Directed by Scott W. McKinlay
Released by ThinkFILM
Just by looking at the cover of the DVD you can tell that the makers of Gag were influenced by the Saw films. Rich, grimy colors with terrified eyes staring at you from behind a torturous device jammed in the mouth. And then when you flip the case you realize that the same person who directs and co-writes the film also has a leading role in it. Yeah, that’s when the title really hits you and you have to push back the bile that slips up the back of your throat.
How refreshing it was to have the movie be actually worth the fear induced by the typical kiss of death on the cover. Some of the editing was a bit off-putting in the beginning, but once the film started going it gained momentum like a speeding train, racing along its twisted metal tracks until it reached its equally twisted destination. Can you believe it? Foy sent me a movie that I didn’t totally hate! On the contrary, I actually found Gag to be rather entertaining, and believe me that’s the only time I’ll ever admit to an enjoyable Gag.
The somewhat original story begins with a pair of burglars who break into a home looking for cash and find way more than they bargained for. They find the safe alright, but next to that is a man who is beaten and bloody, gagged, and tied to a spring mattress. After a mildly forced debate they decide to help the man out of his predicament. This choice in decisions creates a totally new quandary for all involved!
Going any further into it would spoil all the fun. Suffice it to say; although some of the plot is as transparent as Homer’s “window to weight gain”, the story is solid enough to carry its own heaviness. Borrowing only simple elements from the Saw films, Gag brings a truly terrifying situation to life right before your eyes, without blatant thievery.
Even though I thought the film was pleasurable, there were a few faults that I should note. Most of which were minute enough to be rather easily overlooked. There was the goofy editing that sometimes detracted a bit from what was actually going on. And also the sometimes odd camera angles, but the largest gripe I have is some of the forced acting. Most of the performances were pretty convincing, but then there were certain moments that just stick out like a teenage boy in a girl’s locker room (you can take that anyway you want).
While not for everyone, I have to say that Gag is a grungy, visceral, voyeuristic journey into the world of a madman. Like I told my husband, “I wouldn’t have been upset if I had bought the movie blind.” The DVD has a commentary, deleted scenes, Trailer gallery, full frame presentation, and English & Spanish subtitles.
3 1/2 out of 5
3 out of 5