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Film Review: Homicycle (2014)

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SYNOPSIS:

In a city riddled with corruption, drugs and gangs, a veteran cop is murdered by a vicious kingpin, sparking a brutal crime wave. Only one man can stop the bloodshed – a brutal, motorcycle riding vigilante bent on bloody revenge called HOMICYCLE – now picking off the killers one by one. Armed with an arsenal from Hell, he’s cleaning the streets by decapitation, nail gun and motorcycle madness! Is he a gun-toting savior on a path of righteous redemption, or is he literally HELL ON WHEELS?

REVIEW:

Today we have HOMICYCLE, a grindhouse horror film directed by Canadian filmmaker Brett Kelly. We’ve seen this retro-style done to death in recent years, but don’t let that keep you from away from this one.

Our story focuses on Julia (Candice Lidstone), a police detective determined to take out the (apparently) untouchable evil genius of the area, Brock (Peter Whittaker). This criminal mastermind has the whole city in his pocket, and has quite literally gotten away with murder as least once. See, Brock had his boys “take care” of Julia’s boyfriend Eddie (Mac Dale). Also a detective, Eddie wasn’t interested in the offered payoff, so he had to go.

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Brock’s army of goons run the streets – shakedown rackets, prostitution, drugs, they do it all. The forces of good are powerless in the face of evil, and most officers just give up.

But lo! A saviour rises (from the grave, perhaps?) to make certain evil does not win. A faceless rider in black leather upon a motorcycle starts taking out Brock’s minions. Who is this masked man? How to defeat him? Can he even be defeated?

The storyline is telegraphed pretty much from the beginning, so there’s no spoilers to give really. However, it’s not necessarily the story that makes this movie watchable. It’s the presentation.

We open with a skeevy-looking guy, claiming to be the producer of the film, welcoming the audience to the theater. He gives a whole speech about life inurance policies and nurses in the lobby, all the fun stuff the “gimmick films” of the 1950s were known for doing.

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And for some reason, the version I watched is subtitled in Arabic. Not sure why, and I’m not even sure if the subtitles are legit. I don’t know how to read Arabic, but it certainly looks like what I think Arabic looks like.

We also get the obligatory intermission, with singing snack food and the like. There is also intentional “scene missing” moments, cigarette burns and hairs on the lens, even a moment where the film completely burns and breaks. remember those crappy projectors in grade school that always did that? yea, it looks just like that. The attention to detail in creating the atmosphere of the film is impressive.

As for the cast, it’s all about the villains. Watching Brock and his minions play out their over-the-top personas is the most fun I’ve had in a while. I’m pretty certain the phrase “I am surrounded by morons” has never be more appropiately applied.

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There are a number of cameos among the minions. Audiences outside of Canada may not recognize some of these actors, but their perfomances are worth noting.

Among the minions, we have –

John Migliore, better known as Johnny Ghoulash, the host of Partially Devoured Movies and Kount Kracula’s Review Showcase.

Veronika D’Arc from the goth metal band Creeping Beauty.

Ian Quick from the television series Spellfury.

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And apparently, this whole group have worked together in various configurations all over Canadian television and film. They all seem to be having a damn good time on this film, which is really the point in making a film, right?

Now let’s take a minute to talk about our super villian, Brock, played by Peter Whittaker. In costuming I can only describe as “urban pirate drag”, Mr. Whittaker eats the scenery like nobody’s business. He sells that crazy to the back row. He’s the real star of the film in my opinion and it’s worth watching the movie just for him.

There are downsides to this film. One glaring issue is the lack of sets. Everything is filmed in empty rooms, maybe even all in the same house. I am guessing this is a low budget film, or if it isn’t, the filmmakers did a great job making it look like one.

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The special effects are pretty much laughable, but may look that way by design. I mean, some of the practical effects – a character gets his hand ripped off, as an example – are just so bad and obviously fake. For me, that was part of what I enjoyed about it.

This film is unaplogetically funny, bad, and still a good way to spend an hour and 15 minutes. I really enjoyed it, to be honest.

So on a scale of one to ten, ten being awesome, I’m giving this film 6 minions.

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