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The Last Horror Movie

Directed by Julian Richards

Written by James Handel

Starring Kevin Howarth, Mark Stevenson, Antonia Beamish, Christabel Muir

Produced by Zorana Piggott

Rated R

80 minutes

What does it say about our society when someone can create a film exhibiting the most awful kind of casual brutality and yet make that film so utterly, utterly boring that it’s almost unwatchable?

Want to find out? Check out Fangoria’s newest release, “The Last Horror Movie.”

So what we have here is the story of a wedding photographer with a dark secret—he’s a serial killer on the side.

And all this time I thought it was the wedding singers that went insane. But I guess between photographing fat drunken uncles in ill-fitting formal wear, various bridesmaids in matching horrible outfits, and inhaling developer roughly four hours a day isn’t exactly a recipe for sanity.

But anyway, Max, the wedding photographer is out documenting his insane antics with the help of a homeless assistant. Max makes quite the charming lunatic, and presents his audience with the mind of a madman. He realizes, to his astonishment, that his audience is shocked by the casual brutality. This leads him to ask the ten thousand dollar question:

“If you’re so horrified, why are you still watching?”

He puts forth one answer:

“You shouldn’t be. And that’s why you are.”

Which of course irritates me to no end. The last thing I need is a serial killer trying to tell me it’s all my fault that he goes off on the killing rampages. This is the most stunning and inventive example of hypocrisy I have ever had the displeasure of witnessing. The serial killer jams chunks of metal into the bowels of innocent people and it’s MY fault because I watch a certain genre of movie.

Sure, Max. And it’s the bank’s fault I’m broke.

And yes, it’s fictional. But frankly, I’ve heard it before, from pretty much everybody who ever wanted to be allowed their crimes in peace. The callousness with which Max admits his crimes is truly alarming, and we’ve heard this before too. Watch the evening news some night, and you might well hear a serial killer admit to his crimes with all the remorse and emotion of a man detailing how many pizzas he ate last year.

It is as plain as the nose on my face, which I personally guarantee is both very plain and also very substantial, that Julian Richards was going for “callous brutality.”

And there’s no doubt he got it. And he got its brother. And he got everything in between and to the sides.

There is also no doubt that “The Last Horror Movie” serves its purpose. Julian Richards wanted to put forth a thought-provoking piece about the nature of maliciousness and satisfaction in life.

What Julian Richards did NOT do, however, was make an entertaining film.

“The Last Horror Movie” wavers wildly between mind-shattering, vicious brutality and mind-shattering, vicious boredom. Long stretches of people eating, Max carrying on conversations seemingly at random, and other, lesser materials are thrown in amidst scenes people being beaten with steel claw hammers.

It is true to life, it is absolutely thought-provoking, and it is as dull as a bag of anvils.

Life is not entertainment. If the reality TV movement didn’t prove that fact conclusively, nothing will.

Which is the worst part of the whole business. The fact that this kind of movie, which is designed to exhibit casual mayhem and senseless slaughter at its most egregious could also be the most boring film released in 2005 is profoundly disturbing.

The ending is, well, yipes. Everything from brawls and fistfights to bizarre culinary secrets and of course raving ranting hypocrisy like nothing ever seen before by man is packed into this display of sheer bizarre, and at the same time, vaguely terrifying.

The special features include deleted scenes, a behind the scenes featurette, cast auditions, and a deranged little two-minute short film called “The Shoe Collector” which is actually rather clever in its way. Also, we get trailers for “Corn,” “Gypsy 83,” and “Virgin.”

All in all, Julian Richards’ magnificent think piece fails to entertain or even vaguely satisfy. It is the single biggest yawnfest I’ve seen so far this year, and this is also somehow alarming.

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


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