He Never Died - Gilt Edge Media - DVD
Written by Jay Creepy   
Thursday, 13 April 2017
Severed Cinema review of He Never Died on DVD in the UK from Gilt Edge Media http://severed-cinema.com/images/dvd_review.jpg


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HE NEVER DIED

AKA: Он никогда не умирал

Directed by: Jason Krawczyk
Written by: Jason Krawczyk
Produced by: Zach Hagen, Brandon Baker
Cinematography by: Eric Billman
Editing by: James Bredin
Special Effects by: Randy Daudlin, Emily Carter, Tomas Hartl,
Music by: James Mark Stewart
Cast: Henry Rollins, Kate Greenhouse, Jordan Todosey, Steven Ogg, Don Francks, Booboo Stewart.
Year: 2016
Color: Color
Language: English
Country: USA/ Canada
Runtime: 1hr 37mins

Studio: Alternate Ending Studios
Distributor: Gilt Edge Media

The first thing which struck us whilst watching this little low budget gem is how well cast Henry (Black Flag, Rollins Band) Rollins is in the central part. He's had parts in Wrong Turn 2 and The Devil’s Tomb, plus he was featured in the Sons of Anarchy Series, but has never been given a proper meaty role to chew his huge face into. The second thing which struck us as we carried on watching was how different this review might be.

Usually I can quote either myself or my Horror Soulmate with a nice joke about the movie we are watching, or a comment about maybe something which isn't quite right. He Never Died kept us both quiet! That is cool.

Henry Rollins plays the part of Jack, who is a centuries old Angel. When Jack sleeps or even closes his eyes he is immersed in the world of his memories. A world of screams and agonies. He has lived through World Wars, through revolutions. In fact, he seems to have been around forever. Thus with the past comes a now burnt out 'retired' man. Almost emotionless and running his day to day life in an order which seldom changes. A daily visit to a local diner, bingo three nights a week because the aged people in the hall don't distract him, and a regular meet up with a young lad from the A&E who brings him bags of human blood. This is Jack's one vice. He used to live on a regular diet of human flesh, but since he's now older and tired of the world, he wants to contain his urges deep inside. This is his only way to stay calm. (As he later states to a bloke, “I am literally gonna tear you apart, and eat you!”)

So we begin day one in the life of an Angel. Giving rent money to his kindly old landlady. Jack has a trunk filled with money and guns which represent the years he has existed on Earth. As he walks the streets we hear a few of the world changing events he has lived through first hand. Off to meet his delivery intern man from the hospital, Jack isn't very interested in small talk. The package goes into his fridge. Hearing a knock at the door, he finds a teenage girl stood there who sort of shakes and runs off. Totally not interested in the why, Jack closes the door and lays on his bed. Then there's another knocking. Two hard looking dudes are stood there. “How's your meeting with Jeremy?” one asks. Jack stares. “Fine.” They say he should take a ride with them but he isn't interested. When they try to attack him he takes them down without emotion, then carries them outside. He is however shot in the hand, but this doesn't interest him either, he just wraps it up and heads to the diner for oatmeal and a hot tea. The waitress knows him and is rather taken by him. After shrugging off his ridiculous excuse regarding is hand, she asks if he wants to go out. “OK.”

That evening, he receives a call from a woman called Gillian. “Why are you calling me so late? I remember hating you.” he says. “Shut the fuck up!” she cusses. It turns out the girl at his door earlier is called Andrea, and she has run away upset. It also turns out Andrea is his daughter. “Why should I care? I hate you!” he says. “Fuck you, Jack!” she spits. “Abortions cost about three hundred dollars. You could afford one.” he then thinks and asks where she is now. Apparently she's at a bar. Jack agrees to find her. Andrea has meanwhile left the bar. He finds her at some bloke’s apartment. Jack is ready to go, she gets him to let her tag along and get something to eat.

At the diner she asks, “What happened to your hand?” “Someone shot me.” She laughs and then her face falls. “Seriously? With a gun?” Jack is monotone, “That's how you get shot.” He tells her he genuinely doesn't know why the man shot him. Cara, the waitress comes over, Jack chances a look at Andrea's back, her low cut top shows no sign of Angel wings. She tries to get to know her father, but he's hard work, uncomfy talking about anything at all. She wants to stay over for a couple of days.

Unable to sleep, he heads to the diner and sits. Jack senses a man who sits at a table behind him, out of nowhere. A man in a hat who is silent and stares at him. This startles Jack, who leaves the building.

Later that day, he turns up to meet Jeremy and sees him taken away by the two battered up thugs. Not amused, he pulls a fella from his van and drives after them. He interrupts them torturing Jeremy. Jack deals with them and drops Jeremy at the hospital. Back home, like nothing has happened, he wants to sleep but Andrea is all excited. Mumbling, he takes her to bingo which bewilders her but it's an activity with her Dad so she sticks with it. Back at the diner afterwards, Andrea tries fixing her Dad and Cara with a date -- at the bingo. Suddenly he sees the man in the hat sat a few tables down, staring. Jack is surprised to find that Andrea can also see him. “Just ignore his existence, even if he speaks to you.” Jack is again unnerved by this stranger. He won't tell Andrea why. Unbeknownst to Jack, another guy has spiked his drink whilst it was at the bar.

The two thugs have a professional killer with them. They confront a drugged Jack alone and take him to the docks. Things do not end well for them. In the middle of all this, Jack tears a throat out and eats the flesh. He feels his old self return. Back at his home, he has to make Andrea leave so he insults her and hurts her to make her run away. “I don't want you here! No one wants you! Fuck off!” Her new world just crumbles and she goes. Jack is losing control, he kills a neighbour, and he causes trouble in a bar.

He feeds on bad people. In an excellent sequence, he drops money near two men. One catches up with him and hands it back. He nudges a huge bloke in the street who turns and apologises to Jack. Jack hunts more and finally finds three young hoodlums who threaten him -- supper time!

A phone message reveals Andrea has been kidnapped and Gillian is dead. Not interested at all, Jack goes to the diner, and deals with Cara's messed up ex-husband in the meantime. Life goes on, but Andrea is niggling away in the back of his mind. He visits an old employer and asks if anyone knows anything about the gang who attacked him. Back to the diner, he finds the owner shot dead and a large gang of gun carrying men holding Cara and the staff hostage. Silently, Jack walks to his table and sits down. Minutes later, all the men are dead and Jack is sat with Cara in a car, with one survivor in the trunk, explaining that Andrea has been kidnapped, whilst two gaping bullet holes in his forehead seep blood down his face and she's trying her best not to totally freak out.

Soon it's revealed who he really is and how long he has been this way and along the way of rescuing his daughter, Jack has to confront the stranger in the hat.

I don't understand why so many people label this as a horror comedy. Sure it has amusing moments, mainly in Jack's way of dealing with conversations and events but it's far more than just another Horror-Com. Fuck that! Writer and Director Jason Krawczyk heaps up the mood, as does Henry Rollins’ acting, which advertises an exhausted creature which has lived way too long. Top marks go to Randy Daudlin, whom handled the prosthetics and the gore. He's worked previously on The Strain TV Series, Pompeii and 5ive Girls, amongst many others. 

In retrospect, the ending is a bit too clean cut for what amounts to be an epic kind of lay out of material along the way. Aside from Henry, Jordan Todosey works well to make the teenager, Andrea, likeable and sympathetic. She's had a lot of TV work but seldom hits a film, so good for her. Another mainly TV actor, Steven Ogg, of The Walking Dead, Westworld, (and a voice in GTA V) handles the character of Alex well, lending weight to what is a rather empty bad guy role. Incidentally, veteran actor, Don Francks, with over sixty years of TV and movie roles -- mainly as a voice actor (Inspector Gadget TV Series, The Star Wars Holiday Special, Garbage Pail Kids Series, A.L.F, Swamp Thing Series, Johnny Mnemonic) appears in one of his last roles before he died, as the goatee bearded stranger in the hat.

What He Never Died shows is that, amongst the hundreds of cheap and crappy pointless titles which are spat out onto the DVD shelves, month after month, with great covers and a great central star (which usually means that person is regulated to a cameo minute in the film) there are still underground movies which can shock you and give you hope for the lifespan of true genre flicks.

 

 

 

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 RATING:
 VIDEO: 1 
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 AUDIO: 1 
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 DVD: 1 
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 MOVIE: 1 
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 DVD SPECS:
 Aspect Ratio: 16:9
 Region: PAL R2
 Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo 5.1


 SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
 - Trailer0

 

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

Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 April 2017 )