Corpse mutilation! Necrophilia! Cannibalism! And that’s just the first two minutes! Welcome to Father’s Day, motherfuckers! The 2011 film is the twisted brainchild of the five-man Canadian writing/directing team collectively known as Astron-6.
The central plot focuses on an unlikely trio comprised of a vigilante, a priest, and a gay prostitute as they try to track down and kill the murderous father-raping demon known as The Fuchman AKA The Father’s Day Killer. With an insanely low budget of $10,000 the Troma-produced film features enough gut-churning gore to put most of the Saw franchise to shame. So was the end result a worthwhile effort that can stand up against the sea of multi-million dollar horror flicks out there or was it just another overly ambitious indie film that falls short? Well, let’s discuss.
The first thing I want to mention is that you must go into this with the understanding that this is a stylized film and is meant to be viewed as such. The entire movie is an homage to the kind of over-the-top 80’s horror that you’d find a random VHS of on your local video store shelves, back when that was a thing. The look of the film is deliberately degraded, and the entire movie is presented with tongue-in-cheek, overly dramatic plot and dialogue that lovingly mimics the plethora of cheap films that do similar stories in earnest.
It is very difficult to create a film, especially with very limited resources, that successfully emulates and parodies bad films without actually becoming one itself. However, much like Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror, this film was created by filmmakers with enough talent and knowledge of the source material to pull off a movie that really works. This is in large part due to the fact that the film is primarily a self-aware black comedy that incorporates elements of horror and scenes of graphic violence into the plot. What’s more is that the comedic elements of the film actually work and the story is compelling and interesting enough that you want to strap in for the crazy ride and see where it takes you.
The real star of the show here however is the gore, which is cranked up to astoundingly graphic levels. Eyeballs are sliced, heads are smashed in, dicks are bitten off and so much more in horrifying, unflinching detail. If that wasn’t enough for you the film also throws in copious amounts of boobs and taboo-smashing scenes of underage prostitution, incest and many shots of men being graphically raped. Yet all this is done in the context of a story that maintains a fun, goofy feeling and is not meant to be taken too seriously. Add to this some amazing stunt work, like jumping between real moving trucks and actors being set on fire (!), and some incredible otherworldly character and set design and you have a truly impressive indie film. It may not be breaking any new ground in terms of story and film technique but what it does, it does very well.
In conclusion, this is the kind of movie I’m always hoping indie films will be when I put them on. Something that shows a lot of passion and talent from the filmmakers involved and is able to push the boundaries way past what could be made within the Hollywood system. So crack open a cold beer, or six, and enjoy the gleeful insanity of what may be the greatest film Troma ever produces.