Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Freak Out (2006)

This had to be made by a fellow horror fan - the film is populated by clever references to classic horror flicks. Not only that, but it features an original and hilarious storyline that simultaneously pokes fun at and pays homage to the horror genre. A great indie film made by horror fans for horror fans.

The plot concerns Merv and his friend Onkey, who happen to find an escaped mental patient in Merv's house. Merv is a horror fanatic that has horror posters plastered over every inch of his room and spends his days watching slasher flicks. When he finds the timid and effeminate mental patient in his shower, he has the brilliant idea of training him to be the next great slasher killer. Merv and Onkey begin training Looney, beginning with dressing him in a fitting outfit for a killer - orange jumpsuit, burlap potato sack over his head and a hockey mask. Next, they train him how to stalk and kill, though Looney's weapon of choice is a spatula. When Looney begins to kill, though, Merv has second thoughts and must stop him before he and Onkey are next.

More of a comedy than anything, this film is more heavy on parody than blood. In this case, I was laughing so much that it wasn't a bad thing. Some will compare it to the Scary Movie franchise, but I believe comparing Freak Out to the banality of those films is quite offensive. Freak Out is a step (or two) above those movies. Sure, it is still silly and features some low brow humor (a major plot point centers on "bum feelers"), but it is catered to horror fans, not dumbed down for general audiences.

Its low budget does show, but not enough to be distracting. Some production whores might be bothered by the slightly shaky camera shots, etc., but those used to independent films won't bat an eye. For an indie, I thought it was shot quite well. My main complaint was the audio. The characters already have accents, and coupled with bad audio and NO subtitles made for a very spotty viewing. The soundtrack, though, is impressively top-notch, featuring mostly unsigned bands, but wow! What a difference in mood a good soundtrack makes!

A very fun movie for us horror fans; some of the best parts were just looking at all of Merv's horror posters, memorabilia, etc. in his room and catching all the nods and winks to other horror films. I have too many other favorite scenes to talk about (how could I pick just one?!), but just know this is a comedy that all true horror fans should appreciate.

Check it out on Amazon!

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