Wednesday, August 26, 2009
THE TOY BOX aka THE ORGY BOX (1971)
D. Ronald victor Garcia
Something weird DVD
Bizarre one, even for the likes of Something Weird Video's output. What we have here is a soft-core sex romp from East Germany, apparently shot both in Germany and in Los Angeles and completely post dubbed and unleashed by Harry Novak on unsuspecting drive-in viewers across the USA. Overflowing with sexual kinks and honest perversion, THE TOY BOX has several truly arousing moments and more dime-store surrealism than you can shake your dick at. Constantly twisting, turning, and folding in on itself, this is a movie of either weird brains, or total insanity. I'm going with the latter. But either way, it's irrelevant because it's pervasively entertaining.
Donna (Blond bombshell Ann Myers) tells us in voice over while driving in the rain that two years ago her hirsute boyfriend Ralph (the mustached Sean Kenny billed as Evan Steel) lured her into a life of sin and debauchery for show. See, she and Ralph put on little sex shows for someone they call Uncle for pay. Seems that every month, lots and lots of horny sex tourists get together and hold a contest on who can turn the most creative kink for the old man. We then get a flashback on how Ralph convinced her when he gave her a vibrator for her birthday and she popped her cherry with it on the front seat of his car when he went to the bathroom. Actually, he was watching to see if she was sexual enough to go the distance, and when she finds out she says to herself "you didn't make me do it, it was all ME!"
Once they arrive at Uncle's house, the rumor is that he's dead. They journey upstairs to find a blue corpse of the old man, but this doesn't sway anyone from continuing with the show as they all assume it is just more of his party tricks. While the swinging and orgy commences downstairs, various people come upstairs and put on their little acts of sexual superstardom. The most entrancing of these is not surprisingly Ushci Digart, who is molested by bedsheets that come alive and caress her mammoth mammories and massage her mound of female protrusion. Once she mounts the pile of quivering 100% cotton, all bets are off. Unfortunately, she's not in the movie enough. There is another really hot blond lass with medium chest pillows and glasses, but she sadly takes the glasses off before going down on her partner.
The audience soon finds out that some sort of alien force is making these people kill each other, with only Ralph and Donna realizing there are murderous shenanigans going on! That maybe Uncle is an Alien!
The whole thing is a set up for a series of soft core sex scenes, some of which are hot, most of which are kind of bland, all depending on the performer. Oddly enough, the individual sex scenes are all well shot, as if the director became really interested during those particular days and put his all into them. The colored gels come out, the camera starts moving, the special lenses get used. Things just get more impressive all over. But don't let that fool you into thinking the rest of the movie is not entertaining. Quite the contrary: the inane narration, bizarre mise-en-scene and overall cheapness keeps this thing watchable at all times. This is a cheap jack winner!
THE COLLECTOR (2009)
D. Marcus Dunstan
This amazingly brutal slasher picture is in a lot of ways a throwback to the horror films of the early 80s in that it is played absolutely straight. No funny business, no one liners, no bullshitting around with the audience to make them feel comfortable and safe. No hedging of the bets so there will be T-shirts and lunch boxes and other crap that the Hot Topic crowd will talk about as they paint their fingernails black while waiting for the next TWILIGHT book and discussing who will play Pinhead in the remake of HELLRAISER. Nope. THE COLLECTOR is the real deal. Is it perfect? Not by a long shot. But it is pretty damn good, and very serious, and these days that counts for a whole lot in my book.
The film is about a young locksmith/thief, played by Josh Stewart, who has cased a country home owned by a rich family. The family are basically decent people, with two daughters, one a young girl, the other a 17 year old sexpot. He has agreed to rob them because his own girlfriend is in hock to a local loan shark, putting his preteen daughter directly in danger and forcing him to come up with the money by midnight to get them out of trouble. When he breaks into the home that night the family is supposed to be out of town, yet he finds that he is not alone in the house: someone else has broken in right before him and wired the entire home with intricate booby traps that do things like cut off fingers if you open windows, or impale you if you go out doors. He then discovers the parents are alive in the basement and have been tortured with the intention of being "kept". The youngest daughter is alive somewhere in the house hiding, and the other daughter is out on a date with her boyfriend. Both are in danger of this rampaging murderous psychopath still in the house.
You have to suspend your disbelief to get into the movie right away with the idea that someone could set up all of these traps in one day, plus we never really know too much of why he would do it, as the movie is not exactly heavy on plot details. But this isn't really a plot piece, it's an adrenaline movie that pumps you up and keeps you scared. With that it works. The killer is creepy as hell with his black S+M mask that looks like the black leather version of Decker from NIGHTBREED. But unlike many other killers in horror films, he is fast and vicious. Once he zeroes in on someone, he attacks - no slow stalking, no Michael Myer's walking while they run. He jumps in and BOOM: he's on them, slashing, stabbing and tying them up with barbed wire. Juan Fernandez plays the killer and it's an incredibly physical performance. Readers may remember him from several Charles Bronson programers, such as the ultra scummy KINJITE where he played a flesh peddler who was the first guy in a train run on a 13 year old girl in one of the most repellent scenes I have ever seen in a movie. He also showed up in several Ferrera films over the years, as well. Now he gets to add another nasty villain to his repertoire.
I'm sure many people will have complaints about the level of violence and torture in the film, especially considering that the writers and director have done the last several SAW films. But I felt that the material here was pretty justified and intense. Never did I feel like I was invited to enjoy the suffering the people on screen were going through (as has sometimes been leveled at the SAW or especially HOSTEL). I felt for these people and their plight, making it all the worse to bear out. Which is the point. I was genuinely afraid and disturbed for the characters on screen.
This is the strength of the movie. The characters, though not given a lot of characterization, are at least recognizable and likable. Especially the lead. It was refreshing to have a hero who was flawed, but still trying to do the right thing. Several times in the movie he makes some cowardly and bad decisions, so he's far from perfect and I liked that. It made me feel for him a lot more than I would some stupid teenager who only wants to get laid or high.
Technically the movie is outstanding with incredible editing, and really sweet cinematography. It does get a little too dark once things get trapped in the house, but overall it is a visually striking film, with really great use of color and moving camera. The soundtrack is terrific too, with intricate and unsettling sound design and tremendous use of discordant industrial music throughout, including Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead" in a key moment. My only complaint in that area was the opening credits that were way too much like the movie SE7EN.
I'm making this sound like a little classic, and it really isn't. The plot is thin, and there are holes a plenty. But the good outweighs the bad by a far margin. Just be prepared to get a balls-out, in-your-face movie that doesn't intend to play nice with you. They really don't make them like this much anymore. This is horror without a safety valve and I appreciated that.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
D. William A. Graham
USA Home Video (VHS O.O.P.)
1.33 Made For TV
This made for TV drama is probably out of place on a blog titled Exploitation Nation as there is really nothing very exploitative about it, though it does deal in potentially nasty material. David Soul, most known from Starsky & Hutch, plays Cal a blue collar man who is arrested one morning bright and early for rape. He is quickly tried and sent to prison for 30 years in a special correctional institute for sexual offenders that specializes in therapy and treatment. He maintains his innocence of course, even though he is befriended by the other inmates who are very open about being rapists. The thing is, they are RECOVERING rapists. See, they are all under the care of the head doctor Borski, played by James Whitmore, who is using experimental regression therapy and other psycho-analytical therapeutic techniques to get these men to confront their inner demons. In the process, figuring out why they committed the crimes they have. The supporting cast of thugs and rapists are played by some outstanding actors such as Yaphett Kotto, Craig T. Nelson, Tom Noonan, and a very young Robert Davi. Naturally our lead dude eventually relents that he indeed did commit the crimes he was accused of, and in fact, more than he was caught for. Then the movie begins the journey into his past to see what made him the man he is today.
Rage is a liberal humanist look at how to deal with monsters. As a character study it is an interesting movie that holds together thanks to earnest and heartfelt performances from the pretty much the entire cast. Even TV heavy Vic Tayback throws in a few memorable scenes. But the problems are in that the psycho analysis that is supposed to explain why this man hates women and has become a rapist is pretty thin to say the least. The screenwriters really screw up in one scene by giving us a flashback to his childhood trauma that is almost laughable. Where as no other moment for any character provides any flashbacks to their pain. Instead we watch and listen to them acting out what happened and it is chillingly effective. But for the lead we instead are shown this cackling fat woman with a kid's hand being pushed towards her, and instead of it being horrifying, it is just kinda lame. Maybe its years of hearing child abuse stories in hundreds of other movies but this trauma seems so mundane that it would seem to hardly register on someones radar these days. NOOOO don't make me touch the fat lady!!!
The idea of humanizing a group of rapists for an entire movie as we see what makes them tick may seem like a bit of poor taste for a film. The movie unfortunately leaves the victims and women’s viewpoint pretty much out of it. Even the lead’s long suffering wife refuses to leave him, even after she is told the truth. The horror of rape is mentioned several times, but it is never really felt, as they all seem like pretty good guys just going through a rough spell in their lives. The movie really could have used a counter balance character of someone who was in there who really just got off on the power trip of the crime and could not be rehabilitated. But then that would fly in the face of the thesis of the movie I suppose. The therapy session scenes are kinda creepy too in that they are all touchy feely with the characters all rubbing and touching each other a little too much for comfort. I know if I was dredging up all kinds of memories about being molested as a child, the last thing I would want is some sex offender rubbing my naked belly.
So this movie is a bizarre little curio from a period when made for TV movies tried to tackle serious issues and attracted very good actors because of it. It is not a great movie, but it has some value. But its no I Spit On your Grave!
Killer’s Delight aka The Sport Killer aka The Dark Ride (1979)
D. Jeremy Hoenack
Code Red/ Media Blasters
Fairly tame but well made thriller based on the Ted Bundy murders that was made while the slayings were still going on. The movie opens with a van stopping on a side of a San Francisco hillside and a man getting out carrying a nude girl. He throws the body into the air and it freeze frames on her flying corpse and the title comes up. Except it is the title The Sport Killer, not the on package title Killer’s Delight which is never really explained anywhere. The movie kicks in with another murder of a young woman who is hitchhiking with her shaggy dog. she is picked up by this same van. Cut to later and a bevy of cops led by James Luisi as Detective Vince De Carlo. Seems a man and his son found her nude corpse at the bottom of a gulch with the dog. One rather haunting shot shows the dog, still alive refusing to leave the side of his former owner’s nude corpse. As the EMT’s are taking the body away we hear the little boy who found them ask if the dog is alright. A fairly realistic touch I thought. The movie has been on seven minutes and there has been two murders already.
The film settles into a fairly routine police procedural at this point with De Carlo bringing in San Francisco police Detective Mike (played by Martin Speer) to help him with the case since there have been murders of young women in his jurisdiction too. They hit the pavement together to tract down the killer who isn’t slowing down. The killer begins targeting girls at a local swimming pool. The disappearances there cause the cops to stake it out, but this only gets the pretty young pool attendant killed on one of the films more harrowing scenes. You really think she won’t get killed since movies tend to let this type of girl go. But not in this case. And the killer still manages to elude the cops and pick up more girls from this area, as he escalates his crimes. It becomes a cat and mouse situation, as the cops end up having to break some laws to figure out who he is, and then the heat is on.
The movie has some sleazy moments, as the opening credit shot will suggest, such as when the killer strips down two teens in his van (one with early large fake breasts) and begins to break her fingers and arm. But the kills scenes are at their most effective when we see the aftermath and the film shows them as b/w crime scene style stills. You have to remember this was 1979 before the deluge of TV true crime shows were this kind of thing was the norm. So this was a pretty groundbreaking way to present the material. And it is still striking and effective today. Once the killer’s identity is revealed and we get the standard Mommy fixation reasoning it loses its footing and becomes a bit more of a standard thriller. But a lot is to be said for the nihilistic, punch you in the nuts ending that only the 70’s could get away with.
The DVD is really nice, with a great picture. Code Red (with Media Blasters releasing) has done a terrific job restoring an obscure movie. The ultra low budget almost never shows, except maybe in the scenes when they are talking to the police captain, were it is clearly not in a a police station at all. The DVD is loaded with extras, including deleted scenes with George Buck Flower. Unfortunately these scenes have no audio as the sound track for these scenes were lost over time. There is a very short interview with the director and actor John Karlen who you may remember from some Hammer films and the great Daughter of Darkness. Plus an alternate opening credit sequence using the title The Dark Ride.
Altogether it isn’t a groundbreaking film, but it is at times a tense one, and certainly well made. The camerawork and editing are consistently strong, and the acting is top notch. So for a low budget film it is first rate and well worth recommending.
The Black Panther (1977)
D. Ian Merrick
This British lensed True Crime pic is easily one of the most clinical and cold films ever put to celluloid. While not as good, it ranks up there with the German film Angst in cold blooded depiction of crimes.
The Black Panther tells the true tale of one Donald Neilson (formerly Donald Nappey in real life who had changed his name because of the bullying he took over the last name because that is British slang for a diaper) who was responsible for the deaths of several burglary victims and ending with a 17 year old heiress he kidnapped. This film wasted no time getting to the screen as the case has just wrapped up literally the year before in 1976.
The film opens with Neilson in the woods performing what appears to be survivalist duties. But it turns out to be is his woods bound hideout for a robbery attempt. But this attempt sets the stage for those to come as he bungles it when someone finds him rummaging about and he flees without any of wares. Though back in the woods he does an admirable and thorough job of dismantling his campsite so there is no trace of his presence.
We soon see that he has a wife and teenage daughter that he treats horribly. Commanding them around like he is a drill Sargent in the army and they are his recruits. Even the tiniest infractions are met with his disdain. he spends hours alone in his room pouring over blue prints and photos from the city plotting his next robberies. When he is not doing that he is remembering his time in the war with pictures and warm memories.
But his robberies never go as planned. He dons a black hood and manages to show some skill getting into the places (usually post offices or general stores) but he always has to go that extra step and get keys or what not from people who live attached to the places and ends up facing off with unexpected people. He doesn’t set out to kill anyone, but they meet his shotgun anyway.
The press label the murderer The Black Panther because the surviving family members describe a man in a black hood. When he sees a newspaper article about a teenage heiress who recent was awarded a huge amount of money in the death of her parents. He sets his sights higher for some kidnapping and extortion. He finds a storm tunnel underground that is rarely used and makes that the place where he will store his captive. Unlike his other adventures, this one goes off without a hitch. He gets the girl and gets her into the drain, ties up and she cooperates. his complex plan of leaving notes, having her family makes calls and set up meetings is put into motion. Naturally the family call the police, which is what screws it up and things do not go as planned.
As I stated before this is a cold, calculated movie. It isn’t really a character study as you don’t get much characterization from anyone, especially the lead. This film is much more interested in laying out the facts as they happened. And from what I understand it does so as close to reality as possible.
Donald Sumpter plays the lead role (he can most recently be seen in David Cronenberg’s crime drama Eastern Promises) and is chilling. He plays this guy as a wound spring. Tight, rigid and waiting to blow. But he only blows in small fragments, just long enough to make a mistake and kill someone. Then he heads right back into his shell and is rigid and rock solid again. he’s living some sort of paramilitary superman fantasy that we never are really clued into, but it is clearly there in the performance.
The version of this I saw was from a well worn VHS that I got from a bit torrent site. So I have no idea where it exists. I keep thinking this might be in one of those 50 pack DVD sets, but I may be getting it confused with another film called Day of the Panther.Andy Copp
Screen caps and ripp from empoapes at cinemageddon
Monday, August 3, 2009
D. Marcel Sarmiento & Gadi Harel
Dark Sky Films
This extreme and intense indie flick is a caustic, smart and VERY disturbing sexual horror film that turns the zombie myths on its rotting head. The movie is deep with themes of gender roles, sexuality, sexual politics etc., but never gives easy answers to the very tough questions it raises. Taking typical teen roles that most are familiar with in horror and layering them with emotion and political discussion, Deadgirl stands well above the pack.
The movie starts out with pretty boy high-schooler Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) making pouty faces at raven haired beauty JoAnn (Candice Accola) until his trouble-making buddy J.T. (Noah Segan) convinces him to skip school with him. They cut out and talk about girls, sex and other normal teen boy talk until they get to an abandoned metal facility on the edge of town. After going inside and partying as much as two boys can, they explore and find a bound, nude, teenage girl, whom at first they think is dead. When she moves, they are shocked. Rickie's first reaction is to go to the cops, but J.T. has other plans when his libido takes over. The boys get into a scuffle and Rickie leaves his friend there to rape the girl. The next day Rickie confronts J.T. only to discover that J.T. has killed the girl, but she is not dead. J.T. kills the girl AGAIN to prove his point and she still doesn't die. The boys are now faced with having an undead sex slave who will be able to do anything that can be dreamed up, since she cannot fight back, and there is technically no accountability for their actions. Soon other teen boys come into the fray and things get even weirder.
Some may accuse the movie of being misogynistic because of the material, but it isn't really. It is a film ABOUT misogyny. A film about how boys (and men) objectify women as sex objects to the point that they become nothing but meatholes to be passed around for fun. The movie asks a lot of questions about how this can come to be: whether it is the nature of masculinity? Peer pressure? A bonding experience? Acting out of latent homosexuality? Trying to prove oneself? Or just emotional power-playing? Rickie is the only boy in the film who manages to withstand the elements, clearly having feelings for someone, but that presents its own set of complications.
Another interesting element to the film is the complete absences of parents in the film. We see Rickie's Mom's boyfriend twice, trying to give Rickie some advice on how to be a "Real Man", but we never see his mother at all. No other parents appear. This lack of parenting, or any other adults for that matter, shows the vacuum these kids live in, and what creates these kinds of attitudes and lost kids. Most, if not all of this can be attributed to Trent Haaga's brilliant script that refuses to answer the questions, or even better, gives you "rules" to go by. The girl is never even called a zombie in the movie, she just "is" with no explanation given. The script is all about character and the degeneration that they fall into. It should be mentioned that Trent Haaga also wrote the shot on video zombie movie FEEDING THE MASSES, and that some of the ideas that are presented here obviously got their start in that movie as well. Nowhere near as good, but some parallels are visible.
The film is very low budget, but is shot beautifully, directed really well by the duo of Marcel Sarmiento & Gadi Harel and edited great care. It only falls down slightly with some acting that is a little weak from a couple of newcomers that are clearly not quite seasoned enough for the tough material. The kids have been in some other films but usually in supporting roles, and at times here feel like they lose their feet on occasion. Especially Noah Segan as J.T. who slips into over the top mode now and again, trying to put on a country boy accent for some reason, as well.
Easily, this is one of the best horror films I have seen in a long time, indie or otherwise. It is doing a few select theatrical play dates around the country, midnights and such, so try to get your local art house to book it.
D. Paul Yule
Made For British TV
Fascinating and well done documentary made at the height of the moral panic fueled by the American Family Association attacking the National Endowment For The Arts in late 1989 and 1990. The artists that got their ire up were primarily Andres Serrano, the late Robert Mapplethorpe, and oddly enough rap group 2 Live Crew who ended up getting the most mileage out of the whole situation. This documentary is broken up by the on-stage comedy of Jimmy Tingle, and at first it seems like a really bad idea to have a comedian break up the proceedings to at levity to the proceedings, but it actually works well because his comedy is very topical and fairly caustic in keeping with the material at hand. His stand-up is used more as a Greek chorus to the points being made than as a cool down place to laugh.
First off, we meet Donald Wildmon, the man who started the whole ball rolling with his American Family Association, a Christian watchdog group that spends millions of hours watching TV and movies and listening to music to catalog all the indecency and offense to Christians. The idea is to put pressure on the networks, studios and advertisers to get them to back off because Christians want cleaner entertainment. Wildmon, sometime circa 1989, gets wind of Andres Serrano's controversial photograph "Piss-Christ" and wages war. He gets even more pissed off when he discovers that Serrano and many of the galleries at which his work has been shown have received grants from the National Endowment For The Arts and alerts uptight Senator Jessie Helms. Soon all hell is breaking loose on the Senate Floor as Healms and fellow conservative prick Alfonse D'Amato attack Serrano, The NEA, and pretty much art in general in an attempt to get the NEA shut down, as well as much of the "offensive" art censored.
Some of the most frightening, yet unquestionably amusing, moments in the documentary are of Helms and D'Amato freaking out when faced with the work of Serrano and most importantly the gay photographs of Robert Maplethorpe. When D'Amato throws some of the photos to the ground in anger declaring the "absolute garbage!" you can't help but to laugh at his outburst. Helms is much more savvy as he takes the nastiest of the Maplethorpe pieces and takes much time explaining how explicit, agonizing, and degrading they are, then explains how he can only hold them up for a split second because the TV cameras "will catch this obscenity".
The other side, thankfully, get their say, too, starting with Serrano who just seems confused by all the fuss. He mentions that he was raised Catholic and that it is his own business to use the iconography of his own faith to explore in his artwork. The documentary shows some of his other work that actually would be more offensive had the people trying to be outraged taken the time to look at what it actually was. But they missed the photos of come shots flying across the room in the hurry to attack the statue of Jesus being defiled.
A huge portion of the documentary surrounds the incident in Cincinnati, Ohio when the Contemporary Arts Center was temporarily shut down and its director arrested for displaying the works of Robert Mapplethorpe. Seven of his photographs were seized as obscene, including pictures of Maplethorpe himself with a bullwhip up his ass, two men engaging in water-sports, and the most controversial of the photos, two involving children with nudity. Not explicit sexuality or activity, just nudity.
Lastly, we explore the case of rap group 2 Live Crew and their album "As Nasty As They Wanna Be," which was declared obscene in several parts of Florida in 1990, resulting in several record store owners jailed for selling it. Eventually the groups lead singer and business owner Luther Campbell was arrested for obscenity for performing the material and lewd conduct on stage. A national free speech firestorm brewed, with 2 Live Crew becoming synonymous with freedom of expression. The irony here being that their music was pretty bad. Had this whole incident not happened they would have been a novelty act that had a small fan base and would've never made it big in the rap world. Musically they are nothing special and their raps are incredibly weak, even for the lightweight late eighties. They didn't create a song worth listening to until their rebuttal to the system that crucified them with the tune "Banned in the USA," but even then they lifted almost the entire musical accompaniment from Bruce Springsteen.
As I write this, President Obama has earmarked fifty million dollars toward the National Endowment for the Arts as part of his stimulus plan for the country. A good portion of that is supposed to help art programs in schools, after-school art programs, neighborhood arts programs ect., but thanks to the likes of FOX NEWS, the media is being told the money is being used by the NEA for "smut projects" and filthy "pornographic art" of which they found a whooping TWO examples: A playhouse in San Francisco running an off-color sex parody play, and a 501 C-3 funded movie theater that has played, god forbid, the movie THUNDERCRACK as a midnight show! FOX NEWS even played clips of THUNDERCRACK while the bubble-headed bimbo, robotic newscaster cried out "THIS IS WHAT YOUR TAX DOLLARS ARE GOING TO!!!"
I fucking WISH my tax dollars were going to something like that. In fact, I wish specifically my tax dollars were going to a restoration of THUNDERCRACK so it can finally get a dvd release. I'd be thrilled about that and I know a LOT Of other people who would be too.
And interview with Robert Mapplethorpe (NOT SAFE FOR WORK!!!)
D. Archibald Francrastin (aka Michael Kennedy)
Synapse Ent. DVD
Based on Edward Lee's short story, and then in turn graphic novel of the same name, this striving-to-be-gore classic fails on nearly every conceivable level. Though throughout the running time of the film my buddy, Nick Williams, continued to tell me, as though it was a comfort, that the movie was truly faithful to the source material, all this did was reinforce that I no desire to read any of Edward Lee's material.
The story as it were deals with a fresh out of prison hillbilly named Travis Tuckton, who comes home to his elderly and disabled grandfather. His clearly insane "Paw" regales him with stories of how all the townsfolk did Travis' Pappy wrong over the years, causing him and his "Maw" to die in a car crash. Pappy also tells him with stories of "headers" the greatest sexual experience known to man, and how, since he is now legless and old, he cannot do them anymore, he'd like to watch his grandson perform them on those who wronged the family. So without wait, they are kidnapping slutty bimbos who just happen to be walking down the sides of the lonely backwoods road, taking them home and cutting holes in their skulls. To fuck. Yes, to fuck. That's the whole joke of the title folks. A Header is to cut a hole in the top of someone's head and skull fuck their brain while they die.
Yes, this sounds really sick and twisted, and even the kind of material you could make a really underground disturbing movie out of. Instead, the movie takes the approach of an over-the-top hillbilly David Mammet, with the (bad) actors droning on and on, spewing forth terrible dialogue - all of which could be considered forced on a generous day. To their credit, they keep their backwoods accents intact for the most part. The film, however, is played as a broad comedy, inviting us to laugh at the absurdity of all of it, and that would be fine if there was a director behind the camera who had the gumption to make it work. But Header just piles each scene of ludicrousness on top of another scene of brain-numbing dialogue, until you literally hurt.
There is a Jim Thompson-styled Noir subplot about an ATF agent, gone rogue because his wife is sick and he needs money for her unnamed illness, who crosses paths with the head-fuckers. But the conclusion that this is going towards is sooooooo obvious that it becomes a moot point after about three minutes, especially after the wife starts spouting medical facts so incorrect everyone should know about.
The climax almost works as it gets a bit more intense and grim, but it comes out of left field, as if it's from a different movie altogether.
The presentation here is fine, especially considering this looks to have been shot on DV. But the movie itself is poorly shot and edited, with rather odd choices for sound work as well. Seems the under the line level of writing and directing continued right into the tech aspects of the film, too.
Sysnapse gives the film the special treatment with a whole host of extra features for those who want to dig in further. Personally, I didn't feel the need to bother with it. A let down for sure.