Astron-6, the kings of indie retro horror, have done the whacked grindhouse and exploitation thing. Now, they bring us a film that’s not only a throwback to giallos and Euro horror, but also pokes fun at them.
Astron-6 hairy man Adam Brooks plays a film editor who lost four fingers in a gory accident (shown in a flashback). He was left with wooden fingers that make doing his job a bitch, so now he is cutting bad b-movies for a living. But when the actors in his latest project begin getting murdered, Adam becomes the prime suspect…because the victims are missing their fingers!
On the case is Astron-6 comic man Matthew Kennedy, who brings a majority of the goofy humor to the film as a bumbling detective. And to round out the Astron-6 threesome, blond man Conor Sweeney is one of the actors in the film being shot, and he begins gunning for the leading role once the star is murdered.
In standard Astron-6 fashion, there are underlying gay themes. Sweeney (as is usually the case) does the honors. His character is clearly hot for man meat. He blatantly looks at and compliments a hunky actor’s package in a shower room (and so do we). Whenever he’s with a woman, he stares at a picture of Matthew Kennedy, especially when banging chicks. And best of all…he fantasizes that he’s making out with Kennedy while having sex with a woman! Even so, the gay angle ends up being mostly a tease and is never made a major plot point. Come on, Astron-6! These two cuties were made for gay sex scene (in which Adam Brooks then enters all in leather and teaches them a thing or two….).
This is one of Astron-6’s best looking films yet, especially on Blu-ray. They’ve nailed the look and feel of Euro horror perfectly. The film is drenched in red, with eerie atmosphere, random, nonsensical plot progression, and even bad “English dubbing.” Brilliant. The only out of place moments are the trippy/paranormal types of visions or delusions Brooks’s character experiences. They’re very Astron-6, for sure, but even in a movie that so closely follows the surreal reality of an Italian giallo murder mystery, they are way out there.
The best elements of the film are the Euro horror setups. The murders are fantastic and grisly, in classic style. There’s the shadow kill, the woman hanging in a noose, the close-up eyeball puncture, the murder not actually executed by the killer, and one of my faves—a scene in which the killer manages to claim a single victim by creating an isolated situation even though there were initially two people in the very same room.
Adding to the fun are some familiar horror faces, including Paz de la Huerta of Nurse 3D, Laurence R. Harvey of the Human Centipede franchise, and horror icon Udo Kier of Suspiria and dozens of other horror flicks over the decades.
I’m so psyched the Astron-6 guys are finding enough success to continue making films, because they are masters at capturing the authenticity of old school horror sub genres. I wonder if the guys are thinking of making the film within this film into a full-length feature, because it rox.