After the death of her father, Ashley Steele returns to her home town and moves in with her brother in their family home and also starts working at the family owned and operated gym. When she isn't working at the gym, Ashley works on her art while also trying to come to terms with happened in her childhood. It isn't before too long that being back home and the pressure to present something new at her art gallery becomes too much and she finally snaps. With the desire for perfection, the passion for art, and the broken mind of a killer; soon any man attending her family’s gym is no longer safe.
After watching "Frat House Massacre" and "The Green Monster" I was definitely growing as a fan towards ScreamKings.com, whether it is a production or an associate production. Watching those movies, there was no denying they were being made by people who care and are passionate about what they are doing and have been able to give their movies the feeling of a grander scale even with their low budgets. So I was looking forward to being able to view "Sculpture", another associate production by them along with Pete Jacelone, a man who’s no stranger to independent filmmaking, and his company THR Productions.
"Sculpture" is a different kind of movie, as with each of ScreamKings’ titles. With "Frat House Massacre" going for the grim 70's slasher and "The Green Monster" going for the 80's campy butcher business; "Sculpture" goes for a character based dramatic slasher. Which even to my surprise, was pulled off quite well given the strong performances by the cast. With horror movies in general I never expect to find good acting, regardless of the budget, so it was a welcomed surprise from "Sculpture". Anybody who knows me knows that I am no fan of Misty Mundae but even she impressed me with her role in the movie.
Part of the story isn't what you would expect either as it is a very heavy character drama about Raine Brown's character, Ashley Steele, returning home and being forced to come to terms with her past of having a physically and sexually abusive father. You get to watch as Ashley's mental state slowly deteriorates until she finally snaps and goes on a killing spree. The story also plays with the theme of people's ideals of perfection with the human body, both from the art side as well as the professional body building side. With these three elements to the story, it becomes quite the twisted tale of a woman finding what she believes to be the 'perfect man' while she hacks, slashes, and dismembers those around her.
It's interesting though, when the character Ashley finally snaps the tone of the movie changes, not entirely, but it is there. With her finding enjoyment with each killing there is a slight humor to the movie and it actually works for the better for different reasons. While I'm not sure if it was intentional or the result of budget constraints; some of the SPFX come off as cheesy. Almost something that you would expect in a H.G. Lewis or a Frank Henenlotter movie, and with the shift in tone of the underplayed comedy element and the campy effects, they compliment each other in an odd way and makes the humor work. You can even find humor in the film's score, (composed by Anthony Belluscio) most notably in a scene where the music syncs up with the slashing and stabbings from Ashley.
While it may have only been an associate production, "Sculpture" help solidify me as a fan of ScreamKings. Even with its small budget, the movie feels bigger than it is with some great cinematography, a fantastic score, a story that's played out well, impressive performances, and an overall quality in production. Sure some the effects are cheesier than what people would normally want out of their horror movies (especially these days), even so, it worked in the movies favor especially when it came time for those light comedic touches. That will help bring the horror fans back into the movie after the heavy drama that’s in the beginning. (Even though it's done very well.) No doubt there will be those that don't like it but I have a feeling "Sculpture" is going to please a lot of folks who are looking for a quality low-budget indy horror flick.