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Silent But Deadly (2013)

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Silent But Deadly (2013)Starring Starring Jason Mewes, Jordan Prentice, Kim Poirier, Marc Hickox, Benz Antoine, William Sadler

Directed by Stephen Scott


If you’re going to attempt to conquer the tricky genre of horror-comedy, it’s always a good idea to get someone in the cast who has a comedic background. And that’s exactly what the makers of Silent But Deadly did. They went out and cast Jason Mewes in the lead role of their film. Good idea. Mewes has been in the business of making people laugh for nearly 20 years. Then they gave him a role that had practically no dialogue. Bad idea.

In Silent But Deadly, Mewes plays Thomas Capper, the son of a farmer who finds himself avenging the loss of his best friend. That friend was a goat (and may actually have been more than a friend, but we can’t confirm that one way or another). Unfortunately the character is almost a mute, having just a handful of one-word lines throughout the movie. To Mewes’ credit, he does what he can to express himself in other ways, but it seems like a very poor decision to take an actor with the comedic verbal talents of Mewes and give him a basically non-speaking role. Fortunately, Silent But Deadly does make up for this oversight by providing some real laughs from other characters in the movie.

In a stroke of top notch casting, William Sadler was brought in to play Thomas’ lazy, thoughtless father, Capper. (And Sadler really looks like he could be Mewes’ father). To explain to you how unlucky in life Capper is take this into consideration. He saved up all his farming money and bought not one, but two beautiful, horny Russian mail-order brides. However, they turn out to be lesbians and not looking to make it a threesome. Now that’s tough luck. It’s no wonder he’s such a dick to his son, Thomas. Although his role is quite short, Sadler does manage to get off some great lines, like calling his lesbian wives two “Moscow carpet munchin’ magpies!”

Another standout in the cast was Sheriff Shelby, played by little person Jordan Prentice. Prentice basically steals the show as the three-foot tall, racist, sexist sheriff investigating a murder. Prentice kills as the sheriff delivering one offensive line after another and playing the perfect law enforcement buffoon. He’s accompanied by a deputy who is much more intelligent and better suited to handle situations in Deputy Jimbo (Benz Antoine). The pair of them deliver some great laughs throughout the film.

Rounding out the cast are a high strung movie director, a beautiful documentary filmmaker (Poirier) and the guy trying to get into her pants (Hickox, who will remind you more and more of Bill Moseley as the film goes on) and a crazy, blind old man. And that is the strong point of this film, the ensemble. Mewes does what he can in his basically silent role, but the rest of the cast manages to work together to deliver some really great comedy.

But comedy is not the reason we’re discussing this movie. Of course we’re more concerned with the horror side of horror/comedy. Silent But Deadly is simply a slasher film when it comes to the horror of it all. And in a slasher, more important than anything, is having quality F/X. And here, again, Silent But Deadly comes up short. The practical F/X are quite good. Actually damn good. The problem is the digital F/X, they are really, really bad. Thankfully they are not used that often as it could have crushed the entire movie. The fact that the digital F/X are used very sparingly is a big save because what they did show was horrendous. The filmmakers obviously had a talented group of practical F/X artists, so one has to wonder why they would use such incredibly lame digital F/X.

Silent But Deadly is a horror/comedy that will give you some laughs. You’re not going to fall out of your chair cracking up, but the film is amusing. Some unfortunate choices such as not giving your star any lines and the use of terrible digital F/X certainly hampered the film, but overall it did manage to overcome any shortcomings and make an okay movie. And Silent Bob would be proud of Jason for being able to keep his mouth closed for the entire film!

2 1/2 out of 5

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American Psycho Meets Creep – Strawberry Flavored Plastic Review

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Starring Aidan Bristow, Nicholas Urda, Andres Montejo

Directed by Colin Bemis


Recently I wrote up an article here on Dread Central which was basically an open letter to anyone who was listening called “I Miss Found Footage.” Well, it seems like someone WAS listening, as I was then sent the link to an all-new found footage film called Strawberry Flavored Plastic from first-time writer-director Colin Bemis.

The film follows the “still-at-large crimes of Noel, a repentant, classy and charming serial killer loose in the suburbs of New York.” Basically, you could think of the flick as American Psycho meets Mark Duplass and Partick Brice’s Creep. That, or you could think of it as “Man Bites Dog in color!” However you choose to label Colin Bemis’ psychological thriller, just make sure you check out the film once it hits in the future.

As I alluded to above, the film is basically a found footage version of American Psycho. But that said, the film sports a twist on the charming serial killer subgenre that I have yet to see play out in any of the above-mentioned classics. I’m not going to go into spoiler territory here, but I will say that the film introduces an element to the tale that spins it into much more of a character drama than a straight horror film. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Truth be told, the film’s turn from serial killer flick into a layered character study might have been its kiss of death, but this slight genre switch is rendered a minor issue as the film’s central narcissistic antagonist is played by Aidan Bristow. Bristow is an actor you may not have heard of before this review, but you will hear his name more and more over the years to come, I promise. The guy gives (no pun intended) a killer performance as the film’s resident serial killer Noel Rose, and time after time surprised me with how chilling, charming, or downright vulnerable he chose to play any given scene.

Bristow’s performance is, in the end, the major element the film has going for it. But that said, as a fan of found footage, I was smiling ear to ear at first-time director Colin Bemis’ understanding of what makes a found footage suspense sequence work.

In Strawberry Flavored Plastic director Colin Bemis is confident and content to allow full emotional scenes to play out with the camera directed at nothing more than a character’s knees. Why is this so important? Because it keeps the reality of the film going. Too many found footage directors would focus on the actors’ faces during such emotional scenes – no matter how contrived the camera angle was. In this film, however, Bemis favors the reality that says, “If you were really in this emotional state and holding a camera, you would let it drop to your side.” I agree, and it is small touches like that which make the film feel authentic and thus – once the shite hits the fan – all the scarier.

On the dull side of the kitchen knife, the film does feel a bit long even given it’s short running time, and there doesn’t seem too much in the way of visceral horror to be found within. Again, graphic blood and gore aren’t a must in a fright flick, but a tad more of the old ultra-violence would have gone a long way in selling our main psychopath’s insanity and unpredictability. But all the same, the film does feature a rather shocking sequence where our main baddie performs a brutal home invasion/murder that puts this film firmly in the realm of horror. In fact, the particular POV home invasion scene I’m talking about holds about as much horror as you’ll ever wish to witness.

In the end, Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic is a must-see for fans of found footage and serial killer studies such as American Pyscho, Creep, and Man Bites Dog. I recommend giving it a watch once it premieres. If only to be able to point to Aidan Bristow in the near future and tell all your friends that you watched (one of) his first movies.

Until then, check out the film’s trailer HERE, and follow the movie on Facebook.

  • Strawberry Flavored Plastic
3.5

Summary

Lead actor Aidan Bristow turns in a star-making performance in Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic, a found footage film that plays out like Man Bites Dog in Color before introducing a new element to the charming-serial-killer subgenre and becoming more character study than a straight horror. Think American Psycho meets Creep.

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Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 148 – Inside (2017 Remake)

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We’ve all heard the old saying, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well, I’m here to tell you that’s only partially true. It seems there is a third certainty that had been omitted from the original quote, “It is certain, if you enjoy a movie, at some point someone will remake that movie.” Now is the time when one of my favorite movies gets reimagined, “for an American audience”.

In the late 2000’s an explosion of “French extreme” horror films was released. Martyrs and or High Tension can often be found on any number of lists of the “most fucked up horror movies ever”. Unfortunately, the vastly superior Inside is often forgotten (as well as Frontier(s), but that’s a whole ‘nother rant). Now, ten years after it’s initial release, Inside has been Americanized. Don’t worry, we watched it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Mommy says you’re not dead. Is that true? It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 148!

If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

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Totem Review – It’s Not Always A Bad Thing To Look Up From The Bottom Level, If You Like That View

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Starring Kerris Dorsey, James Tupper, Ahna O’Reilly

Directed by Marcel Sarmiento


Following the untimely death of a family’s matriarchal figure, a young woman finds out that managing to hold all of the pieces in place becomes increasingly more difficult when otherworldly infiltrators make their presence felt. We’re going to have to work our way up this Totem, as

17 year old Kellie is the leading lady of the home following the passing of her mother Lexy, and with a needy father and tiny tot of a baby sister, she still keeps things in working order, regardless of the rather large hole that’s been left in the dynamic due to the death. Kellie’s dad after a while decides to ask his lady-friend to move in with the family, so that everyone can move onto a more peaceful existence…yeah, because those types of instances always seem to work seamlessly. As fate would have it, Kellie’s sense of pride is now taking a beating with the new woman in the mix, and her little sister’s new “visitor” is even more disturbed by this intruder – only question is, exactly who is this supernatural pal of sorts? Is it the spirit of their dead mother standing by to keep watch over the family, or is it something that’s found its way to this group, and has much more evil intentions at hand?

What works here is the context of something innately malicious that has found its way into the home – there are only a couple moments that come off as unsettling, but the notion of having to weave through more than half the film acting as a sullen-teen drama is rather painful. The presentation of the “broken family” is one that’s been done to death, and with better results overall, and that’s not to say that the movie is a complete loss, it just takes far too much weeding through at times stale performances and even more stagnant pacing to get to a moderately decent late-stage conclusion to the film. Under the direction of Marcel Sarmiento (Deadgirl), I’d truly hoped for something a bit more along the lines of a disturbing project such as that one, but the only thing disturbing was the time I’d invested in checking this one out. My best advice is to tune into the Lifetime channel if you want a sulky teen-melodrama with a tinge of horror, or you could simply jump into this one and work your way up…but it’s a LONG way to the top.

  • Film
2.0

Summary

Sulky, moody, and ridden with teen-angst buried in the middle of a supernatural mystery – SOUNDS like a decent premise, doesn’t it?

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