A hard-boiled corrupt cop, Sean Fallon (James Horan), must solve the toughest case of his career: a serial killer is brutally raping and murdering the women that work in the roughest part of town, his part of town. He has no choice but to side with pimps, lead by Chance (Lance Henricksen), to hunt down the killer before he strikes again only to find out that the killer may not even be human.
Dying God looks as seedy as its subject matter – dark, gritty and rough around the edges. At first the low quality is distracting; but, as the story moves forward, it becomes one of the film’s biggest assets. When the movie stops trying to be a cop movie and concentrates of the decay and sleazy part of town with a cast of pimps and dilapidated locations, it begins to form an identity all its own. At this time, it can be enjoyed for what it is. When it tries to be more than that if feel disingenuous and falls on its face.
Heading up the cast is actor James Horan as Sean Fallon the corrupt, angry cop chasing after the serial killer brutally murdering his friends. At first his character is one dimensional and Horan walks all over the stereotypes creating a unappealing, unsympathetic role. However, as the character grows, even past his faults, he gains that sympathy and eventually becomes a character enjoyable to watch. While it would be hard to recommend this film based on Horan’s performance, he still manages to rises above the script to essay a compelling, if despicable, character – when he’s not chewing on the scenery.
A favorite character actor, Lance Henricken appears in the supporting role of Chance, an aging pimp. Phoning in most of his screen time, Henricksen either underacts or overacts his role. Watching him in Dying God is disheartening. Most of his lines never feel authentic and contain no passion. Perhaps being a little harsh and expecting a little too much, his participation in this film is underwhelming. It is difficult to see an admired actor acting as if he’s taken a role beneath him and that’s how it feels. Many of his lines are more wooden and stilted than the many amateurish and lesser experienced actors surrounding him. Very disappointing.
The rest of the cast are mostly unknowns. The supporting female cast member consist of Misty Mundae as Mary and Agathe de La Boulaye as Angel. Mundae plays Fallon’s on again off again “escort” girlfriend and brings very little to the role and the movie. Nor is she provided much to work with either. Agathe de La Boulaye is afforded a better role as Chance’s personal body guard. She doesn’t have many lines but is given the few action scenes for many of the characters. It is fun to watch her unleash on a few of the other pimps’ body guards. Most of the other actresses are only there to be victims or to show off their more physical attributes.
The effects for Dying God are typical for a film of this caliber – low rent, but effective. There’s plenty of blood and gore – dismembered victims, exploding gun shot wounds and mangled creature attacks. The serial killing creature is not revealed to the very end and, until then, isn’t very important to the plot. If the killer ended up being a deranged man instead of a supernatural, alien-looking creature, it would have been the same picture. The creature itself is unimaginative, but suits the film. Aside from one disturbing feature, he offers nothing new to the lexicon of film creatures and will be quickly forgotten.
In the end, the week script and less-than-stellar performances overcome any positives this movie may hold. Not as horrible as it could have been, the film still doesn’t climb above its low budget z-movie origins. It has no ambition and lacks imagination. Dying God is a hard movie to recommend with only the most curious or fans of either Misty Mundae or Lance Henrisksen finding much to take from screening this film. Why, Lance, why?