Thursday, March 5, 2015
Headless: The Best Way to Get Head
Cast: Shane Beasley, Kelsey Carlisle, Ellie Church, Haley Madison, Brian Williams, Dave Parker, Kaden Miller, Emily Solt McGee
Forbidden Films / Region 1 / Unrated / 1.78:1 widescreen / Stereo / 86 minutes
EXTRAS: Commentary with Arthur Cullipher, writer Nathan Erdel and cast members Shane Beasley, Kelsey Carlisle, Ellie Church, and Brian Williams / Arthur Ycullipher Exposed / Gag Reel / Trailers
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A couple of years ago a movie called Found by Scott Shirmer (based on the book by Todd Rigney of the same name) took the horror community by storm. A very true adaptation to the Rigney story, Shirmer created a visually stunning, suspenseful horror movie with some very disturbing and gory scenes surrounding a small boy who just happens to be a horror movie fan himself. A subplot revolves around the boy watching some of those movies and some scenes are shown to the audience. One of those movies is about a necrophiliac, decapitated-head-fucking madman in a skull mask entitled Headless. Found's DVD release last year contained a 25 minute version of Headless as an extra, so it made sense that it could feasibly be turned into a full-length feature. Enter Found's special effects director, producer and actor Arthur Cullipher who was pegged to direct Headless along with writer Nathan Erdel who also had a bit part in Found. The duo were relatively new to these roles but that didn't stop them from tackling the mission and fleshing out the backstory to the head-raping murderer known simply as "The Killer".
According to flashbacks, he was raised by a terribly abusive mother who blames him for her husband leaving her and a sister who also takes every opportunity to torture him. They lock him in a small dog cage, feeding him scraps and bloody, freshly killed animals. There are also overtones of sexual abuse which result in more shaming and psychological torture. It's no wonder he turns out to be fucked in the head (pun intended). In between flashbacks, we meet a cavalcade of characters in "present day" who are not much more than mere murder fodder for our violently perverted killer. There isn't any more plot than that really, fortunately the cast is a who's-who of New School, Mid Western horror stars like two of my favorite hotties, Haley Madison (Kill That Bitch) and Ellie Church (Time to Kill), both of whom get naked... Oh sorry, I drifted off into "Haley and Ellie are Naked" land. Anywho, it is very surreal to see Ellie rollerskating around topless in a dark, empty roller rink, regardless of her complete hotness.
The most fun character is played by Church's real-life boy-toy Brian Williams (director of Time to Kill) who plays the scuzzy, perverted grease ball "Slick Vick". My favorite role goes to Kaden Miller who plays "Skull Boy", the child incarnation of the killer who guides him. But really, the star is obviously "The Killer". Headless is made to look like it was made in 1978 and the styles of the characters reflect the time period. Like a lot of neo-exploitation and "grindhouse" homages from the past few years, there are film "defects" inserted here and there to show the picture's "age" but we aren't inundated with them to the point of annoyance. It even opens up with a faux trailer for "Wolf Baby", which I can only hope gets made into an actual feature film. There is a shit-ton of gore in Headless and the effects team did a bang-up job making the grue very realistic while at the same time being really over-the-top.
There is a scene reminiscent of the pool scene from Poltergeist with a huge, deep pit of mud and dead bodies. That scene skeeved me out because you couldn't tell where the mud ended and the freshly rotting corpses started. It was very well executed, and could easily have looked like shit. The overall tone of Headless is sort of cheesy and light while showing you some very disturbing shit. It never really delves into the darkness and grittiness that would make you take it too seriously. It's just a fun, entertaining, sleazy gorefest with a fantastic new horror icon played menacingly by Shane Beasley. Even though most of the cast and crew are relative unknowns and beginners, you would never know it by the production values of Headless. It's slick, well acted and briskly paced. Be on the lookout for everyone associated with this sickness because you will see them all around for years to come. I can only hope that someone will turn this into a franchise, giving us the further adventures of Skull Boy and The Killer; torturing, killing and skull-fucking their way across the horror landscape, leaving behind torrents of blood and piles of decapitated bodies in their sleazy wake.