Conjoined is the latest feature to be directed by Joe Grisaffi (Dead of Knight). The screenplay is written by Chuck and Tim Norfolk (The Haunted Trailer). This film is a laugh a minute ride, underpinned by a sexual current and some deep and emotional scenes and acting, not forgetting to mention some well done over the top splatter. Conjoined also works as a warning to all those planning to find their partner via internet dating. You never know who you may come across! This film has it all, and believe me, I don't say things like that on a whim (or for bribes, if any of you were wondering).
The film tells the story of Stanley (magnificently portrayed by Tom Long) who meets the woman of his dreams on the internet. When he finally gets to meet his dream woman Alina (played by Michelle Ellen Jones), he finds out that she has a Siamese twin, whose name is Alisa (brilliantly portrayed by Keefer Barlow) who has a problem. She seems to enjoy killing.. Could Stanley be in danger? How will he live a normal life with the woman of his dreams when a psycho is attached to her who is rather crazy?
The scenes at the start of the movie, where Stanley is chatting to Alina on webcam sets the scene perfectly. The couples performances burst with such chemistry that you can practically feel the love between the two characters bursting from the film. When Stanley finally gets to meet his future wife, we see that she is conjoined with her sister, and this really managed to shock me. I have no idea why, but it is certainly a testament to the writing and direction that from the start of the film, they didn't make this detail obvious, and even made me forget about it, so hypnotizing were the characters and their love for each other.
Alisa oozes malevolence and has rather a bad attitude, which is such a contrast to her sweet and innocent sister. This again works in the films favor, as we see the struggle these two ladies have, but also see their love for each other, as well as Alina's love for Stanley, and Alisa's nonchalance at her sisters situation. The scene where they attempt to set Alisa up with an internet lover, which ends up making any male viewer crossing their legs tightly, was a touch of genius. The stereotypes of males that were featured really cracked me up!
Stanley is a confused, shy individual who regularly takes advice from a woman who performs sex shows for money on the internet (played by Deidre Stephens). His inexperience in relationships shines through, as does his confidence in overcoming anything life will throw at him so he can find happiness with Alina, even if it means hiding a few bodies here and there.
The movie is an incredibly emotional piece of cinema. I don't think I have seen a film (especially a horror comedy) with so much emotion running through it. The operating scene, where Stanley and his hilarious but distasteful friend Jerry (played by Jake Byrd) hope to separate the conjoined sisters, is full of not only laughs, but a heart wrenching anticipation that everything will go right, and that neither of the sisters will die. It is a tense and hilarious few minutes, capped off with the most ingenious cauterizing iron I have ever seen.
What Joe Grisaffi and the rest of the cast and crew have done here, is create a comedy horror film that brings in a deep emotion, has a strong sexual current running through it, and layered the film with jokes and amazingly realistic and deeply emotional performances. It is a testament to just how good indie cinema is. I urge you all to see this film, as there are so many adjectives I could use to describe this film, and all of them positive.
Conjoined is a film of contrasts, of difficulty and most of all, of love, and the struggles this emotion creates. Lets not forget a psychotic twin sister with a sexual appetite to match her bloodlust, and a friend who thinks nothing of indulging in a little necrophillia. This deserves to be seen by everyone, as it shows that indie cinema is nothing to be sniffed at, and shows a genuine love and talent from all involved.
To all involved with Conjoined. I salute you. Here's to many more great movies from you!!