Director Alan Smithee takes us on an irreverent (and unauthorized) romp through George A. Romero's classic Night of the Living Dead, the film that spawned the modern zombie craze and a thousand "of the living dead" remakes and rip-offs.
Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
The young executive of a publicity agency Henry Creedlow is a man that has repressed morbid thoughts and is walked over by most of his acquaintances: his wife is cheating on him with his boss and stealing his investments with help from his best friend; his housemaid is frequently stealing from his house and insulting him in Spanish; even his annoying poodle does not respect him. While in his daily morning routine listening to a talk show on the radio, he hears a man committing suicide live because he had been felt miserable and disrespected for a long time, and Henry feels impressed with the tragic story. The next morning, he wakes up to find his face covered by a white mask, changing his personality and letting him seek revenge against those who have humiliated him. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Underrated but Unique and Unusual film from Romero.
Writer and Director:George A. Romero nearly hits the bull's eye with this Clever darkly funny thriller. Henry Creedlow (Jason Flemyng), who has been always a nice guy sees that things are slowly changing around him. Herny has doubts about his cold hearted wife (Nina Garbiras), his best friend (Andrew Tarbet) and his sleazy overbearing boss (Peter Stormare). The only person that Herny truly finds as a sympathetic friend is the boss' wife (Leslie Hope).
Henry also has doubts about his job and his personal life. In just one morning like any other day for Henry. He wakes up with a new face that is completely white and almost emotionless and he thinks that it is only a mask on his face or only a dream. But then he finds out it is for real. Stripped of everything he has, including his identity. Henry takes all of his frustrations by going out on a bloody rampage. He is set to murder those who have betrayed him like his wife, a close friend and especially his boss.
This was Romero's last film until the upcoming long awaited Zombie film "Land of the Dead". This latest feature will be coming out this summer. Romero has not made a film since the Underrated "The Dark Half" (1993). In "Bruiser", Romero shows a unique style to this film and it looks totally different than most of his pictures. The only real fault in Bruiser is the last 20 minutes of the film should have ended more compellingly. However it is closer to the original premise that Romero wanted to film. It is still a very good and very underrated film.
Sadly, this independent production never received a Theatrical Release in North America but been released instead in Europe. It got released to video instead and received an Cult Following. What made this film work is the difficult lead role of Flemyng. His performance is extremely good and he adds depth with an amusing sense of humour. Simply because Flemyng gives a terrific performance. Stormare gives an amusing over the top performance as the film's unsuspected villain. Tom Atkins (Which Atkins worked with Romero before in bit parts in "Creepshow" and "Two Evil Eyes") are also star in the Film. Even Romero's Family appears in Cameos, including his wife (Christine Forrest Romero), His Daughter (Tina) and His Son (Andrew).
This film maybe be flawed at times (Because the film never really fully explained the curse of Herny's.) Still, the film packs a certain punch. It is certainly one of his most Unusual films along with "Martin" and "Knightriders". One of the film's highlights are seeing The Punk Horror Rock Band:The Misfits appears as Themselves at the Climax and the film features a Good jazzy music score by Donald Rubinstein.
DVD has an fine anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) transfer and an good:Dolby 2.0 Stereo Surround Sound. DVD extras are an running commentary by the director and producer:Peter Grunwald, a music video by the Misfits and trailers. The film may be far from Romero's best films but it is nice to see Romero directed another film in years. Let's just hope his latest film "Land of the Dead" will be a huge hit and big comeback for Romero. Bruiser is worth a look. (*** ½/*****).
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