Mar 31, 2009

Perkins' 14

Perkins' 14 happens to be an enriched film experience by comparison and probably one of the few "good" After Dark Horrorfest films in existence. The plot revolves around a balding and intimidating police officer whose son was kidnapped 10 years before and the present day marks the decade anniversary. If you know anything about generic horror or horror in general (See what I did there?), you'd know that anniversaries never go peacefully and there's always something shady around the corner. His quiet and discomforting day goes by rather dreary until he makes a connection between the abduction of his son with a mysterious man who was arrested for speeding earlier in the day. The film causally jumps from suspense thriller to pseudo-science zombie/beast horror and I've never really encountered such an awkward and engaging hybrid as this before. It almost reminds me of Fear X, a film that damn near ravaged my emotions.

Since I've seen Martyrs very recently, I couldn't help but make comparisons to confined slavery and the inevitable deconstruction of humanity to the glorious effects of sensory deprivation. For the sake of a rather straightforward horror film, the underlying erotic themes have been removed and replaced with a higher body count. Perkins' 14 includes a master plan that plays out like one of the future installments of the Saw franchise. Think about it this way, Saw really has nowhere else to go but revisiting characters but even then the fan base will dwindle. So why not include drug-fueled zombie manchildren? To aid the effect of Perkins' 14, a rather delicious "punk" daughter is introduced to the mix and as noted in the recent review of 2008's The Children, these trendy girls only deliver eye candy while the tension builds up rather well. To put it blatantly, I enjoy staring at beautiful girls while I witness police officers getting disemboweled. These two fine points of the American dream just go hand in hand, I guess.

I digress this very same reality that allows low budget horror to take place. I favor a certain charming low budget horror but not the over-produced trite that plays into our DVD shelves with promises of splatter and nudity. While these both are shining portraits of contemporary horror, I find a film with an emotional response to be a better way to "waste time" rather than watching subhuman looking females taking off their shirts revealing subnormal breasts only to get decapitated rather shoddily resulting in some half-painted prop head bouncing on the ground. Perkins' 14 did promise splatter to a degree but also made due with its riveting plot that was constantly shifting faces never allowing you to get bored.

Expect an amendable level of violence, intrigue, and social discussion after viewing this film. It's not anywhere close to being an excellent film but it does uphold a contract to please, entertain, and amuse you with a level of seriousness that couldn't be that serious after revealing the plot in depth. Perkins' 14 is probably the most enjoyable film out of the third After Dark Horrorfest roster and the most visually engaging, especially after admiring the modern exploitation cover art that's handsomely illustrated. PCP fuels a personalized army of unstoppable psycho's to kill for Mr. Perkins after he snaps thanks to a neurotic paranoia. This effort is sustained through promotional tag lines as being lamented as the first film to be produced over the internet. This isn't as exciting as it sounds and certainly doesn't usher in a new era of film making. That, and this film's climax boils down to a disappointing rip-off of Assault on Precinct 13.



thebonebreaker said...

Arg! I was just on my way to leave TyE another comment on From Within. My neighbor bought all 8 films today and this one was my pick to watch - we ended up choosing a random one, and it happened to be From Within [which TyE reviewed earlier] I told my neighbor that I had heard that one was no good, but that was the luck of the draw - unfortunately, TyE was right!

When next I go over to my neighbor's, we will have to watch this one!

Soiled Sinema said...

I didn't realize all 8 films were out already. I don't trust any of those films except Dying Breed and this, Perkins' 14. They all sound dreadful in description.


Keith said...

I hadn't heard of this film before. I'll definitely have to make sure I check it out.

the jaded viewer said...

Wouldn't you have wanted to see how Perkins made all the 12 kids into crazy killer?

That's what I wanted to see and all I got were drugged up kinetic zombies.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

speaking of perkins how about a reveiw of psycho, your reveiws of vertigo and marnie were superb so i`m sure that one would be as well. The only problem with those films is that the director is british so that always spoils them a little bit for me, but it would still be great to hear your opinion on arguably the greatest acting performance in the history of cinema, although again what spoils that a little bit for me as well is knowing that mr. perkins was bi-sexual, why could`nt he have been completely straight instead of a dirty half-pansy.

HammerSmashedFace said...

This sounds like my sort of movie. I've been out of the trash loop for a while (new kid) and was getting tired of freq' disappointments. Will certainly check this out.

I'm making my way through your older posts so haven't come across reviews for them yet, but may I recommend: The Signal (2007) & Mulberry Street (2006). Both of these low 'budgeters' really helped me garner a fresh hunger for modern horror which the big production companies had been dismally failing @.

Its weird but for me it increasingly seems its the cash strapped films I have the most fun with. They guys & gals always seem to, on the whole, go that extra mile, & really give a shit what they put out.

Anyway...enough with my rambling already, fantastic blog, will be a frequent attendee, looking forward to more trashy cinema goodness.

Peace out.