Writer/Director – Damien Leone
Dread Central Presents
an Epic Pictures Release
Runtime – 85 minutes
Why does it seem that most people are afraid of clowns? Some deathly so. Perhaps it has something to do with a gent plastered lovingly across an Acid Bath album cover (When the Kite String Pops). A mysterious fella who liked to bury his special (young) friends in the crawl space beneath his house when they had outlived their apparent usefullness? Perhaps Stephen King is to blame…”we all float”, a red balloon, a sewer grate, a blockbuster remake and all that jazz.
But we aren’t kids. We’re adults. Though the fear still persists no matter the colorful garb, the trademarked facial make-up or shtick, people are refusing to visit the circus like never before, it’s true!
Art is one of the aforementioned and the main character in Terrifier (as if you couldn’t tell from the artwork that accompanies this film). His appearance invokes that of a French mime. And it should come as no surprise that he doesn’t say much. In fact, his actions speak louder than words. He has a “schtick”. He’s great at what he does and let’s just say you don’t want to be a part of his act. Art is more than merely creepy, he’s damn terrifying. Art is relentless. But Art also likes to dramatically express himself, this is admittedly the element that lends the movie its dark as pitch themed comic relief.
Aside from that Art likes to slaughter. His tools are far from the ordinary, familiar yes, but not nessisarly those one might assume utilized in the situations at hand. Arts demeanor is that of a seasoned performer and actuality one (it seems) who doesn’t know when to ‘clock out’. He may don traditional floppy shoes but make no mistake this corpse painted entertainer ain’t here to dance or even evoke the Dark gods with bestial chords (that’s a Black metal referrence for those who aren’t paying attention) although one scene towards the films climax proves he has better uses for his feet.
Terrifier plays out like many a celebrated stalk n slash feature from yesteryear and much like these very same features it also boasts a miniscule storyline. But it works. It doesn’t gum up the works in the slightest, or detract from the on-screen carnage. Neither does the calibre of acting on offer, it’s damn decent.
It should come as no surprise that the fun here is found in the films gloriously depicted crimson soaked scenes, of which there are plenty, the accompanying tension and it’s balls to the wall gallows humor.
Terrifier flows at an adrenaline pace. After the initial introduction of the main characters the viewer is left with wide eyes, a gaping mouth and very little room to breathe.
The main course in the FX department comes by way of a set piece seen many years before in a raw chunk of celluloid out of Germany created by a sick fellow by the name of Andreas Schnaas. The movie in question is Violent Shit (the title about says it all) the scene in question one in which a lady gets filleted from crotch to crown (incidently also the name of a Prostitute Disfigurement album). This scene obviously makes quite the impression. However, Terrifier takes it one step further. The victim appears to be still moving, the FX is stellar and Art is smiling like a pig in shit but let us not forget there’s also a captive audience.
The film continues and Art gets off on smashing, stabbing, slicing, shooting and stomping his way through a small collective of unsuspecting types until the finale where he…
Yea, I’m not going to ruin this one suffice to say if you like your clowns sadistic and your films bloody this is a must see! A feature I looked into because of the surrounding hype and finished with a smile on my chops the likes of which is unfathomably foreign and only makes me appear as if I’ve done something I shouldn’t have.
Terrifier is in essence a love letter to slasher films of the eighties, it’s ink the blood of its victims penned by it’s author the talented Damien Leone.
Don’t let this pass you by, it’s brilliant, brutal and is deserved of the hype.
Scott also had some thoughts about Terrifier. Check out his review here.
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