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Found and Headless - Forbidden Films Print E-mail
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Written by Richard Taylor   
Thursday, 15 October 2015
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BUY FOUND

Directed by: Scott Schirmer
Written by:
Todd Rigney, Scott Schirmer
Produced by:
Leya Taylor, Damien Wesner
Cinematography by:
Leya Taylor
Editing by:
Scott Schirmer
Music by:
Greg Wright
Cast:
Gavin Brown, Ethan Philbeck, Phyllis Munro, Louie Lawless, Alex Kogin, Andy Alphonse, Shane Beasley
Year:
2012
Country:
USA
Language:
English
Color:
Color
Runtime:
1h 43min

Directed by:
Arthur Cullipher
Written by:
Nathan Erdel, Todd Rigney
Produced by:
Kara Erdel, Scott Schirmer
Cinematography by:
Leya Taylor
Editing by:
Arthur Cullipher, Scott Schirmer
Music by:
Mike Anderson, Arthur Cullipher, Magician Johnson, James Nash
Cast:
Shane Beasley, Kelsey Carlisle, Ellie Church, Dave Parker, Kaden Miller, Jennifer Lee
Year:
2015
Country:
USA
Language:
English
Color:
Color
Runtime:
1h 25min

Distributor: Forbidden Films

Review within a review of a movie within a movie: Found and Headless.

Found is a clever horror/drama that makes the best of its low budget, directed by Scott Schirmer and based on a book written by Todd Rigney. The movie begins playing out as a twisted coming of age story told by a young loner named Marty (Gavin Brown). From the opening scenes of the film the audience gets an insight into Marty's brother Steve's (Ethan Philbeck) murderous and morbidly twisted hobby of keeping the severed heads of black women in a bowling bag in his closet. Marty has obviously known about this for a while and frequently goes into his brotherís room to look at what recent head trophy his brother has collected. Marty knows Steve is obviously a mentally deranged killer but heís still his brother and he loves him and misses the way things used to be between them.

We then get a glimpse of Marty's typical but dysfunctional family. The mother (Phyllis Monroe) who is caught up in a religious group, uses it as a crutch. The father (Louie Lawless) in a particularly annoying and stagnate role (I'm guessing the director wanted him to be as ignorant as possible) as a bigoted racist who contradicts most of his words and actions and whose hatred towards black people has rubbed off on at least one of his sons. After watching the family we get a clear indication of a regular family with regular communication problems, but underneath it turns out to be so much more.

Marty is a loner, he has one dickhead of a friend and his passion for horror movies is displayed throughout the movie. This being said, I'm not sure if the movie is trying to say horror movies are bad and if you watch them you will be a loner and eventually turn into a cold heartless killer. Iím not sure what angle they were going for here. Marty's brother and Marty have the best relationship in the family but Marty has noticed Steve has changed considerably since the severed heads have been turning up. Marty is picked on at school by a black kid and later in the movie and the inevitable happens when Steve turns the tables to help his brother but to Marty's confused and horrified disarray.

Found plays out as a dark coming of age Stand by Me, but develops into a visceral horror experience during the conclusion. It takes its time developing the story and characters. It is particularly restrained in the gore and violence department, even the climax mostly happens off screen. The most gore the viewer gets is when Marty raids his brothers VHS horror collection (Found is supposed to take place in the 80's by the way) to find a tape which may or may not be real, metaphorically speaking. The tape is one Marty tries to rent at the store but is missing from the case and the store clerk says it was possibly stolen. That movie is called Headless and Marty finds the tape later in his brotherís collection, but it has strange markings written on it. Marty takes the tape and watches it with his friend, only to discover itís a twisted serial killer movie about a killer in a skull mask who sexually mutilates women and violates their severed heads (sound familiar?). While watching, Marty is struck with a terrible realization that Headless may be a "Found" footage film of his brother carrying out his twisted crimes or is it just all in his head? (no pun intended). 

Headless is based on characters/situations created by Todd Rigney from his book Found which Scott Schirmer directed the movie of the same name. Headless was a project realized when the short movie within a movie was received well and the special effects creators of Found (Arthur Cullipher, Shane Beasley etc.) wanted to do a gory throwback to the 70's/80's slasher movie. They publicly funded Headless and made quite possibly one of the nastiest and goriest serial killer films in noted history. Effects man Shane Beasley reprises his role as the headless killer but this time we get a detailed background of the killerís inner workings, why he became the mentally disturbed head fucker that he is today. The movie is a doozy. The graphic up-close mutilations are well done and the terror and torture the killer puts his female victims through is mesmerizing. The scenes of Beasley's character munching on milky fluid filled eyeballs and passionately moaning and groaning as he penetrates the severed heads, no detail is spared. I faintly remember during one instance you can see the severed heads throat moving as the killer penetrates it with his member.

Headless a charging but highly disturbing movie with minimal dialogue. Its only downfall is about over halfway through when the killer focuses his attention on the patrons of a roller skating rink and dispatches them. The movieís formula is probably best suited for a short film due to its limited content. It works strongest when it focuses on the killer, his twisted family background of literal caged degradation and humiliation.

Another great character in Headless is played by young Kaden Miller (not sure if he was actually exposed to the scenes in the movie or not, mind warping for a young boy!) as Skull Boy. Skull Boy follows around our Headless killer as a schizophrenic hallucination of himself as a child, ordering the killer to carry out his twisted deeds and take the heads of his victims as trophies. Only talking in un-recognizable chatter Skull Boy and the killer have an inseparable bond. Another goofy character in Headless is the roller skate rink owner "Slick Vic" (Brian Williams), a charming and nice added sleazy touch to bring a bit of lewd comedy to an otherwise seriously gore drenched affair.

The killer sets his sights on the workers at the roller skating rink and dispatches them, including canteen servers Jess (Kelsey Carlisle), her co-worker Betsy (Ellie Church) and Jess's loser boyfriend Pete (David Parker) who plays in a deadbeat band called The Dead Bugs. Headless starts off strong but gasses out a bit by the time the final act rolls out. I love the retro feel of the film and there is actually a trailer for another movie within the movie within the movie called Wolf Baby, not sure if there are plans to develop that in the future. A lot of these movies including Headless seem to be going with that grainy retro feel to them, which I love but it almost seems to be becoming too trendy. The funny thing is the first movie I remember resurrecting that route is the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez opus Grindhouse, a movie I personally enjoyed but remember it not being received so well.

I highly recommend checking out both films. I enjoyed them both and they give you a thinking manís perspective on horror with Found 's psychological power and an all-out visceral gore-fest like no other with Headless. Itís like a swift kick in the nuts -- one of the top horror movies of the year and my favorite of the two.

 

 

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 RATING:
 MOVIE: FOUND 1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1/2No 
Skull - Severed Cinema
 MOVIE: HEADLESS 1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed CinemaNo 
Skull - Severed Cinema

 

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

Last Updated ( Thursday, 15 October 2015 )
 
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