Thursday, 23 March 2017

THE HERETICS - Review By Greg Klymkiw - Canadian Film Fest 2017 - Aesthetic Heresy 4 U

Who doesn't love lesbo action in horror movies?

The Heretics (2017)
Dir. Chad Archibald
Scr. Jayme Laforest
Starring: Nina Kiri, Jorja Cadence, Ry Barrett

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Who doesn't love human sacrifices and devil worship? I know I do. That said, I much prefer seeing these devilish shenanigans in movies that aren't as irredeemably dreadful as The Heretics. This latest low budget horror picture from Black Fawn Films and its chief creative cook and bottle washer Chad Archibald has the dubious distinction of being one of the worst horror films I've ever seen - and that takes some doing.

On the plus side, the movie is replete with babes. One cannot quarrel with horror movies starring babes - however, if they're not naked, as they are not in The Heretics, then one must not only quarrel, but declare all out war. There is one sex scene that has nudity, and while one cannot quarrel with this, the babe doing the bumping and grinding upon the pelvis of a happy fellow is so obviously a body double for the babe who should be naked, but isn't, that all one wants to do is throw in the towel. There is also, happily, some lesbo action. One can NEVER quarrel with lesbo action, but when there isn't enough of it and it's sans nudity, then all one can really do is relax one's sphincter muscles and let loose upon the sapphically-challenged gymnastics.

That's pretty much it for the movie on the plus side, and it comes with qualifiers, so really, there's nothing much good about the movie at all.

Who doesn't love human sacrifice and devil worship?

Well, there are two elements of some genuine merit. Director Chad Archibald is enough of a pro that the camera is usually where it's supposed to be. In a movie that is afflicted with a boneheaded, muddled screenplay, his professionalism is certainly a tender mercy. The other positive element are the costumes and masks for the demon worshipping denizens of the night - very nicely done, but in service to a moronic movie.

Most of the blame must be foisted upon the purported screenplay by Jayme LaForest. Though one must also blame the production company for approving such a dreadful property and a director for even bothering to helm it, the fact remains that someone had to write (or rather, not write) this thing.

In a nutshell, we've got a brunette babe suffering from nightmares. She lives with her Mom in some nondescript suburban dwelling and attends "group". What kind of "group" it actually is seems a bit difficult to ascertain (or maybe I just couldn't bother to figure it out), but it definitely seems to be some kind of self-help kaffeeklatsch in a community hall. Our brunette babe goes to "group" with a lanky carrot-topped babe and the two of them are lovers.

Great eyes almost make up for a lack of acting talent.

One night, our toothy brunette (yes, the leading lady has one nice set of choppers, a great smile and gorgeous ocular orbs) is kidnapped and shoved into a Winnebago. She's secreted away to a cabin in the woods by some geeky guy who secures her with chains. Meanwhile, lanky Red begins a search for her lover when the only policeman in town proves to be ineffectual.

Eventually, geek boy has sex with Toothy and she begins to grow wings.

In the meantime, Lanky Red murders Toothy's Mom and the town's only cop and hightails it to the Winnebago and cabin in the woods. It seems she's the sister of the Geek and there appears to be some strange conflict between the sibs. The Geek wants to save Toothy. Lanky Red Sis wants to sacrifice her.

And yes, there appear to be other "worshippers", but none of them are distinguishable as characters. Then again, not that there are any denizens of this underpopulated movie who can even remotely be considered as characters, but the movie seems unconcerned about this.

Not only is the movie lacking in even the most basic logic, but it's utterly humourless and worst of all, it is, in no way, shape or form, suspenseful. Why it exists is beyond me. Not that Archibald's The Drownsman was actually any good, but even it had a few decent frissons in spite of its pointlessness. His previous film, Bite, however, was not only skillfully directed, but grimly scary and yes, even well written by LaForest, scribe of this woeful demon-worship vehicle.

Not only is the narrative strictly dullsville, but the dialogue is pretty much incompetent. Unfortunately, it's the worst kind of "incompetent" - it's not even bad enough to be unintentionally funny.

This might be the greatest sin of aesthetic heresy.


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The Heretics had its world premiere at Canadian Film Fest 2017