REVIEW: Pussycake a.k.a. Esemsis (2021)

dir. Pablo Parés

With its crystal clear nods to 80s horror classics like The Evil Dead (1981), Argentinian schlock horror Pussycake follows an all-female rock band experiencing the struggles of tour life, completely unaware that their world is about to get a lot worse when they inadvertently encounter an inter-dimensional zombie-esque threat. As each member is taken over by the alien disease that turns them into bloodthirsty killing machines, the members of Pussycake must also face off against a cosmic monster warrior.

With its vintage influences Pussycake is an endearing love letter to the video nasties and goretastic horror movies of the yore. In this the practical and makeup effects are a highlight, with every bodily fluid and gross out possibility being used to its full potential. The movie’s monsters too are part deadite, part Braindead (1992) ghoul with the speed of The Infected from 28 Days Later (2002). 

The only factor that could have amped this gig up to eleven would have been more of a punk rock vibe and to have had the band’s music feature more heavily. The general atmosphere felt like it was teetering on the edge of a Shaun of the Dead (2004) horror comedy, but that it couldn’t quite deliver the punchline. Despite this, Pussycake is an enjoyably, gore-soaked, pan-dimensional mosh pit guaranteed to rock your socks.

© Ygraine Hackett-Cantabrana


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