People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different. In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all. Read on!
Supposedly this film premiered at Fantastic Fest last year to stunningly bad reviews, somehow got picked up by some digital subsidiary of Starz, and is now making the rounds on VOD. I’ve put off watching it for almost two weeks now.
I’m of two minds on the idea of “not knowing where a movie is going”. On one hand, say like Korean revenge thriller I Saw The Devil, the film stealthily pulls you along a formulated path and then boom, pulls the carpet out from under you, leaving you on the edge of your seat, wondering what might come next. In a film like Septic Man though, the debut film from director Jesse Thomas Cook, you start with the stomach-curdling vision of a sick woman puking and shitting for two minutes before thrusting the viewer into the life of a moralistic, well, septic man who’s selected by a top secret, er, something to help rid the town of some, er, plague. It’s so confusing, and to be honest, downright boring, that you never know what the director is going to throw your way. At times it feels like a psychological drama (well, drama is a strong word…) and at others it feels like The Dark Knight Returns version of the Troma classic (well, classic is a strong word…) The Toxic Avenger. At the end of the day though, all of the baffling tonal shifts amount to a guy sitting in a puddle of piss and shit, slowly growing boils on his face. There’s other stuff – two psychotic brothers, some teeth filing, a little necro-cannibalism, a female character who does things – but when all is said and done, Jesse Thomas Cook and crew have made a film that wants to be a gross-out, horror-romp, but turns out to be a confusing, dull mess with a little boil pus and throw-up on the side.
VOD is a dark and dangerous place.