Horseman, The (2009)
Reviewed by Paul McCannibal
Starring Peter Marshall, Caroline Marohasy, Brad McMurray
Written and directed by Steven Kastrissios
Do you want to see heads getting completely bashed in with steel pipes? How about some faces gored and practically flayed off by full-velocity swings from the business end of a crowbar? Want to see a zillion stabbings to the throat, the gullet, and anywhere else? Are sledgehammers your thing, like, right to the fucking face? Maybe you’re craving the sight of someone’s testicles getting snarled up with some big old fishhooks and yanked on. Perhaps you’re into those lower leg stomp-kicks that snap the knee with a loud popping sound. Or maybe you’re a purist who just wants to see multiple faces being unrelentingly smashed with fists and feet until they look like a regurgitated English breakfast.
If you like any of this kind of thing accompanied with a lot of really angry men screaming at the top of their lungs into each others’ faces, then you basically have to see this movie as soon as possible. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this much brazen shit-kicking and beaten-to-living-fuckness in a single movie in my whole life.
The story is a revenge deal, a father devastated by the news of his daughter’s death in relation to a seedy porn shoot she was involved in. He goes and finds the guys involved and manages to single-handedly dish out a blistering stew of absolute power violence that would make the likes of Steven Segal crawl under the bed and cry like a little girl. I can just imagine a group therapy session with Charles Bronson and Chuck Norris in attendance, each sponsored by a fellow action star like Arnie or Stallone, all of them anxiously huffing on cigarettes and giving each other backrubs and wincing out tears as they try to come to terms with what went down in this movie.
Oh yeah, back to the story. It’s really, REALLY violent, and it’s about a very angry dad using an entire toolshed’s worth of implements to murder the living shit out of a ton of guys who totally deserve it. So you don’t even feel bad watching it! It’s awesome! I hate to have to cop a relatively obscure music reference, but this movie is like listening to 10 Whitehouse records at maximum volume simultaneously. You’ll be freaking out at times, but at the end you’re going to be a giddy and happy soul with a renewed outlook on the beauty of life.
Well, maybe that’s going too far. But The Horseman is still the best excessively violent aesthetic overload this side of last year’s Rambo – minus the artillery. Guns and grenades are for wimps who don’t want to get their hands dirty in an up close and personal way. This is almost all melee mayhem. The blocking of the scraps is fantastic – if there was a revenge movie catered specifically to rabid UFC fans, this would be it.
The only quibble I have with the film is minor – why the hell was it called The Horseman?
4 1/2 out of 5
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