Troma is back and audiences should be warned.
There’s something beautifully off-kilter about FATHER’S DAY, the new film from worrisomely insane filmmaking collective Astron-6. The movie, a tribute to a type of film that perhaps only exists in the fevered dreams of genre fans who have snorted a lot of blow off the dusty cover of VHS tapes, is 99 minutes of in-your-face fucked up. The movie is the cinematic equivalent of having a dirty fingernail jabbed in your eye repeatedly while nursing a hangover in an abortion clinic. In other words, FATHER’S DAY is the kind of fun doctors have to give you antibiotics to treat. If you’re a horror or action fan, it’s vitally important you see FATHER’S DAY. The burning rash on your soul that comes after the fact will be worth it.
Adam Brooks stars as Ahab, a one-eyed avenger with a penchant for maple syrup and a hair-trigger temper. After a stint in prison and more baggage than an elevator full of Mel Gibson characters, Ahab had hoped to enjoy his retirement in the Canadian wilderness. God has other plans for him, though.
Ahab is called back into action to join Father John Sullivan, a naïve young priest played by Matthew Kennedy, and Twink, a twitchy male prostitute played by Connor Sweeney, in killing the monster named Chris Fuchman.
Mackenzie Murdock plays The Fuchman, a murdering rapist cannibal who specializes in penetrating the sweet, sweet asses of Tromaville’s fathers, with restrained relish. When it comes to creep factor, Murdock’s performance is right up there with Laurence R. Harvey’s turn as Martin in THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE). In fact, The Fuchman may have one up over ol’ Martin due solely to the fact we never saw Martin gnaw on a severed penis. Oh, you scamp.
FATHER’S DAY is not a movie afraid to get a little gross. Plenty of severed heads, fake entrails and copious amounts of blood and guts make the movie a wet, nasty piece of cinematic junkfood – the kind you binge on after a night of heavy drinking. What makes the hardcore gore medicine go down smooth, though, is the genuinely impressive comedic timing on display in FATHER’S DAY. The film is funny. Startlingly funny.
From the visual gut punch packed within the first few minutes of FATHER’S DAY (I haven’t seen this much anal rape in a movie since FLY AWAY HOME), you might expect to be in for a bleak, gnarled out kick in the crotch of a movie but instead audiences are treated to something slightly askew from reality and a whole lot funnier than anybody might have been initially expecting.
Don’t expect over-the-top parody of grindhouse films, though. While the movie certainly takes its visual cues from the genre, FATHER’S DAY finds humor in far more exotic locals than simple parody. Much of the comedy in FATHER’S DAY comes from subdued dialogue played completely straight.
Much like the absurdist humor in Carton Network’s Adult Swim lineup, the movie doesn’t beg for your laughter. Instead, the film presents its own unique brand of funny and leaves it up to the audience to respond. If you don’t find it funny, you can go sit on a plunger – business end up. If you do find it funny, you can do the same thing — difference is, you’ll probably enjoy your date with a plunger.
What’s so impressive about FATHER’S DAY is its willingness to stretch its limits and go for broke with scope. It’s obvious the film had a limited budget (though, to be fair, it’s also by far the slickest and best looking film Troma has put out in a while), FATHER’S DAY doesn’t settle for letting its bank account inform its creativity. Through the use of green screens, computer effects and impressive creature designs and make-up, the movie has the scope of a big budget fantasy horror for a fraction of the price. A winning story and script are only enhanced by spectacular production efforts and the whole package is topped off with its raw approach to the subject matter. With far too many indie horror films content to recycle the same old tired slasher plots and zombie crap, it’s refreshing to see a movie willing to take audiences on a journey to hell – literally.
FATHER’S DAY is the type of movie that you just don’t get the chance to see very often. That’s why it deserves your support. Wherever you may see it playing — even if that screening calls for a road trip – seize the opportunity. Watch it on the big screen while you have a chance. Buy the DVD when it’s released. Just see the damn movie and prepare to have your mind blown. If you’re polite about it, the movie might even swallow.
Follow Robert Saucedo on Twitter @robsaucedo2500.