THE HORROR REVIEW
I have a pretty strong stomach.
I watch some of the sickest exploitation/gore films almost daily, and I’m never physically affected by what I see on the screen. Maybe I’m desensitized, but while films like Nekromantik and Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS have raised my eyebrows, they’ve never disrupted my digestive system or given me the urge regurgitate my masticated meal.
DEADLY END, however, is one exception. While not an exploitation or gore film in any sense, it does contain revolting scenes that surpass most of the films of those aforementioned genres’ nature in terms of absolute disgustion, all while proving to be a lot smarter and more convincing than most of the exploitation/gore films out there.
The film follows the lives of Bob and Wendi Peterson (played by newcomer Jack Huston and Pell James, respectively), a young couple who, because of Bob’s new job at a large industrial company called Zeecor, are provided with a house in a serene suburb, which just so happens to be located right next to the dilapidated abode of Adrien Trumbull (Nick Searcy), a friendly neighbor who seems a little too friendly, seemingly to the point of a stalker-like obsession. While not blessing the Petersons with a few horrendous “gifts” (including a box of chocolates which end up providing the Petersons with explosive diarrhea), Adrien spends his time picking the bubbling infection that is forming on his stitched-up stomach wound, eating the crunchy bits of the infection that come off on his finger, and listening to the tape-recorded sounds of Bob and Wendi having sex while performing his own unique style of “masturbation”, which consists of Adrien repeatedly and somehow pleasurably poking the gaping wound on his stomach. Adrien eventually freaks out the Petersons enough for them to form a DEADLY END, but this only succeeds in getting Adrien extremely pissed at the Petersons, causing him to perform a number of sickening actions against the couple, all while the Petersons do the best they can to get revenge on their friendly neighborhood murderous maniac.
There’s just something about DEADLY END that is horrible—and being a horror film, the adjective “horrible” should most definitely be taken as a compliment. The main aspect that adds to the film’s overall feeling of disgust is the special effects (created by Lennie MacDonald, who also worked on Nightmare on Elm Street 4, The Village, Blade II, Men in Black, and Cat in the Hat—ha!). The effects are so damn realistic that you can practically feel as if you are undergoing all of the moments of flesh slicing, organ removing, and infection spreading that occur in the film.
The acting is superb and, although the film has many moments of “pitch black humor”, the actors never wink at the camera. The humor really comes from all of the horrible things that happen to the Petersons, and lead actors Jack Huston and Pell James make the terror and paranoia that their characters feel seem extremely real. Nick Searcy also makes the brutal torture and cruel acts of violence that he dishes out on the Petersons seem disturbingly genuine. He knows when to stutter, laugh in an uncomfortable manner, and stare intensely and obsessively at just the right times—as weird as it sounds, it seems as if he was born to play this role. Also notable is a cool Irwin Keyes cameo (he was most recently seen by horror fans as Captain Spaulding’s sledge hammer-sporting, giant clown head-wearing assistant in House of 1000 Corpses) that only adds to the film’s complete awesomeness.
Jose J. Herring’s score for the film is dark, moody, dread-inducing, and has an almost “epic” sound in certain moments. Herring has created a composition that perfectly compliments and enhances the visual side of the film.
Writer/director Graeme Whifler (who also co-wrote Dr. Giggles) has created a script that is solid and superb--the Petersons are perfectly characterized in the beginning of the film so that you are actually able to feel for them when the horror starts happening. Whifler has also created a great character in Adrien, who I can honestly say is the best human psycho seen in horror film history since Norman Bates in Psycho.
DEADLY END is a film that creeps up on you like a festering disease. In fact, DEADLY END is a festering disease—its symptoms are fear, dread, disgust, and nausea. This is one horror film that must be seen to be believed! It’s not lightheartedly humorous, it’s not forgiving, and it’s a hell of a challenge to watch certain scenes because of their repulsive contents, but these are the perfect ingredients for what is essentially a perfect horror film. Personally, I can’t wait to see what writer/director Graeme Whifler makes next.
Reviewed by, Spooky Steve
THE HORROR REVIEW