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Roid Rage (Short, 2011)

Roid RageStarring Zach Canfield, John Carvalho, Ben Evans

Written and Directed by Ryan Lightbourn


I’m trying to come up with a witty introduction for this short, but I can’t. For the first time in recent memory, I find myself at a loss for words over what I’ve just seen. Suffice to say, I know now how my colleague, The Foywonder, must feel on a daily basis as he sits under the avalanche of weirdness that Uncle Creepy sends him.

Roid Rage is not a movie about a psychotic body-builder gone amok. In fact, it’s a misleading title in that the main character doesn’t have “killer hemorrhoids,” but instead has a monster living in his ass. That’s right. In. His. Ass. Think Teeth, but in the butt and not nearly as subtle. We follow “Sammy,” who, despite his terrible condition, keeps hiring prostitutes to toss his salad. That they all end up with their faces bit off seems to bother him, but not so much that he stops. And that’s about the last coherent thing this movie does.

Clocking in at around 14 minutes, Roid Rage does contain a few positive notes. For starters, that the director acted as a one-man-crew for this film is impressive. The make-up effects are well done for a low/no budget short, and the actors’ level of commitment should be commended. It also does contain one of the funniest kill scenes in the history of cinema, in which the hero moons someone and the monster shoots out of his ass, Alien-style, and bites the victim’s face off.

However, the shortcomings far outweigh the rest of the film. To begin with, Roid Rage is written in such a way as to make viewers picture a bunch of drunken buddies sitting around and giggling over how clever they are for putting a monster in a guy’s ass. The amount of virtual winking and nudging throughout the film does nothing to bring the humor forward but serves to remind the audience of how marginally funny the joke was to start with. Similarly, the dialogue comes off as either written for shock value (first line of actual dialogue: “…when I dripped out of my momma’s cooter…”) or as a tragically unfunny joke, coupled with bad delivery. At every turn the film seems bent on insulting all races, gays, women, and anyone else who happens to be alive. Then there’s the matter of other items thrown in for gross-out value, like pubes stuck in the Vaseline in a proctologist’s office. The gags just don’t play well and don’t seem to have much of a point to them.

The movie also suffers from an identity crisis in that it switches gears in the middle from being a horror film to a shoot ‘em up action flick right in the middle, and it doesn’t make much sense. Random references to Chernobyl and shadowy gangs of graduate assistants, government officials and police come out of the woodwork to get the monster-assed man with no explanation of why, who they are, or what they intend to do with him once they find him.

In all, Roid Rage isn’t great. As I said, the work Lightbourn did on his own is impressive, and the fact that he came up with this film is equally so. But in the end Roid Rage is best enjoyed while under the influence of mind-altering substances.

2 out of 5

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Sifu Scott