Released: Aug 01st, 1995
Running Time: 140
Director: Rick Masters
Company: ZFX Productions
Distribution Companies: Shockwave Video
Cast: Stacy Freeman, Chandra Sweet, Devon Nichols, Rick Masters, Travis Lee, Chris Izzdas, Tabitha Jordan, Darion Bentacourt
Critical Rating: Not Yet Rated
What is "reality?" Is it our day-to-day concrete normalcy – or is it malleable; constantly shifting, changing, switching between what's perceived and real and some sort of alternate existence? And, if there is a hell, is it just one facet of these changes? Writer/director Rick Masters presents a tantalizing view of these ideas illustrated by strong elements of bondage, sadism, sex (simulated, of course), demonic possession, television and blood lust – all in the just under two hours running time of ZFX/Shockwave's epic film-look video.
Party girls/opportunists Niki and Mary hook up with antique salesman Fred. He brags that he owns "a priceless object with the potential to do great damage…" Priceless, huh… Nikki arranges for her Joy division t-shirted boyfriend, Clip, to meet the three at a motel and subdue Fred. Safe in the room, Mary bounces nude atop Fred as Nikki and Clip test the object—a glowing wand which induces strange visions when touched; after Nikki experiences herself getting gangbanged in a jungle by demons, she comes out of it with a taste for blood. Mary, who's ingested a teeny square of some sort of paper, strangles Fred and happily smears his blood over her body for Nikki to lick.
The linear story quickly breaks off, becoming more hallucinatory as it progresses. Fred kills Mary; is he really dead? Is she? Both have crossed over to the other side – whether it's the traditional version of hell or a different reality is left deliberately open. It's not pleasant; some heavily sadistic (simulated, simulated) sexually oriented activity transpires with the demons. Nikki catches Mary's ordeal on television (think Videodrome), soon becoming part of the action herself. Television-reality and in-life reality blur and blend, with a Satanic type and his demons (who now include Fred and Clip) torturing both girls, as well as a pretty brunette. "Susan, I'm going to help you," soothes an unseen man, but there's no assistance, no salvation, no redemption.
While often presented with tongue-in-cheek humor (hell is television), Masters is making a clear nihilistic statement. (Or else he just digs sadistic Sci-Fi). With the proper promotion Fair Warning could be a major 90's cult classic; it's one of the best of this decade I've seen. Don't let the "ZFX=B&D" stigma scare you off; this is unalloyed "alternative material," not merely bondage. Make sure your customers know it's there.