush to start a family with him. She learns that an old family friend is a new doctor in town, and he invited her to come to his clinic and get an IUD inserted for free. Marla has a sense of relief about long-term birth control, and getting it free from a family friend, what could go wrong?

While at the clinic for the procedure, Doc Lourdes (Jason Strange) and Marla engage in idle chit chat. He inserts the IUD, and tells Marla that she may have some cramps, but that would be normal. As Marla is waiting for Jake to pick her up from the clinic, he never comes, but she befriends Jules (Katie Hemming), a girl who just left the clinic as well. Jules and her boyfriend give Marla a ride to work, and by chance, Jules inquires if they are hiring, and Marla encourages her to apply. Marla starts her shift but does not feel well; she rushes to use the bathroom and loses a lot of blood. She tries to work but is feeling sick and miserable. Was getting this free IUD now worth all this pain?

Meanwhile, the news channel at the bar announces that there is a serial rapist attacking women in the city. Walking home after work late at night, Marla senses that someone was watching her, but she made it into her house safely. However, someone was watching her, giving us a sense of foreboding. The next day, Marla’s cramps are so bad, Jake gave her some pain medication, and they’re both confused as to why Doc never prescribed her anything.

Marla and Jake have sex for the first time since the doctor’s visit during their lovemaking, Jake experiences excruciating pain. Before Marla realizes it, Jake’s body melts down into a gross bloody pulp. Overcome with shock and horror, Marla is in a daze as to what happened.
However, when Marla Attempts to get her IUD removed, the doctor dismisses her concerns and assures her, it will be harmful to her if removed. Feeling utterly lonely and sad, Marla is walking home late at night again, and the person that has been stalking her is the serial rapist. I could tell you what happens next, but why take away the shock and twist of fate that comes next.

Female fans of horror watching Marla will get a kick out of this film, so if you like gory horror with an act of revenge by the female victim, Marla is just for you.

Starring van Dam-Bates, Travis Johnny Ware, Jason Stange, and Katie Hemming. Marla premiered on digital and DVD November 5 from High Octane Pictures.

Reviewed by : Simone Cromer
Twitter: @theatreofzen

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