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Film Review: My Bloody Banjo (2015)

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SYNOPSIS:

A young man becomes manipulated by his imaginary friend to exact revenge on his tormenting co-workers.

REVIEW:

My Bloody Banjo stars relative newcomer, James Hamer-Morton as the nebbish Peltzer Arbuckle. Peltzer’s mother has died and left him with the family home and an inheritance. His recent girlfriend, Deetz (Dani Thompson, Rock Band Vs. Vampires), is far too hot to be dating someone such as Peltzer, so there’s something going on with her. Wisely, he doesn’t even trust her enough to have sex with her condom-free. The fact is, she and his abusive boss, Mr. Sawyer (Vito Trigo) are making him a cuckold and have designs on his house and his money. In time, they trick him into marrying Deetz hoping to murder him afterwards.

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Meanwhile, at the office, Peltzer’s ex-girlfriend, Melissa (Serena Chloe Gardner, She’s Dead) is dating Mr. Sawyer’s equally abusive superior, Stiles Rembrandt (Clay von Carlowitz, Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 2). She still want to be friends with Peltzer, but, in time, we find she still has feeling for him. Peltzer insists on staying loyal to Deetz, despite the abusive treatment he receives from her.

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Abuse of the perceived weak among the office workers is a running theme in this flick. It makes sense that revenge would follow. Both Sawyer and Rembrandt enjoy yelling and belittling those they find timid. Many of the other workers join in. Since she also works in the office, Deetz can be included with them. It gets so bad at one point that Clyde (Laurence R. Harvey, Human Centipede 2) is driven to suicide. I really would’ve gotten pretty angry at Peltzer’s spinelessness if it wasn’t for the godawful acting on display here.

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At one point during the course of the film, Peltzer decides to stop taking his meds. This and the extreme bullying triggers the re-emergence of his “imaginary friend” Ronnie (Damian Morter, HellBilly 58). This imaginary friend made an appearance years earlier that lead to the meds in the first place. So, once again things get bad when Ronnie helps out with some bloody revenge against Peltzer’s tormentors.

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Truth be told, both Hamer-Morton and Gardner are just fine; it’s really Trigo, Carlowitz, and Thompson who are the main offenders. Thompson is nearly tolerable, but that may be because of her ample bosom. But, really, all three display some of the most grating performances that I’ve ever seen. Harvey, not surprisingly, gives the best performance in the entire cast.

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This site featured the trailer to this film recently. I didn’t watch it. Based on the title I would have guessed this was a backwoods mad slasher film with the killer dispatching city folk with a banjo. That is pretty far from what this film is about. The banjo in the title, I’m guessing, is in reference to Peltzer’s penis, which somehow becomes injured during a rather aggressive bout of sex with Deetz. I’m also guessing Ronnie is his screwed up libido, repressed and acting out. But, this plays more like a much more adult and demented take Drop Dead Fred. Too bad it’s also a very dreadful viewing experience.

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Out of the handful of movies I’ve seen from Midnight Releasing, not one of them I would recommend. It’s like they specialize in unwatchable flicks. This may have to be the most unpleasant one I’ve seen from them. Aside from being poorly lit, bad over-the-top acting, and clueless direction, the movie just has no energy. For much of the running time it’s just feels dreary: sluggish, annoying, and lacks any sense of fun.

In time, though, when the imaginary friend makes an appearance there is an attempt at some sense of whimsy. But, the direction is so bad that the attempt falls flat and is ineffective. There is a rather tense sequence near the ending that gives some hope that, writer/director Liam Regan (Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 2) will get better with time. But, this comes far too late in its running time to save this picture.

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The one thing that I did feel that was done really well was the practical gore effects. The highlight is when a guy gets his head chopped up while it’s still attached to his body. But, sadly, these are too few and far between to use as an excuse to sit through this flick.

1 out of 5 shrouds

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