I’m calling this an exploitation film. Why you ask? The answer may be long my friend. Again – I say it’s exploitative. And incredibly obscene and offensive. Parents of special needs children would find his film distressing. The main character Dennis suffers from a learning disability [I use this word with caution]. He also suffers from what I would consider mental illness. Befriended by a ‘demon’ he embarks on a downward spiral of killing starting off with animals and culminating with those closest to him. So here might be the problem – some might consider this film casts a certain negative stereotype on those folk in society that are vulnerable enough as it is. However, I’m not sure the late Andrew Getty [director] even thought about such a thing. I get the feeling he just wanted to make a really scary horror flick. And that it is not. For sure this is a B grade movie around the edges. But to give it some credit there is the revered Michael Berryman as that ‘creature’. And the makeup/FX dept did a good job with him. Then there is the acting by Frederick Koehler as the ‘simple’ Dennis – which is really, really good. In fact, so good I sometimes forgot this film was an amateur, self funded, self indulgent flick by a rich kid. At times I was enjoying a deft horror piece and I rate Koehler highly. But every time we left Fred and Berryman the film showed up it’s flaws. The supporting cast of actors were crap. The cinematography outside the dreams-capes was amateur. And a few to many one liners were cringe inducing [but not in a classic B horror way]. I digress. Does the film warrant spending your leisure money on an outing at the cinema? Nope. No way. Whilst not the worst it is still a piece of rubbish overall. It will be distressing to a large portion of the population. Remember I said it was exploitative? If educators and parents get wind of this movie I see protests and petitions for it to be banned. And most certainly an R18 label attached. Patricia Bartlet might even come back from the dead to do battle.
This is my second film at the New Zealand International Film Festival. Heading to my third helping this evening.