REVIEW: ‘Conjoined’

A couple of the hardest things to do in filmmaking are comedy and horror. It’s right up there with creating a billion-dollar blockbuster or dealing with anyone whose initials are Lindsay Lohan. There is a delicate alchemy in the creation of each that is unique to the individual. Fortunately, both genres give you broad targets to shoot at… and if no subject is taboo, then your chances are hitting the mark are much greater.

“Conjoined” opens with a mysterious body disposal, after which, we meet Stanley (Tom Long); he’s the poster-boy for the nebbish, shy and keyboard-bound everywhere. We first see him talking to his online sweetie, Alina (Michelle Ellen Jones) – a pretty blond girl with issues of her own: she’s joined at the hip with her sister, Alisa(Keefer Barlow). Literally. Alisa and Alina are conjoined twins: Alina is cute and mousy, Alisa is dark and homicidal-y. Madcap mayhem ensues.

The third feature by Houston director Joe Grisaffi is, to put it plainly, is not my brand of vodka. However, with that being said, it doesn’t make it a bad movie. “Conjoined” drags its knuckles on the low end of low-budget filmmaking. It’s shot like a cable-access sitcom and it’s soundtrack features some of the finest of public domain music, but at it’s heart beats a simple story about a boy and a girl and another girl attached to the first girl and the murders that bind them all together.

And at the heart of that is pure absurdity.
Face it, if you’re looking for Citizen Kane, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Story-wise, it’s nothing really new – a fish out of water tale – but the twins make for a nice twist. Performance-wise, the actors do just what they need to do. The lead trio of Long, Jones and Barlow are spot on and there are also some nice performances from Jake Byrd as best friend, Jerry and Deidre Stephens as a camgirl-cum-therapist.

Yeah, that was intentionally unintentional.

Still, “Conjoined” is goofy fun with a little blood and boobs mixed in to keep things interesting. Enjoy it alone or with friends, but I think this leans towards being a great party movie.

Technical: 1 – Low budget filmmaking at its… lowest. Of course, it’s not a bad thing given that the film doesn’t take itself terribly serious in the first place.

Gore: 2 – Some blood. Some entrails. Some dismembered body parts. Oh, and one forcibly removed penis.

Horror: 1.5 – Not a lot in the suspense department and the cartoonish violence doesn’t help.

The B-Factor: 5 – This one pegs the meter for B-movie qualities.

Overall: 3 – “Conjoined” is a bloody fun little time-waster best enjoyed with friends and a few beers. It shows us that not only will “love keep us together,” but so will muscle, bone and a shared pelvis.

Joe Lopez
Dubbed, "TerrorScribe" by a former editor, Joe made the conversion to horror sometime in the mid-2000s. Little did he know he'd favored the genre all of his life. When not struggling with short stories, he provided genre film reviews for local entertainment sites and later genre sites who could suffer his cynical views.

It was that same cynicism - and some might say hubris - that lead him to have a brief flirtation with filmmaking. His first two efforts, "Annotated" and "Antes Que Seja Tarde (Before It's Too Late)" both premiered at a local H.P. Lovecraft film festival. A third short, "Survivor Girl" proved to be his undoing though plans are in the works to revived the cursed project.

Born and raised in Dallas, TX., Joe now resides in a small Texas town. Statistics say more dead bodies turn up in small towns that big cities... though he claims to have NOTHING to do with that.
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