Thursday, July 5, 2012

Father's Day (2011)

I must admit I was sceptical, and I'm rarely that when it comes to movies as you may have noticed over the years. Why? The blame is on Dear God No, the cinematic train wreck that totally destroyed a good and fun premise with being totally talentless. Hard words, but hey... I don't like every movie being made, believe it or not. Both that movie and Father's Day are neo-Grindhouse, inspired by the failed (but to me, brilliant) experiment by Tarantino and Rodriguez. I even enjoyed Machete and Hobo With a Shotgun, even if none of them was perfect in anyway. Father's Day is in the same genre, complete with a pause for commercial in the middle - more on that later on - but succeeds in it's goal.

A one-eyed avenger, a gay male prostitute named Twink and a closeted priest walks into a bar. That's a quite description of what happens in this movie, but with out the boring "funny" twist. Instead we have dark tale of these three characters chasing the brutal serial killer Chris Fuchman, "The Father's Day Killer", who rapes and eats innocent fathers! He's been gone for many years, but when he appears again Ahab, Twink and Father Sullivan has to join forces to stop him for good, because all of them lost a father because of Mr Fuchman. From strip bars and car chases, to hell and heaven, this is the ride of their lives!

I know, this sounds kinda serious - and hell, yeah, it is serious - like all good movies should be deep inside, but it's also filled with slapstick, gore, silly jokes, nudity and sex of all kinds and of course explosions. I felt the same way when watching The Taint, another fine movie from 2010. This is made by people who have mature minds, but immature humour. And together that becomes a lot of love and passion. Like always in my case I fall in love with characters, Ahab, Twink and Father Sullivan feels like real humans in a twisted way, not only because the actors do a good job, but because there's some serious interesting twists with their characters. Ahab, a (very handsome) macho-hero who dare to be weak, Twink, a gay guy who are allowed to be gay and Father Sullivan who is way more than just a stiff priest. Even if they all have very defined story arcs and - in a way - stereotypical - they also break the rules and stays away from the boring, (hetero) normative Hollywood-crap. Maybe I'm reading to much into this, but I know intelligent people when I see them.

Shot digital, I guess, but processed with the traditional grindhouse-effects like scratches and dirt, this movie looks stunning. I was a little bit afraid first that it would look flat and amateurish, but it's actually a stunning visual cheapie. The colours are vibrant, the handheld camera (hendheld like Cassavetes or the good old seventies) creates a very intimate atmosphere, but there's also bigger, more mainstream shots that rivals a lot of indie-movies I've seen in this genre. It has some problems to. Sometimes the pacing slows down, it feels a bit repetitive, but it's for short moments and never causes any bigger harm.

As for the action and gore this movie delivers a lot of fun stuff. The main action scene is an Indiana Jones inspired car chase with people jumping from car to car, hanging outside with their feet dragging against the road. It's not an expensive sequence, but it looks good and actually quite dangerous. The gore is nowhere near the amount that The Taint delivered, but when it happens it's Gory with a capital G. The effects are really nice and when the movie takes a final twist at the end it gets even more cool and very old-school.

There's a lot of good things to say about Father's Day, but one of my favourite parts is the commercial break in the middle where they show a trailer for the fictional movie Star Raiders. I don't know if I'm correct here, but it feels a lot like a homage to Luigi Cozzi's masterpiece Starcrash! That made me happy!

Father's Day is out on DVD in the UK and it's a wonderful DVD with a neat cover. It has no bonuses though, which is a disappointment. I've heard about a blu-ray coming out and if that's true - and it's region all - I will upgrade this directly.

It's not a movie for everyone, but it sure is a movie for me. And that's what counts here.


Micke said...


Har du recenserat The Serpent And The Rainbow? I så fall, var kan man läsa den recensionen?

Ninja Dixon said...

Tjena! Du kan hitta den på min gamla gamla blogg :)

Tänkte recensera om den här på Ninja Dixon förr eller senare!

Anonymous said...

"inspired by the failed (but to me, brilliant) experiment by Tarantino and Rodriguez."

I sorta liked both their films but I have a problem with neo grindhouse....people are being too nostalgic.

But hey, most of it is entertaining.

"It has no bonuses though, which is a disappointment."

Too bad....they could have at least put a behind the scenes featurette on the DVD.

I haven´t seen this one thanks for the tip, Ninja.


Ninja Dixon said...

I agree, I personally hate nostalgia. But I love good movies, whenever they are made :)