Nude Polish mermaids get what they deserve with The Lure


By Steve Newton

The last horror-musical I remember seeing was 2008’s Repo! The Genetic Opera, in which director Darren Lynn Bousman of Saw II, III, and IV fame brought the worlds of nonconsensual organ transplants and operatic pseudo-metal together.

In The Lure, Polish director Agnieszka Smoczynska guides the exploits of a pair of cannibalistic vampire-mermaids to a cheesy ’80s Euro-pop score.

The latter is definitely the kookier of the two flicks, but the jury’s still out on which one has the crappier music.

The Lure opens with a pop trio–middle-aged singer Krysia (Kinga Preis), drummer Perkusista (Andrzej Konopka), and younger bassist Mietek (Jakub Gierszal)–cavorting on a beach, when mermaid sisters Silver and Golden (Marta Mazurek and Michalina Olszanska) pop their heads out of the water and sing “Help us come ashore, no need to fear; we won’t eat you, my dear.”

Cut to a sordid Warsaw discotheque/restaurant where the trio Polish up Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” while upscale-looking women dance weirdly by themselves, waiters strut delivering salads, and the kitchen’s run by a busty, gyrating babe named Mrs. Rockets. The club’s lecherous owner (Zygmunt Malanowicz) follows a fishy odour to a back room where the mermaids have transformed into underaged partiers in human form, sans reproductive organs. We soon find out that, when sprinkled with water, they sprout mermaid tails like Daryl Hannah in Splash, only longer and slimier. “They can do backing vocals and strip” declares the club owner, as a club owner would.

The rest of the movie is mostly a string of synth-pop song-and-dance sequences featuring ace cinematographer Jakub Kijowski’s gaudy hues and the nubile sirens with their tops off. Maybe it’s because their tops are off, but they soon take the Warsaw discotheque/restaurant scene by storm, even though their songwriting doesn’t improve much. “Holy-moley bitter tastes can be delicious,” they croon, “so you’re lonely, I know that love is vicious.”

It all leads up to a Little Mermaid-style predicament and one of the freakiest half-body transplant scenes ever, but unless you’re an alternative-film buff with a fierce attraction to the offbeat, the allure of The Lure may be lost.



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