Cast: Bill Moseley, Tiffany Shepis, Jeff Dylan Graham, Tom Towles
Synapse Films / Color / Unrated / NTSC R1 / Widescreen 1.85:1 / Dolby Digital Stereo / 89 mins / Purchase from DiabolikDVD.com
A couple reluctantly go over to a “friend’s” house for a party but soon want to leave their unpleasant host’s hospitality. Before they can, their soiree is interrupted by a man in a suit and tie carrying a briefcase. No one seems to know who he is or how he got there but he isn’t shy about letting them know what he wants. He tells them that all they have to do is tell him who they hate and he will leave them alone. The party goers begin to tell him who they hate and as they do, he inexplicably cuts himself with razor blades from his case. True to his word, when the last person tells him who he hates (the rest of the people in the room), he leaves.
Shortly, the hated people begin to be brutally murdered but since the last joker said he hated everyone in the room, they too are in danger of being hacked and slashed. As they begin to piece together that the “briefcase man” must be responsible, they plan to borrow some firepower from Uncle Johnny (Towles) for their own brand of vigilante justice. The only problem is, we don’t know how stable some of the group is. You know, sometimes drunk rednecks with guns aren’t the most trustworthy lot. With guns a blazin’ and silly redneck antics at full tilt, the inevitable showdown with the killer is at hand and it’s gonna get bloody.
I love a good gore flick. The low budget splatter-fests that keep you pumping your fist and screaming at the TV screen are just fun. The bloody fun can keep you from lamenting your choice of movie. Hell, I can overlook a lot of crap in horror movies, but one thing that keeps me from enjoying one is inept film making that is done with a straight face. Home Sick seemed like it wanted to be gritty, ugly and scary but all it did was give us retarded writing, horrendous acting (I would like to point out that Tiffany Shepis is pretty damn hot, but not even a decent set of knockers can save her acting ability), cringe-worthy dialogue, annoying editing, and a schizophrenic plot. All of that just makes a “serious” movie a big joke.
If you are going for gore-gags galore, fucking do it! If you are making a nasty slasher/giallo, get at it! You wanna do a demonic monster movie? Get to it! Just don’t throw it all in a blender, set it to “whatever” and expect me to jump on board. The sad part is that it started out pretty promising with Bill Moseley channeling “Chop Top” as the creepy dude with the briefcase, then went straight downhill with the comically bad acting and over-the-top, stereotypical characters. Sometimes a movie this awful can be pulled out of the mire by a surprising, shocking or super twist ending, but this one actually got worse in the end. It went from a slasher to a out-of-the-blue monster movie. UGH.
The only real bright spot was the grue, blood and gore. SFX artist Jonathan Thornton outdid himself with some truly gnarly make-up effects. With a competent story and director, Thorton could make a killer movie even killer-er. I was surprised how shitty the sound and picture was considering that Synapse usually puts out a good product. Putting aside the fact that the widescreen wasn’t anamorphic, the 16mm transfer looked like grainy hell. And the sound… oh, the sound… you have to keep your finger on the volume button the whole time to hear the dialogue and to keep from busting out the windows when the screaming starts. It was all just awful. Just… not good at all.