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Slow Torture Puke Chamber (2010)
Puke the pain away...
Lucifer Valentine takes quite a bit of pride in having invented a new subgenre - vomit gore. It's undeniably unique, but in saying that I'm reminded of a quote David St Hubbins once made about Nigel Tufnel - "Nobody else plays quite like him. Nobody even tries." That certainly rings true here. The main problem with Valentine's films is that he takes an interesting premise - witnessing the internal visions of a woman during the moments of brain death following suicide - and merely uses it as an excuse to splatter his fetishes across the screen.
So the vomit gore trilogy finally reaches its long-awaited (or maybe not) conclusion and, as I see it, there are 3 options as to how this could play out: 1. The hallucinogenic qualities could be amped up to create an Eraserhead style nightmare. 2. The puking could be pushed to inhuman levels, soaking the screen in a non-stop barfing frenzy. 3. It could be the exact same thing as the other films, with a different title.
Sadly, it takes the third option, although it does head off in a slightly different, darker direction.
The film starts with a spoken disclaimer from star Hope Likens that she agreed to be involved, was informed of the content, signed daily contracts and was given a safe word to be used at any time. Is this just a cheap shock tactic? Sure it is! But hey, when the movie's called Slow Torture Puke Chamber, complaining about cheap shocks seems a little silly. So the curtain rises and immediately cue scenes of Likens being slapped, beaten, choked with a belt, etc. - all very real. Nothing you wouldn't see in your average Max Hardcore flick but still pretty nasty. What follows is a fair chunk of the usual Lucifer Valentine fare - puking blood into shot glasses and then downing them one by one; masturbating with crucifixes and hurling onto Jesus; bloody tampons; pig masks; and of course lots of pissing and blowing chunks.
What sets it apart though is the confessions of self-loathing from the actresses and an even greater focus on degradation than usual. It all culminates in a 20 minute finale involving a pregnant woman, a big knife, a blender and a puking machine named Hank Skinny, that is by far the nastiest set-piece. Sure, it's got plenty of puke and gore, but it's the implications behind what we're seeing that make for a much more pernicious beast - this is the pornography of abuse and there's something quite evil about it. Any sense of enjoyment that might be had from vomit gore leaves the room, making way for something considerably more unnerving.
Certainly gender politics come into play here. A woman pissing on her own face is automatically assumed to be fetishistic porn, whereas a guy pissing on his own face could be put in the new Jackass movie and play in mainstream theatres around the world. But still it's hard to watch the debasement on display here and not think that these women are broken goods. When Hope Likens breaks down on-camera while talking about her childhood sexual experiences with her father, it feels uncomfortably real. If it's not, then she's quite an actress. Either way, I'm not the judgemental type. I'm sure starring in a puke flick is just as cathartic and no less degrading than paying some therapist 100 bucks an hour to pretend to care about your problems. So I say, you go girls! Get them clothes off and puke your guts out to your heart's content. As long as all the barf stays on that side of the screen, then these freaky chicks are alright in my book.
Piranha 3D (2010)
It's got blood, it's got boobs, but it ain't got no bite.
As anyone who listens to Entombed or who's read James Ellroy's The Big Nowhere knows, the wolverine is pound-for-pound the most vicious mammal of all. But mammals are scaredy-cat pussies compared to the rest of the animal kingdom. Anyone who's ever woken up in the middle of the night to find a huge spider on their pillow knows all too well the feeling of involuntary bowel evacuation that often accompanies the sight of one of the more dangerous non-mammalian nature pals that we share this planet with.
Piranhas may just be the most badass badasses of all species. Research has shown that a school of just 10 piranhas can strip a full-grown Tyrannosaurus Rex down to the bone in under 2 minutes, but prior to that they'd also spend several hours giving the T-Rex Indian burns, flushing its head down the toilet and making cruel & questionably untrue comments about its momma's enjoyment of degrading scatological sex acts. Vicious creatures indeed. They don't have wangs, but if they did, they'd almost certainly be expert rapists, terrorising the aquatic avian populations of the world and forcing the females to give birth to hordes of half-breed creatures like the 'pirahnuck' or perhaps the 'swaranha'. Sure, that's speculative, but I'm confident that if I proposed that hypothesis to Stephen Hawking, then he'd drool in agreement and offer me a night of passion with his most attractive female relative as payment for my brilliance.
When a movie was finally made about these ultimate predators, 1978's creatively titled Piranha, director Joe Dante wisely went for the tongue-in-cheek approach. After all, how could one possibly even begin to replicate on film the sheer terror that these killing machines inspire? 1981's Piranha II: Flying Killers went some way to achieving that, by giving the piranhas the ability to fly. Flesh-eating fish with wings is no laughing matter. Sadly, director James Cameron drifted into obscurity shortly after and was never heard from again. So, the big question on my mind was simple: Would the remake go for the campy chucklefest feel of the original, or the ultra-realistic, devastatingly dark vision of humanity under attack that the sequel adopted?
I won't go heavily into plot details because: A. I don't wanna give spoilers; B. You already know the plot because everyone's seen it; C. It doesn't have a plot; and most importantly D. I can't be bothered trying to explain a non-existent plot in a spoiler-free way to people who've already seen it. Suffice to say that when I pressed Play on my DVD player, the movie started. It showed a sequence of moving images featuring actors reading from a script captured on a camera and spliced together in an editing suite. Yep, it's a movie alright. This continued up until shortly after the end credits began, at which point I pressed Stop because I neither know what the hell a 'key grip' is, nor care in the slightest who performed the role. I'm told the Bluray comes with a 3D option, but from what I can gather, this is merely a visual illusion and doesn't allow real piranhas to leap from the television and devour audience members. From a marketing standpoint, that was a wise decision.
With an abundance of bare tittays and cartoonish gore, this remake is undeniably fun, but only to a certain level. I'm not one to use the word 'romp' very often, unless I've been asked my opinion of the most erotic movie ever made, and in that circumstance I always add the suffix '-er Stomper'. But even if I were the type who refers to a movie as a 'romp', I still wouldn't use it here. Nor would I call it a 'hoot' or a 'blast' and certainly not a 'doozie'. It's just a slick, dumb slice of fun that passes the time in an enjoyable but unmemorable way. Even in the basic thrills stakes, I'm not sure if it lives up to the original or its sequel.
All up, I'd say this is passable fun. Also, my deepest apologies to anyone who stumbled upon this hoping for an informative review.
Sadomaster Locura General (2011)
Locura General indeed!
A common approach to creating a sequel is to, rather than attack the story from a fresh, new perspective, merely offer a bigger version of the original. Often that's their downfall. But for a filmmaker like German Magarinos, who's single-mindedly devoted to excess, I was hoping for only one thing from this sequel: MORE! More gore, more sexual perversion, more bad-taste humour, more dildos and, of course, more fake moustaches. As the film's title translates as Sadomaster: Total Mayhem, I had a good feeling my expectations were going to be met.
The movie opens on some real newsreel footage of riots spliced with newspaper headlines, with a rather ominous ambient soundtrack to set the mood. Considering the 1st Sadomaster's opening credits featured 9/11 footage set to a death metal song, this was already noticeably classier. Could German have gone soft on us?? Naaah! It only takes a few minutes before the gore starts splattering the screen and it doesn't let up from thereon in.
The story picks up directly after the first film, with the ultra right-wing Argentinian government doing their best to eliminate the country's Jews, blacks, homosexuals and communists. The Sadomaster has defeated all of the ninja Nazis, but soon meets his demise at the hands of a CGI ED-209 look-alike called the Gaykiller 1500. A new group of anarchists arrive to take down the government, but they're just as bloodthirsty and take great enjoyment from butchering people whenever they feel like it. Of course they're no match for a totalitarian regime, so it's only a matter of time before the Sadomaster has to rise from the grave and finish what he started.
In case you haven't guessed by now, Sadomaster: Locura General is not for everyone. For starters, it's really low-budget, to the extent that it makes Peter Jackson's earlier flicks look like... ummm, Peter Jackson's later flicks. But aside from that, the constant display of cheap gore, comic fetishism (gimp masks galore!) and extreme sexual deviancy may be off-putting to some. There's an early scene where the president is being interviewed for a TV program, which concludes with the president's right-hand man mouthraping the interviewer for no reason whatsoever. That's A-OK with me, cause I'm a big fan of surprise man-on-man mouthrape. But if you're the type of viewer who takes a strict stance about man-on-man mouthrape scenes only being used to further the plot, then this movie may not be for you. Obviously, if you're opposed to man-on-man mouthrape scenes altogether, then you'll probably want to give this a miss. Cause there's plenty more man-on-man mouthrape to come.
The general style of the movie itself is very much in the tradition of Splatter Farm - ie, a disjointed series of grossouts and weirdness, rather than any clear narrative. But for me, this works in its favour. More than anything else, it's punk rock attitude that fuels this flick. And there is a certain demented anarchic flair at work when we see the movie suddenly jump from a stripper in a gas mask being spanked to Lloyd Kaufman giving a news report about a giant octopus impregnating half the female population of Manhattan. It's moments like that that remind me of why I watch "bad" movies, because you simply won't find that kind of nutsoid WTFness in any of that Oscar-winning stuff.
For anyone who digs watching micro-budget SOV splatterfests, this is well worth a watch. And for fans of gratuitous man-on-man mouthrape, it's a bonafide must-see. My only major complaint is that there were less fake moustaches than I was hoping for. But then again, I could say that about every movie.
Balada triste de trompeta (2010)
Send in those soulful and doleful and schmaltz-by-the-bowlful clowns!
Less than 10 minutes into A Sad Trumpet Ballad, we're shown the spectacle of a machete-wielding clown in a dress striding forth into a regiment of Spanish civil war soldiers, hacking open throats left, right and centre, his big comical shoes taking him forward through the shower of jugular sprays as he keeps on swinging. It's an amazing sequence of brutal, surreal imagery. As a moment of absurd revisionist history, it makes Inglorious Basterds seem overly safe and unambitious in comparison. It's one of the coolest things I've seen so far this year. And it's not even the best part of the film.
After this short prologue, we're whisked from 1937 to 1973 where we find that the main character of the film is the clown's son. He joins a circus hoping to follow in his father's footsteps, but the tragedies of his childhood have left him unable to make anyone laugh. So he becomes the sad clown, destined to continue a life where the jokes are all on him. His counterpart, the happy clown, is as confident as the sad clown is pathetic. A savage brute of a fellow, prone to unexpected violence, he keeps everyone in line with fear. He's also ploughing the sh!t out of the super hot trapeze girl and ensuring she doesn't stray by dishing out the occasional beating. When she takes a fancy to our main character, then these two clowns are set for a violent confrontation. Reeeeeal violent.
So there's a touch of Freaks to the plot, but apparently it's also intended to parallel the events of the Spanish civil war. I know nothing about Spain except that it has nice beaches and inattentive bartenders, so this side of the story went over my head. If I were to guess with my limited grasp of Spanish history, I'd say the happy clown is meant to represent Franco, the sad clown is the Republicans and the trapeze girl is Spain itself. That could be a load of balls though. Fortunately, you don't need to understand it on that level as there's plenty more to enjoy. Let's face it, history is boring as sh!t when compared to psychotic clowns, so put the subtext on the back-burner and just enjoy the show.
Did I mention the violence yet? One of the main complaints for the movie at festival screenings is that it's "too violent". I don't know what that phrase means, so I looked it up on dictionary.com and it still seemed like pure gibberish to me. From I can gather it means "too much awesomeness". Something like that anyway. But yeah, it's got plenty of nasty stuff happening. Structurally it's messy as hell, constantly changing tone and tightrope-walking between genres, from war movie to historical drama to dark comedy to romantic melodrama. But by the time the final third rolls around, we're into a full-bore, take-no-prisoners nightmare of madness and mutilation - a pure freak show.
Some may be put off by the total lack of sympathetic characters (the trapeze girl in particular is especially unlikeable) or the constant barrage of unpleasantness. But for me, the sheer level of originality and visual creativity more than makes up for any shortcomings. Nowadays, the retro throwback trend has made it fashionable to rape the corpse of post-modernism with nothing more than a lazy wink-at-the-audience to justify the lack of originality, so it's especially pleasing to see a movie acknowledge its influences and then expand on them. Gutsy filmmaking all-round from a director who's willing to push the art-form into territory we haven't seen before.
It's in my top 3 for 2010. Check it out
Way better than all those other flicks about dolls animated by pond water...
Creepy doll movies aren't really my thing. I like Chucky, but that's mainly because Brad Dourif sounds like the love child of Jack Nicholson and Tom Waits. In general though, I'm not a doll kinda guy. I do enjoy the occasional bad movie however, so it was with that special mixture of trepidation and excitement that I pressed play on Marronnier.
The film opens with a young woman being kidnapped, dragged into a van and sliced up with piano wire. Then it flips to some strange cutesy date that ends with the girl turning into a lifesize doll, much to the dude's dismay. Then there's some fast-motion teeth brushing. 5 minutes in and I don't have a damn clue what's going on, but it's already loaded with ludicrous overacting, bad SFX and totally unnecessary slo-mo and fast-mo. Oh yeah! That's the stuff! Eventually we find out some semblance of a plot which makes as much sense as explaining the colour blue to a blind man by speaking sign language to his guide dog. It's got something to do with a guy who makes a doll from his lover's corpse, then starts making more dolls using an eerie pink iron lung, a sewing machine and pond water. There's other stuff going on too (including MORE sped up tooth brushing!!! Yay!!) but I didn't much care to follow the story too closely. It's complete nonsense obviously, but still it's hard to criticise a movie too harshly when it gives us a random battle-axe vs. sledgehammer duel.
Keeping in line with the tone of the piece is the amazing musical score, which seems to have been composed by an attention deficit 8 year old screwing around with the programmed tracks on an old Casio keyboard. Often the music will change from eerie noise to seductive jazz to chintzy bubblegum pop, all within the space of a minute, with NOT ONE of the styles being appropriate to what's happening on screen. There's a fine line between madness and genius and, for the makers of Marronnier, that line is called the horizon.
I'll finish this review with a question: Are you barber? No. You are not barber. If you want to find out who is barber and why, then you'll have to watch Marronnier. The answer will astound you. Or possibly bore you
Jiao zi (2004)
Tasty full-length feature offers a little more to sink your teeth into than the short.
Those who've seen the Dumplings short on the rather awesome 3 Extremes compilation know basically what to expect here. Much as Se7en became known for its "What's in the box?" sequence, this movie has become infamous for "What's inside the titular dumplings?", the answer of which is far grimmer than the severed head of a terrible actress. It's played very well, with the revelation ensuring that many lines of dialogue create shivers and every crackly crunch of a dumpling being munched on inducing squirms in most audience members. Sure, it's a one trick pony, but when the trick involves sledgehammering one of humanity's ultimate taboos, then you don't really need another.
Dumpings is about a woman who's desperate to get rid of some wrinkles and give her skin that youthly glow in order to hold her husband's interest. Of course, any husband worth a damn would oblige by dropping trou and offering up a batch of the world's most effective face moisturiser, but this guy's too busy with business and shagging women on the side to perform this kindly service. Their relationship is somewhat typical of the phenomenon whereby male wealth and female beauty go hand in hand. It's how we end up with the sugar daddy concept and why we see Donald Trump types marrying fake-tanned, fake-titted models a third of their age; females across the globe striving for ultimate beauty just so they can spread their legs for a guy old enough to be their grandfather in return for a diamond necklace. The sacred bond of marriage has become, in many cases, nothing more than a form of socially acceptable prostitution. I now pronounce you scumbag and whore. Now sign your certificate and start trading services.
So, Dumplings comments on this societal plague that sees a woman's beauty as a quantitative valuation of her overall worth, but it's also about the need to prolong one's youth to the detriment of others, mainly the youth themselves. The idea of leaving a better world for our children has been discarded in favour of a "me first" attitude where scrambling for every possible way to make the most out of life contributes to a legacy that damns the children before they've even left the womb. The Beatles told the baby boomers that all they needed was love, but the baby boomers weren't listening. They don't want love, they want a nicer house. Then they want the car they've always dreamed of, but then they need another car to drive to work. Of course that means they need a new house with a double garage, and while they're at it, why not buy another house as an investment property. The next generation inherits a world where luxuries have become necessities because you can't possibly be happy unless you own lots of stuff, right? Right? So you'd better work your ass off to get those things or else other people will think you're a failure. Screw weekends, that's 2 whole days that you could be working to buy more things. Oh, but make sure you get to the gym at 5 am because you're no spring chicken anymore, and remember your next Botox treatment is on Sunday. Follow that through to its logical conclusion and you have a whole bunch of great looking parents spawning the most spoiled, privileged generation of kids in history who are cutting themselves out of sheer boredom and apathy toward their own self-worth. Future fetuses being masticated between the teeth of superficial here-and-now "happiness", because the human race forgot that all it needed was love.
What does that have to do with Dumplings? Nothing really. Got a little side-tracked. Sorry 'bout that. Incidentally, it's a good movie. You should check it out, even if you've already seen the short.
Hey, it's a werewolf! Only without fur. Or teeth...
Supernatural tales that are "based on a true story" tend to bother me. Basically because "based on a true story" actually means it's based on a screenwriter's idea that's based on Chinese whispers that are based on speculative initial reports that are based on superstition. Someone's house creaks and a century later I'm watching balls like An American Haunting. But I was keen to see Romasanta anyway for 2 big reasons. One: It's based on a true story of a werewolf that killed 13 people and we all know that, unlike ghosts, werewolves are real. Two: It's directed by Paco Plaza and I just love movies made by Mexican shopping centres.
To be honest, this one didn't really hold my attention at all so I'll be brief. It's very nicely shot with some lush scenery and a good sense of time and place. There's not a whole lot of blood which is surprising considering it's a period piece **badum-tish**, but there are some good gruesome aftermath shots of corpses shown in various states of post-slaughter rest. One of these moments even shows some dead 15 year old boobs, so any depraved perverts reading should check it out for that part alone. Also includes a few bits of violence toward children and animals which is always welcome on my TV.
Now to the things I didn't like. I don't generally mind when actors play the role of a character not of their own country. I like Sean Connery in The Untouchables, even though he sounds less Irish than I do. But British actors playing Spaniards? Julian Sands is a decent actor, but you know what he isn't? He isn't Senor Manuel Blanco Romasanta and he never will be. Hearing someone who's as quintessentially English as the Queen (the parts of her that aren't French or German anyway) repeatedly referred to as "Senor" is just silly.
Also, I was kind of in the mood for werewolves and the werewolf parts are brief. Really it's just the story of some douchebag murderer. So I suppose the film's title is accurate, as long as the subscript 'The Werewolf Hunt' was intended as Cockney rhyming slang...
Ugly people doin' ugly things.
Unlikeable characters. Seems like that's the one thing many people nowadays just can't tolerate in movies. Well, if you're the kind that prefers their characters to be warm, fuzzy and lovable, then stay right the hell away from this flick. In fact, you may as well just stop reading now. There's nothing you'll enjoy in this movie. Trust me. For here we have an early foray into the seriously unpleasant world of Andy Milligan. A world totally devoid of any kind of positivity towards or from the human race.
Of all the holidays, Christmas might be the one that most revolves around family. Seeds of Sin begins with young wackjob Carol gathering the family together at Mother's house for Christmas lunch. Whilst most families spend this occasion catching up, getting plastered and eating til they can't move, this particular dysfunctional family express their feelings through lies, emotional blackmail and abuse, both verbal and physical. Not to mention that one of them is going around trimming the family tree via electrocution, poison, acid to the face and other atypical Christmas activities. This mob are all spiteful, selfish creatures who utterly despise each other, even the married couples. The only two who show any fondness at all are the brother and sister who've been having sex since they were teens.
Worst of all is the family matriarch, a wheelchair bound lush who constantly guzzles booze, spews bile at the fruit of her loins and breaks stuff in tantrums. Her vile behaviour reaches its pinnacle when she taunts her youngest son about his failed suicide attempt, encouraging him to try harder next time. Almost certainly based on Milligan's own mother, she's one of the most repulsive characters you'll ever see.
No doubt a little taken aback by Milligan's relentless negativity, the producers of the film decided to splice in softcore sex scenes at inappropriate times. Fortunately it's done quite seamlessly. You can barely notice the change in film quality (the porn scenes are actually of higher quality than the film itself). Nor will you notice that the porn involves new actors with little resemblance to their non-porn counterparts. And it's quite difficult to fault the way the movie's dramatic classical score is often cut off MID-NOTE and replaced with stereotypical porno music, complete with groovy bass line and even a touch of wah-wah. Yep, the producers had total respect for Milligan's dark vision. (/sarcasm)
Taken as a whole, this all adds up to quite a bizarro oddity from an era and niche world of filmmaking that we'll never see again. However, if you disregard the crappy porn scenes, you have possibly the ultimate anti-Christmas movie; a vicious glob of hate from one of cinema's most misanthropic miserablists. If you can handle Z-grade movies with a budget in the hundreds of dollars, then maybe give it a shot. Just don't expect to like anyone in it.
The Deaths of Ian Stone (2007)
Okay looking but completely hollow.
Ever do that "Wouldn't it be cool if... ?" thing, where you take a couple different movies and mash them together in your head? Like how cool would it be if the blind dude from Roadhouse was in Way of the Dragon, playing bluesy slide guitar in the Colisseum while Bruce Lee fought Chuck Norris? Pretty damn cool. Filmmakers often think this way too, which is how we end up with stuff like Freddy vs Jason.
The Deaths of Ian Stone is about some dude who continually wakes up in a different life and in each one is hunted by things called Harvesters that feed on his fear. So basically, it's Quantum Leap with the Dementors from Harry Potter. Not a bad concept. For those who don't know, Quantum Leap was this show in the early 90's about this guy, played by Scott Bakula who's that guy who looks sorta like the lovechild of Sam Rockwell and Tim Thomerson, who leaps through the space-time continuum to different places and periods where he has to solve some mystery or help someone out, before leaping again to the next place. It had Dean Stockwell in it too. You know, that mousy lookin guy who's in hundreds of things. Cool show.
So Ian Stone starts off well with a few different scenarios, all of which end up with the main guy dead. Hence the title. It makes for an interesting first half, but when it should become even more intriguing, it suddenly turns into this rather trite message piece about using the positive power of love to defeat fear. Now despite me being a complete bastard, I'm still open to a positive message, so long as it's handled with some depth. But I don't really appreciate having the whole "Love conquers all" cliché thrown at me and just left at that, as if it's an unarguable fact. The history of love throughout the ages has left a trail of broken marriages, shattered dreams, bruised faces, bullet-riddled bodies and successfully used nooses, long enough to give the slight hint that love might not be this 100% positive force that greeting card companies would have us believe. A positive message is fine, hell any message is fine, just not when it's expressed with zero effort.
Also, the film is set in London, yet many of the characters have English accents. Anyone who's been to London knows that it's populated entirely by Aussies, South Africans and the Polish. The only English people left there are hoodies who speak with bad Jamaican accents. A little realism wouldn't have gone astray.
Overall, the film amounts to a cool concept that completely falls flat on any emotional level. Shame. At least it made me want to watch Quantum Leap again.
Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill! (2006)
Reminds me of Easter when I was a kid. *wipes tear of nostalgia from eye*
Everyone seems to like holiday horrors, yet to my knowledge there's never been one set at Easter. The closest thing would be debatable horror The Passion of the Christ which I believe took place mainly on Good Friday, though it's difficult to tell exactly due to the noticeable lack of giant rabbits handing out chocolate to kids. But fear not, because now we finally have ourselves a bonafide Easter slasher!
I came across this movie by reading about Trent Haaga. He was great as Pickle-Fetish Spielberg Guy in Terror Firmer, wrote a mighty fine and original script for Deadgirl and serves as producer on this movie. One of the great things about low-budget horror is that if you follow the lines of separation you can discover new unknown talent quite easily, as long as you're willing to watch a few shockers in the process. This one was uneven, but still marks writer/director Chad Ferrin as a name to keep an eye on.
Easter Bunny Kill Kill involves Mindy, a woman struggling to care for her 16 yr old son Nicholas, a mentally retarded boy who just LOVES Easter. Her boyfriend Remington seems like an alright guy but he's actually a violent criminal who abuses the boy behind her back. Verbal abuse that is, nothing involving penises. Jeez, mind out of the gutter, people! I'm trying to do a normal review here and all you care about is retard rape. Focus, 'kay? So the mum goes to work leaving the 'tard with Mr Definitely-not-a-rapist. The boyfriend calls up his creepy cripple mate to come over and take care of (ie. rape. Happy now?) the boy, while he hits the town for a cocaine and hooker binge. Fortunately for the boy, a mysterious figure arrives, wearing an Easter bunny mask, with a fondness for power tools and a dislike for those who abuse children.
The movie main strengths are the unique premise and characters that steer clear of obvious slasher clichés. Added bonus here is the 2 main performances which are both well above the standard we've come to expect from this subgenre. Special mention should go to Ricardo Gray who plays Nicholas. Retarded characters can sometimes be tiresome to watch due to a PC need to portray them with nothing less than total respect. Here, Ricardo Gray acts and occasionally over-acts the part in a way that's likable and inspires sympathy, but also has a degree of humour. Let's face it, retards are sometimes pretty damn funny, so why not show that side of them? Nobody's going judge you for laughing because we all do it, and I'm sure it doesn't bother them. I must have missed that meeting where it was decided that laughter is a terrible thing.
The downsides are a terrible ending and the fact that it's a little too talky. The kills are nice and brutal, but it takes quite a while to get to them. It does work as a nice throwback to the early 80's though. A simple clip compilation of this with a voice-over would give a trailer that wouldn't seem out of place in Grindhouse. The difference here being that, instead of rehashing tired clichés, this movie takes an older film style and presents it in a new way.
So overall, it's not great but still worth a watch.