DVD. Cine du Monde.
part of Cine Du Monde’s mission to release Chad Ferrin’s
entire back catalogue (having started with Easter
Bunny Kill Kill and with Ghouls
to come), the label brings us his debut feature from 2000, an
interesting but deeply flawed descent into the unsavoury.
The problem with this film is a lack of focus. Ostensibly, it
tells the story of James (roger Cline), who crashes his car during
a row with ghastly wife Alice Tamara Knoll), leaving her crippled,
unable to move or speak, and his teenage daughter dead. The shock
of this gradually sends James off the deep end – already
a somewhat unpleasant character (we see in flashbacks that his
feelings towards his daughter were not entirely wholesome), he
now suffers from hallucinations that are triggered by sexual arousal,
and result in extreme violent outbursts.
far, standard serial killer stuff. But Ferrin doesn’t seem
confident that his story is sufficient to fill a full length feature,
and so starts crow barring in side stories and additional characters
that might keep the bad taste levels at a high, but add nothing
to the actual narrative. So we have corrupt carer Barry (Timothy
Muskatel, rehearsing for his role in Easter Bunny),
who is raping and molesting the incontinent Alice, a sleazy drug
dealer / pimp (played by one Wolf Dangler) and a perverted priest,
along with assorted other side-characters who exist only to be
victims, but who’s lives we follow for far too long. All
this tends to distract from the main narrative and feels rather
like padding – not to mention a desire to make the film
as offensive as possible.
It’s a pity, because there are good ideas dotted throughout
this, and moments that hint at what Ferrin would later be capable
of, but they tend to be swamped by the messy structure. Things
are not helped by the crude technical aspects of the film, much
of which doesn’t even seem to be in focus. This is, of course,
zero budget stuff, but by 2000 there were plenty of affordable
digital video cameras on the market and the film really should
look better than it does.
Ferrin’s work is, at its best, challenging stuff and not
for everyone. But I suspect that only the most committed of his
fans will be picking this up. Those fans will, at least, be rewarded
with a solid package that includes a commentary track and video
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