Review: ‘Father’s Day’

Winnipeg collective Astron-6's first feature, "Father's Day," is a gleefully tasteless quasi-grindhouse nasty that's funnier than most of the many such parodic cheesefests that have been created since, well, "Grindhouse."

Winnipeg collective Astron-6’s first feature, “Father’s Day,” is a gleefully tasteless quasi-grindhouse nasty that’s funnier than most of the many such parodic cheesefests that have been created since, well, “Grindhouse.” Though the result is inevitably hit-and-miss, its attention to retro cliches and stylistic details, as well as a pretty good laughs-to-groaners ratio, will delight jaded genre fans — several of whom voted it best feature at Toronto After Dark last month. More horror fests and midnight slots are sure to follow; Troma plans a January theatrical launch, though principal exposure is likely to skew toward download and DVD.

Resurfacing of the fabled, elusive Father’s Day Killer — a longtime serial rapist/murderer/cannibal consumer of dads — unites several whose families have been victimized, notably strong silent type Ahab (Adam Brooks), street hustler Twink (Conor Sweeney) and priest Father John (Matthew Kennedy). The B-grade action cliches pile up as the three set out to hunt down the monster, whose current fat-slob form turns out to be just the latest human disguise for a demon whom the protags literally pursue to Hell. En route, we get deliberate continuity errors, imperiled male members, godawful or incongruous soundtrack music, a hallucination sequence and a million filmic in-jokes.

Pic has its roots in a fake trailer (Astron-6 has made numerous shorts in a similar vein) which Troma subsequently commissioned as a $10,000 feature. Resulting homage to ’70s drive-in fare and ’80s direct-to-vid trash comes complete with a station break during which we get another amusing fake trailer (for bottom-rung “Star Wars” ripoff “Star Raiders”).

The script’s amusing arbitrariness and the leads’ comic chops — all actors are members of the highly multitasking Astron-6 quintet (yes, there’s just five) — more than compensate for jokes that eschew a sometimes inspired absurdism for routine scatological humor. Fast pace, colorful location choices and design contributions belie the film’s tiny budget while reproducing the aesthetic of early VCR-era rental gems that seldom cost a whole lot more.

Father's Day

U.S.-Canada

Production

A Troma Team release of a Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz presentation of a Troma Team and Astron-6 production. (International sales: Troma Team, New York.) Produced by Kaufman, Herz. Executive producers, Matt Manjourides, Adam Brooks. Directed, written by Astron-6.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Adam Brooks; editor, Brooks; music, Jeremy Gillespie, Paul Joyce, Brian Wiacek; production designer/costume designer, Steven Kostanski; art directors, Kostanski, Gillespie; set decorators, Kostanski, Brooks, Gillespie; costume designer, Kostanski, Brooks; sound, Gillespie; makeup effects, Kostanski, Brooks; digital effects, Gillespie, Kostanski, Ben Pickles, Brooks, Alex McLellan, Jon'Nathon Stebbe; casting, Brooks. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, Nov. 3, 2011. (In Toronto After Dark Film Festival.) Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy, Conor Sweeney, Amy Groening, Mackenzie Murdock, Meredith Sweeney, Brent Neale, Garrett Hnatiuk, Kevin Anderson, Billy Sadoo, Falcon Van Der Baek, Zsuzsi.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading