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Cyst (2020) - Pimple Popper the movie.



Dir: Tyler Russell. Writers: Tyler Russel, Andy Silverman. Starring: Eva Habermann, George Hardy, Greg Sestero, Jason Douglas, Gene Jones, Keturah Branch & Francesca Santoro.




My thought process, when I started watching Cyst, went a little like this:

Cyst is another film that tells you what to expect before the opening credits have even finished rolling as we get to witness a doctor cutting into a large cyst. It’s, surprisingly, tastefully done in the sense that puss doesn’t burst out in a gout of shlocky ickiness; and instead oozes free like mayo dripping from a chicken burger. Oh God, I spoke too soon - thar she blows.

Holy crap, the movie just earned a win - the doctor is George Hardy, a.k.a. the dad from Troll 2 - now that’s hospitality.

 

Anyway, as the official blurb tells us: In the 1960s a nurse’s last day is ruined when a doctor inadvertently creates a cyst monster that terrorizes the office.

 

Again, what more could you possibly need to know. I was sold just on that sentence.

 


Doctor Guy tries using the jazz hands technique to cure his patient.


Dr Guy (George Hardy) is feeling nervous as folks from the patent office are going to visit to look at his new tumour removing machine. Unfortunately, the last time he tried to use it, Nurse Patricia (Eva Haberman) was left with a scar, so she threatens Guy that if he uses it again, she will quit. Not really giving a shit, Guy wants to use his device on Carol (Francesca Santoro), his next patient. That’s right Carol. Not you Mr Eugene Sherman (Gene Jones) Sit the fuck down and wait until you are called. Sensibly, Carol refuses to be experimented upon, leaving doctor Guy to volunteer his intern Preston (Darren Ewing) to be part of the demonstration.

Preston doesn’t have much in the way of cysts upon his body, only a small pimple-like spot on his back. That doesn’t faze the doctor, as he has something that will make it bigger. A larger cyst means a more impressive demonstration of his invention: the Get Gone.

But bigger isn’t necessarily better, and one disastrous demonstration later, there’s a cyst monster stomping about the place.

 

It's going to take many hands to beat off this one-eyed monster.

George Hardy is fun to watch, going all out and hamming it up as only he can. It looks as though he had a lot of fun with his character. Admittedly, I was expecting a Troll 2 moment when doctor Guy complains about not having had any lunch. He, of all people, should have known to tighten his belt a notch to curb those hunger pains.

I also realised how creepy it is when someone wears one of those head-mirror things. It’s a good job they are mostly obsolete. It doesn’t help that whenever someone is portrayed wearing one, they tend to have the leering smile of a person who has a court order telling them not to go near schools or playgrounds.

 

Eva Habermann plays her character wonderfully and is a great counterbalance to Doctor Guy’s eccentricity. Her character keeps a level head throughout, and without her, the film probably wouldn’t work as well. With all the bizarreness that ensues, Patricia does her best in a bad situation, even when showered in tumour spray.

Keturah Branch and Francesca Santaro also do a fine job of portraying their characters and help in keeping things grounded during the insanity. 

 

There are some good moments of humour in the movie, a personal favourite being during a fight scene in which one of the combatants is struck on the knee with a reflex hammer, causing their leg to kick out.

 

The Tumour monster has a fun design too. Its lumpen form and bulbous eyeball make it look like a mixture of the weak point on a Resident Evil Monster and the creature from 1957’s Quatermass 2. to further add to the 50’s b-movie feel, when the tumour first latches onto someone, it reminded me of a scene from Fiend Without a Face.

 

Della panicked when she realised she would get a hickey.

So, with all of this praise, why only three stars?

 

Well, I did find the film to drag unnecessarily in places, and when it only has a runtime of around 70 minutes, it shouldn’t have moments like that. For example, there is a scene in which Patty takes the patent folks to a nearby diner for a meal. It’s superfluous, adding nothing to the story. Sure, the doctor needed to make the tumour he was working on more impressive, but he could have made that decision himself and acted on it before the patent folks even arrived.

The tone of the movie was just a bit too jumbled.

It needed to make more of the kills and the rampaging creature. When you’ve watched one person getting dragged down behind a window without any actual pay-off, seeing it happen again isn’t much fun. Even the monster got in on the slide down the window act - although that was admittedly amusing the first time, watching his eyeball squeak sadly against the glass.

Also, as much as I enjoy seeing George Hardy chewing up the scenery, there were times when I thought he could do with toning it down a notch. His maniacal ways didn’t fit in with everyone else behaving in a more realistic and grounded fashion.

 

 

Despite its faults, there is still fun to be had with Cyst. Sure, it loses its way at times, but if you want a b-movie homage with a coating of gore and gouts of pimple juice spurting around, then it’s something you need to watch.