Sunday, 22 February 2015

Headless (2015)

Ok. First there was a film called "found", one of my favourite indie horror films of which I am the proud possessor of an original, uncut DVD. In "found", just like a rather gory Midsummer Night's Dream, there was a film within a film. A kid rents a obscure VHS movie called "Headless", of which we see a short and bloody excerpt. Shortly, due to demand, the director Scott Schirmer said they'd be filming a feature length "Headless" directed by the "found" special effects magician Arthur Cullipher. Yay! I was one of the Kickstarters and, before receiving a proper DVD copy, got to watch a pre-release on Vimeo. Here's what happened...

They've gone for a VHS grindhouse homage (similar to Tarantino and Rodriguez's Grindhouse) with a trailer for a non-existent film called Wolf Baby (which I'd love to see), a dirty, scratched celluloid look and nice period idents. It'll be interesting to see if they can hold up the late seventies feel for the whole 85 minutes. Thankfully the scratches are cleaned up a wee bit before we start the main feature... Headless!

The film starts with a bloody flashback to the original "found" in the opening title sequence which places us in familiar territory and sets up new viewers with a taste of what's to come. Just shy of a hour and a half later, Headless was an extremely gory exploitation flick, with eyeball eating, limb hacking, skull fucking and assorted other juicy, gruey shit. Freddy Krueger this isn't. Headless is relentlessly nasty with just enough narrative to get by. If there's one fault it's that some of the effects are over-used which lessens their impact. A few more imaginative kills would have spiced things up a little.

Cullipher does a good job of getting a real seventies vibe (there's beards, doobies, Farrah cuts and a fucking roller disco!) and there is a real dirty and grainy feel to the movie. Low budget, indie film making of this standard is hard to come by and I recommend it for all you nasty fuckers out there.

Original letterboxd review

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