-MONTHLY FILM & TV REVIEW-
cast: Andrew Roth, Kamillia Kova, Dina Cataldi, Gary Marz, and Tiffany Scott
director: David R. Williams (co-directed by Mike Boharch)
102 minutes (n/r) 2007
Brain Damage DVD Region 2 retail
reviewed by Paul Higson
Really, don't bother! Like Andrew Lloyd Webber it has no redeeming features. When writing
a review I try in those few short paragraphs to capture an essence of the film under report.
If the work is gentle and intelligent, I would try and honour it with a thoughtful, if not
prose, if able elegiac, response. If the work is vulgar, I use the same rude language (be
the original verbal or visual) of the original. It is a practice that could backfire; the
idea is a tonal shortcut to understanding the style of the film and the mentality of its
makers, but without regular explanation people might think me a suitable subject for study,
that writer with the personality disorder. If a film is the result of little effort, so will
my review be. David R. Williams' Frightworld is frenetic, clumsy, a cluttered rubbish
tip of ideas across which dialogue has been vomited. To mimic this film on its attempted style
would call on too much work on my behalf, and successfully reproducing that ineptitude is too
much of a risk to any reputation I have. The thought of giving this film much more of my time
I went in initially for a taster when checking the disc and the sample bore a film of noisy
dishevelment. The sample was not representative as the total film proved to be a cumbersome
bore. Inept, moronic, rambling and pathetic are four words that roundly sum up Williams'
Frightworld. It is not alone either and, worryingly, these films are finding a release
here in the UK. Given the limited audience and shelf space there must surely be something better
out there that releasers can pick up on the cheap. I-Movie and similarly cheap and available
movie-making packages give anybody the capacity to complete a feature film. Rather than enabling
and forging new talent the I-Movie generation has resulted in a steady showering of shit. I don't
blame I-Movie, nor suggest it was employed in the making of this film. It was the first easy to
use digital editing package and has allowed the kids to forego the essential tutoring and mentoring.
The inevitable result will be too many youths, cluttering shelves with abysmal work, directionless,
failing to learn anything, running around in a little wheel of self-absorption and ignorance.
Frightworld goes berserk with the 'After Effects', zooming in (and probably never out),
flash editing, negative image, the shots juddering, inverting, sepia toning. Like kids in a
candy store, they have to have and sample everything though, as usual; there is no sense to it.
Hyper is the be all and end all, here, and if something is not moving at breakneck speed then
the halfwit makers declare it old and dead. I recently caught up with Junebug, beautifully
scripted, subtly edited, and shot largely in carefully composed medium, and medium to long, shots
so as not to detract from the unfolding social comedy and drama. These skills are more important
than ever, but are consigned as unimportant by the brash, loud, idiot youth. Frantic cinema fails
to hold its audience. Instead it frustrates and pisses them off.
Frightworld is hopeless, the movie equivalent of diarrhoea, a discharge of indescribable
mulch. There is ineptitude on a grand scale. A gut munching serial killer with a supernatural
backdoor ability is fatally wounded and crawls off into a warehouse where stored are the bankrupt
stock of a horror Disneyland. The props are discovered years on and a new horror-themed fun-land
is to be run up out of the scrap. Jack (Andrew Roth) and Albino (Jess Weber) invite friends and
the friends of their friends to test the environment and party on like the morons they are. Kat
(Kamillia Kova) loses her virginity to Jack from which she bleeds. Her bleed allows the return
of the serial killer possessing the assembled one by one and also killing them in turn. Gore spills,
mutilated carcasses turn up and the camera has an anxiety attack with each slaying. The viewer is
often forced to try and see the horrors through some peripheral vision. Cops do not behave like
cops, people do not talk like people, and blood does not flow like blood. The backdrop is a genuine
nightclub attraction that also looks unforgivably naff.
The pre-credits sequence runs 13 minutes, the credits a further five, and we are informed that
this is no ordinary flick but a "film projekt" by David R. Williams. 'Projekt!' Arsehole!
The film feels like a free for all. Could the horrendous dialogue actually have been written,
attributable to a man, or were the cast instead invited to ad-lib and talk random shit. I suspect
that some of it was learned from a page, though not rehearsed, a some actors do not know how to
pronounce certain words and names (this is a world away from the intelligent bright young cast of
Five Across The Eyes),
Williams has clearly just nabbed anyone willing to step in front of his cameras in bad 1980s' rock
Once you can discern what Crystal Gonzales is saying (the sound is dreadful) she is protesting
a verdict that 'slasher films' are "my-sodge-in-his-tick." Verden Fell (Gary Marz),
the killer, professes himself to be the latest in a long line of supernatural evil assisted
maniacs including "Jack the Ripper, Hitler" and "Pell (sic!) Pot." The dialogue
is rambling rubbish, a lot of it elusive innuendo. Here, try some. "I have something he can
fix. It ain't broken but it needs fixing." ... "Hey, when you got a itch, you gotta scratch."
... "You know what they say about clowns, the bigger the shoe, the smaller the dick." I'm so
proud of you all. Sickboy is branded a "sick fuck" because he snuck off for some straight
sex that he and his partner disappeared to indulge in. If the missionary position out of sight is
perverse to these people then we should not be surprised when Kat is revealed to be a virgin despite
dressing like a Goth whore from an Electric Blue of the 1980s. Oddly, Kat does speak with an
English accent and looks uncannily like Kat Slater from EastEnders.
We learn that fences were not put around cemeteries to keep the living out but the dead in.
Jack spouts a lot of crap in selling his fun-land to others. "Those who speculate say
the dead can be found here at the right time of night... Around every corner a new fear you
never had becomes conscious and a fear you thought you never could have begin right here and
now. Was it too late to turn around or did you and not just realise it. In the end everything
looks the same..." Later, on the killer, they "shot him in, presumably to death."
Even the death metal lyrics on the soundtrack seem to be joining in the claptrap: "Swimming
in the blood of my own tears." Acid Poptart (Dina Cataldi) seems only to be capable of
psychotic outpourings: "But if I die, I swear, I will kick your ass sideways. I will pull
your ass over your head and tear-cut your throat." No way to talk to a friend. The disc
includes a trailer as if you needed reminding how crap Frightworld is. I meanwhile, have
clearly spent too much time on this film and will sink into a afternoon depression.