Thursday, April 04, 2013

Dick Night – review

Director: Andy Viner

Release date: 2011

Contains spoilers

I would normally start a review like this with – remember, comedy is subjective… but not this time (yes, I realise what I did there). This time I have to say… what a title… not necessarily a good title but has an awfully large fnarr… fnarr… quality and is likely to attract all sorts of traffic here.

Whilst the title sounds like a low grade porn flick, it really is descriptive of the intent of the night we live with lead character Rachel (Jennifer June Ross). So what sort of girl has a dick night?

a wake up call
We start with a stake being hammered into the ground, but apparently it is a sign (sign part unseen). Rachel, in bed, tries to ignore the sound but can’t ignore the multiple hands grabbing at her and pulling her from bed. She hears her mom instruct for a bag to be taped over the cast on her arm and she is launched into a pool. It is, her mom says, an intervention. Rachel has spent the last two months, since being jilted at the altar, living a slob’s life and it has to end.

Rachel and Kyle
The workmen clean the house up as her mom issues her list of concerns, not only her slobbish living but also the fact that she lives out in the desert alone, with only “methhead skater kids” and a creepy trailer for company. The house was meant to be part of a gated community (that apparently hasn’t come to pass) and was a wedding present. Rachel only leaves the house to climb Pizza Mountain – the high ground where she can get a mobile signal and order pizza – her staple diet. The fact that she hasn’t sorted a phone builds into the plot later as she is incommunicado. Later her friend Kyle (Boomie Aglietti) arrives to take her to have her cast removed but she goes under her own steam.

Ben Huber as Dr Lewis
Outside she sees a room for rent sign and the doctor at the hospital, who happens to be her father (Dan Higgins, Vampire Secrets), explains that payments need to be kept up on the house. Her ex, Mark, is a doctor at the hospital but her father has him rostered on nights. However he only agrees to take the cast off if she speaks to Dr Lewis (Ben Huber) – an intern who needs a place to live. She does and, discovering that he is in a wrecked place from a failed relationship, they have a frank discussion about using sex to get over their exes (though it is not intimated with each other). Realising the time she legs it, but sees Mark anyway. She cries her way home, comes to a decision and returns to Lewis and tells him he has to come over or may lose the room (breaking a date he has made in the meantime).

Kyle, bitten
Rachel’s motives are impure, she has decided to sleep with Lewis – much to the chagrin of Kyle, unrequitedly in love with her whilst in a loveless marriage. She has no food in and so climbs pizza mountain, seeing the skaters throwing rocks at the trailer. She turns away as the sun sets and a man (Eddie Bolero) emerges from the trailer – we see a bike abandoned with blood on it. The vampire king (that is his credit) is then forgotten as we enter a comedy of sexual farce and near miss with Paul the pizza guy (Michael Uribes) and Lewis, which is more cerebral/dialogue driven than slap and tickle. Eventually the house has Lewis, Mark, Kyle and a girl (Michaela Gutierrez), who saw the rental sign, in it. Kyle, on a dramatic storm out, is attacked and bitten.

a vampire at the doorway
They get him in the house and the vampires stop at the portal. There is a whole gang and – for the blog’s classification I will spoil them, but it won’t spoil the film (as it is the survival aspect that holds the plot together). They are wannabes. Termed as 'methhead vampires' in the credits they believe that blood sacrifice will make them real vampires and, as such, follow the movie rules (no entering without invite, for instance). It is a case of acting like, and believing in, vampires. Of course they are just as dangerous in a psychotic way and there is a nice Twilight jibe, which is nicely understated, thus works.

run, Rachel, run
The film is a film in two parts and relies pretty much on Jennifer June Ross to carry it, which she does, portraying a range of emotions and a natural quality. She is ably abetted by Ben Huber who is the right side of odd. The dialogue is good and the film knows its budgetary limitations. I wasn’t sure about the mix, but it didn’t jar too much and I would never have watched the film were it not for the horror aspect. A solid indie flick, 6 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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