Monday, June 11, 2012

Horror Film Review

Gory Gory Hallelujah (2003):  Well, uh...hmm.  That was certainly something.  Exactly what, I'm not entirely sure.  Now, I've seen awesome films, awful films, films that went over my head, and films that were just plain silly.  This one, however, is a whole new level of WTF.  Think The Rocky Horror Picture Show meets Deliverance.  It's unabashedly irreverent, gleefully decadent, and willfully obscene.  While there are zombies, calling this a horror movie is a stretch.  I mean, come on...there's a musical number. 

This isn't going to be easy, but I'll do my best.  Buckle up. 

Four struggling actors all try out for the role of Jesus in an experimental theatre version of The Greatest Story Ever Told.  When all fail, they decide to travel together from Seattle to New York to try their hand in the Big Apple...all still dressed in their audition outfits (I have no idea why).  On the poster, from left to right are Sky, the free-loving bisexual, (Tim Gouran), Joshua, the Jewish momma's boy, (Todd Licea), Rahim, the very proud and very loud African-American (Jeffrey Gilbert), and Jessie, the unlucky-in-love doormat searching for her place in the world (Angie Louise).  They get arrested in the podunk town of Jackville when Sky propositions an undercover deputy in a men's room.  While awaiting trial, they're split up and forced to stay with different members of the community.  The townsfolk are...well, they're all fucking nuts is what they are.  Joshua ends up at a whorehouse where he falls in love.  Rahim stays with the preacher's family where he's forced to dress as Aunt Jamima.  Jessie goes with a woman who introduces her to the secret world of man-hating, lesbian witches.  Sky is the guest of town's unofficial caretaker Mo Jack who lives in a shack in the middle of nowhere with a goat.  After the trial, things get weird.

The preacher has a plan to take over the world by digging up a magical talisman that's shaped like a giant golden dildo.  When he finds it on Mo Jack's land, all of Mo Jack's relatives who are buried there, and who all just happened to be lynched by the good people of Jackville, dig themselves out of their graves and start munching on the citizenry.  Pretty much everyone dies.  But just when we think all is lost, the golden dildo of power falls into the right hands.  Then there's a musical number.  To be fair, it's not bad.  Singing and dancing and everything.

I've left out a lot.  Like the goat fellatio, the lesbian orgy in the woods, and the bar fight with a dozen Elvis impersonators where Jessie takes care of business by using a corkscrew on an overly amorous King.  There was also a midget Elvis.  Just wanted to throw that in.

This movie is more comedy than horror, obviously, but halfway through I realized I wasn't actually enjoying it as much as I was mesmerized by the boat-loads of crazy.  Many parts are funny, a few hysterical, and most of the dialogue will either make you either smile or groan.  And that's by design.  I've never seen a movie that takes itself less seriously than this one, and frankly, that's the only reason it works.


Acting:  Over the top would be an understatement. 
Story:  I suspect it was cooked up after a night of heavy drug use.
Direction:  Surprisingly coherent. 
Production Values:  Well, $100,000 doesn't buy you much these days.  It didn't in 2003 either, so there's that low budget aura about it.  That said, at least it was shot on film, not video, and the sound and lighting don't suck. 
Gore/FX:  Even with a small zombie horde, they took it easy on the blood.  This was a disappointment given the movie's title.  The zombie make-up looks like avacado dip. 
Scares:  Not that kind of film.
Ending:  Goofy.  Musical number, remember?
Verdict:  Should you see Gory Gory Hallelujah?  For something completely and utterly different, yeah, it's worth a look.  I guarantee you will never see anything else like it. 

Rating:  3 out of 5

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