The lure

The lure

DVD - 2017 | Polish
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Follow a pair of carnivorous mermaid sisters drawn ashore to explore life on land in an alternate 1980s Poland. Their tantalizing siren songs and otherworldly auras make them overnight sensations as nightclub singers in the half-glam, half-decrepit world of Smoczynska's imagining. The director gives fierce teeth to her viscerally sensual, darkly feminist twist on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid", in which the girls' bond is tested and their survival threatened after one sister fall.
Publisher: [New York, New York] : The Criterion Collection, ©2017.
ISBN: 9781681433677
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (92 minutes) :,sound, colour ;,12 cm.


From the critics

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Aug 04, 2020

This was just too weird or something -- I couldn't get into it. Skipped forward through the film after watching the first few minutes -- didn't see anything more that grabbed me, so I popped it out and returned it.

Jan 13, 2020

Back in the 1970's there was an infantile musical called "Rocky Horror Picture Show" that developed an immense following.
The Polish director, Agnieszka Smoczysnska, must have thought she could repeat it's success and cash in on the vampire craze of a few years back - as well as adding a sack of incoherent mermaid images and, of course, lots of Romero-style gore.
What you end up with is a 90 minute music video. The nature of that beast is - lots of fancy images, schlocky music, and not the slightest bit of humour or social commentary.
This would make a fine double-bill with Jordan Peele's "Us".

Sep 05, 2019

Silly...did I mention silly?
The musical numbers were tolerable, if you have time and brain cells to kill.

Feb 06, 2019

This is a quirky movie.

Set in 1980s Poland, it has all the weirdness of the 80s that I only got to observe as a kid, and also music with bizarre lyrics that probably sound better in their native Polish than in the English subtitles. LOL

If you like your mermaids folkloric and not Disney-fied, this is worth checking out! They don't shy away from mermaids being sharp-toothed man-eaters nor are the holds barred when tragedy strikes.

I will warn you that there is some gore (surgery and attack scenes) and nudity of characters portrayed as minors, but I wouldn't call it horror movie level gore, just probably more than what American audiences are accustomed to.

Dec 30, 2018

This is a musical and a fantasy set in an alternate 1980's Poland- for example, there are no cell phones, but there is some modern technology, no Soviet occupation, etc. This is actually more like a German or early Verhoeven (who is Dutch I think) type of production and set design. It is a wholly original story, half The Little Mermaid if it was done by Fassbinder and written by a Swede (Let The Right One In), with the Flashdance burlesque club,but set in Warsaw. I loved it but it is dark and gruesome, in a delightful way. Interesting characters. Stunning visuals. Satisfying ending. Recommended for 80's kids that watched Art House indies and foreign films growing up. Horror fans that like the unusual will enjoy it.

I was trying to add the 1997 movie She Creature as a similar title, but SLPL only had the MST 3000 version of the old movie by this name. The movie I found similar was originally called The Mermaid Chronicles. Also, in the comments below there seems to be a misunderstanding about why scenes like fantasies during sex and the surgery were not realistic. This movie is about the inner landscape and sexual longing, about the parallels between teen hormones and Siren songs (except these sirens don't drown their male victims, they eat them), not meant to be a realistic movie.

Oct 20, 2018

English title: The Lure
This movie is kinda crazy. This movie is kinda awesome. More than likely it's the first Polish feminist mermaid horror musical. A very dark and bloody (but also a little comic) reworking of "The Little Mermaid," it's about two mermaid sisters who perform in a night club. Unlike the cute mermaids of most film, their tails are long and reptilian, and, oh, they also eat people. Did I mention it's also a musical? You really have to see this; it's like little else I've seen recently.

Oct 18, 2018

Extremely disturbing, and not in a fun horror-movie sort of a "was that rape?" "what the f--- is this surgery and why are they showing so much of it?" and in general "what the f--- is going on?" Like somebody give the basic rules of how mermaids/magic works in this world or tell me which sequences are real or not real and explain how that happened and who that person is and wtf...
I feel like I kept watching because I expected it to make more sense over time instead of less or to feel like there was a point to it?
Musical numbers were intriguing though...just not worth the traumatically disturbing rest of the movie.
Need wash brain out with soap.

Jun 25, 2018

This is one very weird and eccentric take on the Little Mermaid story. That is if the Little Mermaid was a R rated musical and Hammer Horror creature feature put together. The two mermaids/sirens in question Golden and Silver are quite carnivorous,vicious and predatory and are about to sing two more victims into their grasp when they are scooped up out of the water by a trio of musicians in a bad cover band for a strip bar. Their new experiences and interactions with humans and the strange songs that follow make up most of the movie. Not sure if it is actually a good movie but it sure holds your interest to see what kind of weird or bizarre scene will come next.

May 13, 2018

You will need the subtitles playing, unless you understand the Polish language.
Pretty cool for what this is - a cross between a glam/pop/rock movie and a drama/horror.
It could have been really cheezy, but the actors and director pulled it off; seamless transitions between spoken and singing scenes.
the 2 teenage female mermaids are nude in many scenes, but I did not find any of it pornographic, was more of an art film in that respect.

Mar 25, 2018

Kick-Ass/Superb! Great Soundtrack!

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Add Notices
Feb 06, 2019

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Surgery

Feb 06, 2019

Sexual Content: Implied rape and partial(?) nudity (Bare breasts, but genitals have been modified to be Barbie doll-esque).

May 13, 2018

Sexual Content: nudity, lesbianism

May 13, 2018

Violence: murder


Add a Quote
Nov 02, 2017

One of the tunes part 1 of 2:

I'm new to the city
I wanted to put
my best foot forward
Change what I can change
and get their attention
A mention, a nod
I could be soaring
But life's gross and boring
I walk through the city
Cars honking, polluting
New sights all around me
The lights, sounds, and faces
never cease to astound me
Bright shiny neon
Is saying this is
the best street to be on
Hustle and bustle
Buses, people, and cars
So exciting we're not leaving
We like it here
The city will tell us
what it is we lack
The city will tell us
what is it we lack

Nov 02, 2017

One of the tunes part 2 of 2:
We've chosen to live here
We want things to be clear
The city will tell us
What is it we lack
There's not a dull minute
Lots of people live in it
The tastes, smells, and pleasures
The garbage, the treasures
Pigeons and sirens
Horns and pylons
Streets hot and exciting
Parks cool and inviting
The city will tell us
What it is we lack
It knows for a fact
what it is we lack
We've chosen to live here
We want things to be clear
Hands made filthy by dirty deeds
Can't stand to watch it go to seed
Want to hang out here a while
before swimming to America?

Nov 02, 2017

And this is a nightclub with a liquor license and adult entertainment.
No offense, but I was wondering... where'd you learn to speak Polish?
-On the beach in Bulgaria.
- I'm Golden.
- And I'm Silver.
"Imgolden," "Andimsilver." Very nice.
It's been a long time since I've felt this lonesome
It can't be the weather though it's pretty loathsome
At night I get cravings that aren't quite wholesome
We're not human. We're just on vacation here.
Give me this night
Just this one night
In warm houses people fret
All the stress, too much to cope
But here hands are holding hands
And in every glass there's hope
We don't need that much at all
Just to party till we weep
Surrounded by these spinning walls
And the rain of dancing lights
Enjoy the fun before it's gone
Let's get lost and forget again
All the times when we felt down
There'll be time for all of that
When daylight comes around

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May 13, 2018

Les_J thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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