An Evil Hangover is No Match Against…”Rotgut” review!

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Six patrons become trapped inside a dilapidating New Mexico drinking hole when tainted Mexican tequila infests an unlucky boozer, turning him into a host for flesh-eating larvae and into an unwilling hand against the rest in seeking desperately for more flesh to feast upon. With the back and front doors inoperable and the phone lines dead due to lack of payment, the bar regulars must use every ounce of their fleeting sobriety and every aspect of the small hole in the wall bar to keep hope carbonated and afloat if they want to escape alive.
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If you’re a fan of “Night of the Creeps,” “Slugs,” or “Slither,” this campy creepy-crawler will be your go-to session brew of choice because, finally, 2012’s “Rotgut” infests inside a home video distributor, courtesy of always delightful Camp Motion Picture. Director Billy Garberina helms the charge collaborating with another of Devin O’Leary’s scribed films involving a drinking establishment’s handful of thirsty-allured anti-heroes finding themselves literally fighting through their inebriated state against almost exactly the same intoxicating liquid they so desperately crave. Sure beats the hell out of an AA meeting.
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“Rotgut,” simply put, is just not another run-of-the-mill creature film, oozing a path toward lovers of the said genre while still managing to follow a familiar suit within a typical bar location that becomes the death ensnarement, but this time around, a congregation of alcoholics are the hapless victims that are pitted up against the odds, similar to that of Robert Rodriguez’s “From Dusk till Dawn” and John Gulager’s “Feast,” but with more enticing and gross body horror and less antagonizing vampires and monsters.
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Structurally, O’Leary individually sets up the players – Leon, Tom, Sloppy, Verna, Deena, Allen, and The Professor – to instill a developing persona or just provide an interesting backstory into each body that adds flavor to their character that would evidently punch you in the face when that character bites the fateful bullet and instead of creating good natured, outstanding personalities to fight a ghastly force, as if to underline good versus evil, the roster consists of deplorable and degenerative drunks embodied with past, present, and future hiccups and are on the cusp of not being redeemable toward being a part of society until faced with life and death choices to expose their true nature. Then, there is trio of ATF officers who are literal to each of the words of the acronym they represent; one officer smokes cigarettes, another drinks out of a flask, and the last official carries a sidearm. The dialogue-stricken characters need no exposition as they’re cleverly written into the story that’s already exchanges heavy in confabulation amongst the main roles mentioned above.
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The impressiveness with Hank Carlson and teams’ practical effects don’t go unnoticed while, at the same time, the composite shots from visual effects artist Luke Fitch were just as effective. Both departments relayed the visceral consuming nature of the worms, splattering eye-popping blood everywhere, and transmitting their antibiosis organism through some fairly gnarly ways. Working with sluggishly minuscule organisms, whether digital, inanimately practically, or real, can be problematic, but Gaberina and team had the precision and the talent that made “Rotgut” outlandishly enjoyable with a half gallon handle of smeared blood slicked over the cast including Jeremy Owen, Aaron Worley, Megan Pribyl, Paul Alsing, Merritt Glover, Isreal Wright, and Whitney Moore.
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Four years have swiftly gone by since this film quietly made debut in 2012 and has finally landed onto DVD from the fine folks at Camp Motion Pictures! “Rotgut” has undeservingly gone under the radar, but it shall no more, gifting audiences with supreme worm mayhem and bloodshed. The not rated DVD is presented in a 16×9 widescreen format with bonus features including a trailer vault and a lengthy behind-the-scenes featurette that displays the good times, and sometimes stressful times, of independent filmmaking. In the end, “Rotgut” come out on top with the gooiest, slimiest, and stickiest creature feature this side of the 2010.

You can BUY “Rotgut” at Amazon! Let it slither into your soul!

Evil Spanning Four Decades! “Dangerous Men” review!

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Recently engaged lovers Daniel and Mina take a trip to visit Daniel’s brother. When they stop to take in one of California’s breathtaking beaches, two vicious bikers, looking for kicks, intrude on the lovebird’s romantic getaway, looking to rape Mina but ending up mercilessly murdering Daniel. Mina’s grief turns the distraught lover into a vengeful bitch, taking the lives of all salacious and beastly men who wish to exploit Mina’s virginal beauty. Meanwhile, Daniel’s brother, a praised police detective, personally takes on the case despite his Captain’s insistence of not getting to close due to his personal connection. The detective tracks down the drug dealer Black Pepper, the head of a notorious biker gang connected to the slaying of his brother, that results in an all out war!
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“Dangerous Men” is an action film you hate to love, being so bad it’s good. The film was the non-aborted child of Iranian born, U.S. bound director John Rad, a pseudo name, who had a life-long vision from way back in 1979 to put an eternal awesomeness on the big silver screen and, in one way or another, completed that feat no matter how long the creative process. Only 26 years stood in between John Rad and his masterpiece “Dangerous Men” from being completed and theatrically released to the public, but, low and behold, “Dangerous Men” didn’t succeed into billions or even millions of box office dollars; instead, Rad’s film gained popularity in its notoriety, gaining almost instantly cult status through a niche group of garbage cinema aficionados. By the grace of the provocative arthouse film brew masters at Drafthouse Films and their continuous begging toward Rad’s daughter, “Dangerous Men” redefines the term guilty pleasure.
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But what makes “Dangerous Men” so irresistibly appealing? Is it that fact that Iranian born Peter Palian from “Samurai Cop” fame is the most experienced crew member on John Rad’s amateurish, if not solo performing, team? To properly answer that conundrum-filled riddle, looking at what makes “Dangerous Men” so standardly terrible would ultimately lead to the answer. For one, a prominent lead character doesn’t exist in a plot that can’t focus due in part of the two decades the film was shot that resulted in the actors or actresses not being available or unwilling to complete Rad’s work. Various characters, like Mina (Melody Wiggins) or the cop brother (Dutch Van Delsem), come and go in their respective, decade housed plot paths and like one of Drafthouse Films’s bonus features makes light, the film ends on a still frame of characters who have had less than half an hour of screen time. Secondly, the amateur acting in exposition, the cut and dry editing, and the cartoonish foley, by the also writer-director John Rad, hones straight toward gut-punching you to explode into outrageous, painful laughter. “Dangerous Men” is a serious film that’s full of wacky action and some great moments of exploitation, especially scenes involving women knees, but when all the punching and exasperating is of the identical sound bite, like in a “Street Fighter” video game, taking Rad’s film seriously is hard to fathom. Thirdly, the longevity of filming created many production goofs that mistakenly implied the decade. From props, to haircuts, and to clothes, hints of years were obvious to the naked eye. Lastly, a title like “Dangerous Men” should end on an detonative high note; instead, falls just short of a chuckle and a “WTF.”
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“Dangerous Men” snuggly finds a spot within the realm of other bad movies not to be missed. “Troll 2,” “Silent Night, Deadly NIght 2” with the infamous garbage day line, “Leonard Part 6,” and “Jaws: The Revenge” would gladly welcome “Dangerous Men” with open arms as a peer in preposterousness. With a little over a measly $2,300 in ticket sales on opening weekend from a film that probably cost John Rad thousands upon thousands of dollars to produce and a whole hell of a lot of time to construct, “Dangerous Men” is most likely an action-packed feature you’ve never, ever heard of before. One positive remark is the soundtrack, which is also composed by John Rad, was, in my humble opinion, swanky and, well, rad – a true testament to the era and the best effort for such bad film. Unfortunately, John Rad never saw his film blossom as he died soon after the release of his masterpiece, sometime mysteriously between 2005 and 2007.
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Drafthouse Films, in association with MVDVisual distribution, courteously releases “Dangerous Men” on a sleek not rated two-disc, 1080p 1.85:1 widescreen Blu-ray and DVD set which has a region free presentation that still manages to hold in the cigarette burns and the faded coloring in a sort of time capsule from the 80’s and 90’s. The original print looks to have been kept in good condition for an easy upgradeable and cleanable transfer. The Dolby Digital mono stereo mix is fairly clean aside from some misaligned dialogue tracks with the video and the prevalence of background noise in certain scenes of poor record quality such as the Daniel and Mina restaurant scene. Drafthouse Films doesn’t discriminate amongst the quality of their releases when considering the bonus features. A 16 page booklet featuring documented full-length interviews with director John Rad, audio commentary featuring “Destroy All Movies” authors Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly, “That’s So Rad,” an epigram stemmed from this film, is an original documentary about the film and its initial 2005 release, an interview with cinematographer Peter Palian, Rare footage of John Rad’s appearance on local access television, and the original theatrical trailer. Quite the laundry list of extras! “Dangerous Men” is so spectacularly unspeakable and trashy it shouldn’t go unseen for absolutely anything, not even for the birth of your first born child!