Friday, December 16, 2016


Written & Directed By: Mickey Keating 
Cinematography By: Mac Fisken
Editor: Valerie Krulfeifer 

Cast: Ashley Bell, Pat Healy, Alan Ruck, Larry Fessenden, James Landry Hebert

Part crime caper gone awry, part survival horror film, this 1970s set thriller depicts a harrowing fight for survival after a pair of wannabe crooks botch a bank heist and flee into the desert, where they inexplicably stumble upon Carnage Park, a remote stretch of wilderness occupied by a psychotic ex-military sniper.

Brings back the the mood and style of a grindhouse film. Without having as much as the exploitive material. So that it plays knowingly it's hand but had more modern values of having the craziness but not having as much excess when not needed.

The film plays off beautifully as we get back stories on each character to find out how they got into their predicament that we find ourselves more in the middle in once we are introduced to various characters and how they eventually cross each other's path. Not to mention carry one another's fate throughout.

The film feels bigger than it actually is, as by the end you notice how minimal the film actually is in story, location and characters. Director Mickey Keating seems to have a weakness for having his lead actresses wear ridiculous volume of mascara only for him to smear it later as it cloaks all around their eyes to almost represent black eyes or bruises that the character will take physically and emotionally either done to them or self inflicted.

As always Pat Healy makes the most out of playing the main villain. Here he is more obvious, diabolical and deranged. Though eh makes his villain seem here more like he is having a good time and defending his property. Though seems to make a game out of it for his own enjoyment and would seem at home with the family from TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.

The film can be seen as inspired by Quentin Tarantino for the twisty and twisted nature of the film that seems to want to reveal and then add something to that revelation to keep the story somewhat unpredictable. It also seems like an homage to the genre whole telling it’s own tale, by taking a bit from here and there and using it for it’s own purposes. While staying totally original. The film is violent bit it’s tone seems to be not only a tribute to films like these made in the 70'a but also wanting to represent like it was actually made back then. Only here with no irony or sense of humor about itself. This is a welcome change. As he film plays like it could have been made back in time.

So much so that even the beginning credits flash by so fast so that the film can get into the action and even has the stalking of a victim whole they are flashing.

Throughout the film is more about the character Vivian discovery of the this land as well as previous victims and trying to escape both the psychopath and his many traps. While a sheriff who is also Investigating the crimes and disappearances the psychopath tries to find the victim, He has heard screaming as well as collect evidence.

Though never introduced the film feels like it is on a time clock as each Minute passes it has an anxiousness that everyone is running out of time and the killer is just too happy to get it over and done with even if it means he might have to wait awhile for more victims to come along.

He makes it seem too easy while also never underestimating his victims. The film has a simple story but is quite expressive in visuals and direction. Though it takes awhile for the confrontations you are waiting for they are made worth it.

This is the second film out this year by director Mickey Keating and both in different genres. He also gives each film a distinction of different style. Even if both feel inspired by the genres they are a part of rather than any particular films.

Though his films also seem to be exact to what they are productions rather than any type of reality. Which is fine as they work as genre exercises that are entertaining as well as give a sense of originality.

They also never go where you believe them to be headed. Though you would believe the films would focus more on style and mood they also surprisingly work when it comes to the characters painting them more full blooded the. Most films of their type.

Here the film feels like road movie before becoming more a hunting movie with human life as the prey. Creating a horrifying unhinged characters who works like a slasher in a horror film though it is all the more scarier that he is just a plain old crazy and demented. Doing this rather randomly

Though don't last as long as you had hoped for. As the movie moves along it becomes more about survival and thrills more than any kind of dialogue or plot.

There definitely is a vision at work here. I only wish it was more exciting or somehow grabbed the audience more.

Grade: B-

No comments: