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February 12, 2012

Movie Review: Head Case (2007)

Directed by Anthony Spadaccini
Starring Paul McCloskey, Barbara Lessin and Brinke Stevens.

Shortly before viewing this movie I took a moment to admire all of the accolades and cool quotes which adorned the DVD case......”THE MOST DISTURBING FILM IN A DECADE”.........”TERRIFYING ON A LEVEL MOST INDIE HORROR FLICKS COULD ONLY DREAM OF ACHIEVING”........”VERY EFFECTIVE AND STRONG, HARDCORE HORROR FLICK” Sounds mouth-watering doesn't it? Had I had the pleasure of adding my own quote it would of gone something like this, “WATCHING HEAD CASE IS THE EQUIVALENT OF EATING CAT SHIT WITH NO SALT OR KETCHUP” There, now that that's out of the way, let's dig into the review, shall we?

Buy Head Case on DVD
Head Case is another no-budget “snuff-documentary” following the lives of Wayne and Andrea Montgomery (Paul McCloskey & Barbara Lessin), a happily married middle-class couple with two teenagers, who's hobby is picking up strangers off the streets, drugging them with Andrea's famous “special blend” ginger-ale and then hacking them up. Which they do quite often, and mid-way through the movie their unfortunate teenage daughter comes home early and finds them in the middle of a dissection, giving her parents little choice but to murder her as well.

Later in the film and a half dozen or so kills later, they discover their teenage son has stolen one of dads video cameras and has taped himself masturbating with it. They discuss the ramifications of this, does he know? Will he snitch on them? Should they kill him? Should they not kill him? For the moment they decide to wait and see how it plays out but after a few more murders dad decides its too much to risk and that mom should be the one to kill the boy. To get her prepared for her first solo-kill he presents her with a Christmas present in the form of a woman tied up with Christmas lights waiting for her in the basement, he even gives her a new belt to strangle the woman with. After this little scene dad leaves town for a few days to give mom a chance to do away with the son but before she is able to, the cops show up and take her away. She is grilled by police but doesn't crack under the pressure. The final scene is dad in his car picking up a 16 year old male prostitute. And then, mercifully, the credits roll.

Now in defense of this movie I will say that the hand-held videography was pretty decent, it didn't make me sea-sick or nauseous at all. And there were a couple of kill scenes that were effective (a slow, deliberate throat slashing scene on some random guy and the scene where dad gleefully goes to town on a guys Johnson with a cheese grater while he's still alive), but as cool as that may be it wasn't nearly enough to save this movie. Head Case lacked any type of build up or momentum, it just plodded along in this general sequence, about killing someone 2. drive around and find some dumb-ass who's willing to jump in the car 3. drug and kill the dumb-ass 4. repeat cycle (ad nauseum).

Particularly torturous was the kitchen table scene involving Wayne, Andrea and Wayne's mother. Where we are treated to what felt like 6 hours of pointless bickering between the mother-in-law and the wife, which had no bearing on the “plot” (and I use that term loosely) whatsoever. I guess my main gripe about this movie though, would have to be the casting and the acting. The two main characters were so unbelievable and unconvincing in their roles that I wanted to pull my chest hair out watching them.

The two teenage kids looked more like serial killers then their parent, and the kids looked nothing like serial killers. After a quick scan on IMDb, I discovered a probable cause for the acting issue, apparently there was never any script written and thusly the actors were forced to improv the entire movie. Perhaps had they had something of substance to work with, things may have turned out better for this one. As it is, Head Case is a terrible, terrible film. It does have a couple gory scenes but the price you have to pay for them is pretty steep, roughly an hour and a half of your life that there is no refund for.

Special Features on the disc included a voice-over commentary and a few deleted scenes.

3 out of 10 Reviewed by KennyB

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