Hello again my Brothers and Sisters of the Psychotronic Video World! I got a big fat package…I mean, I got a big fat package of screeners in the mail from Wes yesterday, and as in all likelihood next week I will stop being unemployed, I figured I’d try and review them all before the week’s over. All the films I received are being released through Brain Damage Films/Midnight Releasing, divisions of Maxim Media. That being said, let’s kick things off with the film on the top of the stack, and work our way down, shall we?
DEADTIME (2012, Spooked Films)
Meet “Love Meets Murder” — a popular British rock band whose first album is hailed as a genre-redefining classic. Unfortunately, the band has fallen on some creative hard times, and their producer is ready to consider them has-beens. Their agent manages to talk the producer into giving them one last chance to jump-start their career — by recording a new single and a promotional video in an old run-down warehouse/recording studio. The producer stipulates that they’re to be locked in the studio until they create something. And it better be amazing.
The recording studio is a former maximum-security mental institution (I thought it was a warehouse?), which makes it an excellent recording studio — the acoustics of the solid brick walls are great, and the rest of the building is sonically “dead” — no cell signal, and you can’t hear the band from a room or two over. Fortunately, a group of sex-crazed groupies get in before the doors lock.
Then the murders begin. Starting with a floozy who gets stabbed in the vag, a burlap-masked maniac begins bumping off people left and right — and they have no means of calling for help or even leaving the building before Monday morning.
I really enjoyed DEADTIME. The film takes its time warming up, introducing the audience to the characters and not only builds them up, but builds up the relationships between them, an approach I appreciated, as it made each death that much more powerful.
The killer himself is refreshingly simple and iconic — a hulking, silent brute in a stained jumpsuit, burlap sack mask, armed with a knife. A big damn knife, a Bowie about a foot long, with a hand-guard. There’s no unnecessary frills or fripperies to the killer, he’s boiled down to the barest essentials of the genre and is wonderfully brutal — he steps up to his victims, drives the knife in, maybe twists it a little.
MOURNING WOOD (2010, Fat Foot Films)
Welcome to the small town of Slutton (pronounced Sloo-ton), site of one of the largest disappearances in American history. Meet Dr. Jacob Pendleton, a mad scientist who has produced such brilliant and classic products, necessary for modern existence, as FartX, Stiff Again, Dick Killer Condoms and his latest brilliant creation, ShamPube.
Unfortunately, ShamPube has some nasty side-effects. Namely, those who are exposed to ShamPube turn into horny, pelvic-thrusting, ejaculate-fountaining zombies. Anyone getting hosed down with zombie-spunk becomes a spunk-zombie.
As an aside, some words, no amount of journalistic experience prepares you to write.
As the spunk-zombie plague spreads, it falls to a big-chinned used-car salesman, Dr. Jacob Pendleton, and four burn-out stoners trying to make a short film while high to save the world from being drowned in undead bukkake. Do they stand a chance in hell?
As a film, MOURNING WOOD is pretty much exactly what you expect it to be. It’s trashy and juvenile, packed to capacity with cheap jokes about masturbation, flatulence and marijuana and as much fountaining white-tinted methyl cellulose as possible. To cap it off, it was shot with a handheld camcorder, with all the attendant audio and video issues, and shakiness as well.
What you may not be prepared for in going in to MOURNING WOOD is how damn funny it actually is. The comedic timing is excellent, and interspersed with the toilet humor are some brilliant sight-gags and truly funny dialogue delivered as throw-away lines.
All in all, these are two really enjoyable independent horror film efforts. Not necessarily two you’d want to pair together for a double-feature screening like I just did, as one would be hard-pressed to come up with two more dissimilar films. But definitely a good time, and you should definitely give these films the ol’ looky-loo.