17 March 2018 | jrd_73
Decent Drive-in Movie About The Dangers of Syphilis
Philip Michael Thomas gives a surprisingly good performance as Calvin Crosse, a doctor fresh out of prison for performing an illegal abortion. Crosse has been given a second chance by his former teacher, who is conducting some sort of research on an island. Unfortunately, Crosse arrives at the island, inhabited by redneck fishermen distrustful of outsiders, to find his mentor dead and a mystery about some contagion that is ravaging the island. Of course, the audience soon figures out what that contagion is.
Stigma is a slow burn film that is somewhat better made than what many would be viewers might think. Many viewers (including this one) approach this film to see the type of over the top thrills of I Drink Your Blood, Stigma director David Durston's rabies movie. However, Stigma is more concerned with characters and capturing the local atmosphere of the island. There are concessions to cheap thrills of course. The most obvious example is the inclusion of a documentary on the long term effects of untreated syphilis, found footage which will have some audience members gagging.
Stigma is no lost classic, but a viewer could do much worse. While episodic at times, Stigma holds the viewer's interest for most of its running time. This is largely because of Philip Michael Thomas, an underrated actor giving it his all in the role of Calvin Crosse.