“The pit wants what it wants.” Sometimes it is that simple. That saying could be the meaning of life for all we know? Could be the answer to the mysterious universe? Hell, could tell us what happened to Jimmy Hoffa and if there really lives a Loch Ness Monster. For the backwood folks of the movie Jug Face, that phrase is life and death. A backwoods community just on the outskirts of civilization serves an unseen entity in a deep muddy pit. The pit psychically connects with Dawai, a local simpleton who loses consciousness when connected to, to create a ceramic jug face of the face the pit wants to sacrifice in order for the community to keep sustaining their health. When young and out of wed-lock pregnant Ada’s face becomes the jug face, she steals the jug and hides it in the woods in attempt to not only save her life but her baby’s too. When the entity is ignored, the wrath of a gruesome death comes down upon the whole community by taking one person at a time until the pit gets what it wants.
Jug Face strikes an originality chord in this reviewer’s bones. Usually when too much is happening one could easily become lost in the thick of the story, but where the thick might be the thickest, Jug Face fiercely cuts through and weaves a story of a women coming into her own to face responsibility and a story about fate in which no matter how much you try to re-arrange it, you’ll receive your rightfully due diligence in the end. The story ends up being grim for everyone and nobody has a one speck of happiness. A great parallelism to reality if you ask me because not every ending is sugar plums and puppy dog tails.
The pit entity doesn’t seem like the “bad guy” villain that we might expect. Ada is not saint as she commits carnal sins and her actions result in the deaths of her friends and family and not all at the hands of the pit, but some by the community as well. Granted, not all the victims were innocent – some just as guilty as Ada – but we struggle with Ada’s compelling reason to live and to keep her unborn baby alive too. We’re more partial to Dawai, who like I said earlier is the community nitwit, and her father Sustin who tenderly loves her more than anything as a father should but obeys the pit’s commands when a jug face is revealed.
The ensemble cast headlines with Lauren Ashley Carter as Ada. A relatively unknown actress with a great pair of breasts; she’s topless in the first 5 minutes of the movie. Carter is a wide eyed beauty with a face like Kristen Stewart except without that dumb glare. Indie genre favorite Larry Fessenden (I Sell The Dead, Habit) takes on Ada’s father Sustin. Sean Bridges plays a great village idiot as Dawai and the other Sean, Sean Young, Ray Finkle him-herself, is Ada’s sadistic mother.
Overall the movie watchable value and cult status written all over it (I has saying cult status, but what else is there to label it?). In reality, the MVDVisual distributed film with come and go with much of the straight-to-DVD market and that is a grisly disappointment because this little bizarre script from first feature film direct received a little money behind it and has a great cast, but the names aren’t big enough, the distributor isn’t big enough, and the story will fly over most people’s heads. MVDVisual and Modern Distributors did do a great job with the 5.1 Surround Sound and the clear 2:35 Widescreen format. Everything is pretty sharp here, but don’t expect jug Face to make waves amongst the masses.