Chris Fuchman is a known serial killer, cannibal and rapist. His target: fathers. After loosing his father to this monster, Ahab goes after Chris Fuchman with a vengeance and eventually kills him. Or so he thought. Twenty-years later the vicious crimes have started up again and it seems that Ahab has to return to destroy the monster one more time.
"Father's Day" is finally here. Not literally. The holiday Father's Day is four months and…some…odd days away. "Father's Day", as in the joint venture by Canadian filmmaking action team Astron-6 and Troma. It's a movie that's been on Film Bizarro's Most Anticipated list for quite awhile now and between Astron-6's short film, "Heart of Karl", the original fake trailer for "Father's Day" and then the teaser trailer for the feature film version. It became a project that we've been patiently waiting for and thankfully for me, it was finally screened at a nearby theater and I immediately jumped at the chance to see the movie.
For those of you might not know by now, "Father's Day" is about serial rapist, murder and cannibal Chris Fuchman returning to reign terror over all fathers after disappearing for twenty years. A dying Father O'Flynn sends Father John Sullivan to bring back Ahab; O'Flynn's adopted son and the man many people believed had killed Chris Fuchman all those years ago. As they say, "shit gets real" when Ahab's sister is abducted by Fuchman. With the help of Father Sullivan and an underaged man-whore named Twink, Ahab plans on getting his sister back and stopping this monster once and for all.
From the anticipation of seeing the fake trailer and the teaser trailers for so long, I was expecting "Father's Day" to be a relatively nasty movie, but it didn't quite match those expectations. It does have it's moments, particularly with Chris Fuchman, as you watch in gruesome detail while he eats the cock of one his victims while he is alive. Or when he's masturbating with some entrails whilst taking a bite out of them - definitely scenes that will garner mixed reactions as the theater was filled with both groans and laughter. The movie doesn't hold anything back either by any means, rather it finds a middle ground for an even amount of sex, violence, gross-out gags, and humor.
What caught me off guard with the movie is the strange humor. There were the expected and disappointing homage and reference-gags to older revenge, action and exploitation movies: Such as Ahab training with a martial arts instructor, corny vintage kung-fu chopping sounds when people would grab something or the purposeful bad effects. Certainly these moments will be hilarious for some while for everyone else, they will be considerably stale. The rest of the humor comes from rather absurd moments when the actors essentially break character and are no longer acting like their archetype selves. Not exactly the most clever of routes to take but it worked, more or less because of the delivery of the jokes, but regardless, these moments were still funny all the same. Basically, if the movie was able to make me laugh then some part of the comedy element should be able to make everyone else laugh as well.
My only complaint and issue with the movie is what I was mentioning before - that "Father's Day" is another modern movie where it's style is intended to be a homage to retro films, whether it's action or exploitation. Basically a faux-grindhouse movie even though it never claims or calls itself that. And let's be honest, most of these movies spend their time mocking rather than being a homage or a throw back. Ever since "Grindhouse" came out this particular "style" has been run into the ground and beaten into a bloody mush. Had "Father's Day" come out a bit sooner than it did, I know I would have adored the hell out of the movie and loved every minute of it. Instead, while sat there and watched it, I couldn't help but feel rather bored at times. Is it fault of the Astron-6 guys or "Father's Day" as a whole? I wouldn't necessarily say so since I'm sure people will think I'm crazy for not liking the movie because of that. Just like they think I'm crazy for not liking "Hobo With A Shotgun" or "The Taint". But that's why I did find myself bored with "Father's Day"; there are so many movies out there now with the same tone that I'm absolutely burned out on it. I want to see someone's NEW movie. Not someone's interpretation of a style of movies from a past decade. I will give "Father's Day" some credit in that they were obviously going for the parody rather than the homage.
Definitely more of a personal grievance than there being actual "problem" with the movie and it's an issue that I know few will agree with and many will disagree with, but so be it. Beyond that though, Astron and Troma produced a movie that came very close to meeting all expectations. The company and the directorial troupe basically delivered the movie that I expected, and I'm sure it'll be the same for other audience members, when they get a chance to see "Father's Day". It's a very interesting movie that puts a spin on the classic setup of rape and revenge that takes a HUGE left turn in the final act of the movie. I won't spoil any of it for you but I will say that the direction the movie takes even managed to make me say, "What the fuck?" And I've seen some weird shit in my days.
With the story and the acting, I don't feel that there is much to comment on: The acting is actually good for this type of movie but is more less inconsequential to the quality of the movie. After all, if the acting is bad would anyone care? Not likely. The story itself is good, in terms of originality and how it plays out, but again the actual story or plot itself won't matter to most. The whole point of "Father's Day" is to take the audience on a totally fucking nuts and bat shit crazy ride of perversion and absurdity, and I think the Astron guys did that. I didn't jump on board the crazy train because, as I said earlier, I'm just burned out on this style of movie. However, it should and probably will play extremely well for everyone else. And on that note: Astron-6 is an immensely talented group of individuals and I look forward to their future projects.