Friday, June 14, 2013

Where are the Dead Orphans?: The Orphan Killer (2011)

The Orphan Killer (2011)
rating: ***
starring: Diane Foster, David Backus, Matt Farnsworth

Many a times, aspiring directors and producers often rave about their own work as an original take on something, may it be a drama, action or, yes, a horror film. Not to say that I don't agree on raving for your own work, people deserved at least that for all their blood, sweat and tears, but for us moviegoers, it might be a different story as we are the ones who're going to experience everything these guys had conjured up for the first time.

The title's a bit misleading for starters; there is no killer of orphans. The killer brained to death a boy during a flashback scene but apart from that, Marcus Miller, the homicidal masked killer out for blood here, is more of an orphaned killer with a mission to kill off his sister, Audrey, who adapted and moved on pretty well despite the traumatic home invasion that took her parents, and her brother going whacko in front of her. Audrey grew up as a dance instructor for a Catholic school, which so happens to be the same place where she and Marcus was took in when they were orphaned. Unfortunately (and seemingly no surprise here), Marcus also found his way to the place and he's willing to kill anyone that he can grab hold to until he gets back at Audrey for abandoning him.

Ticking off from the slasher cliche lists, The Orphan Killer had a few familiar culprits lurking around; despite attempting to look expertly shot and edited, the questionable acting from some of its casts blunts down some of the impact of the film, and music-video style editing did little to better the final product. I would also like to point out the heavy metal scoring of this film which I'm not really a big fan of, as I prefer haunting tunes over chaotic death metal any day. (I have my exceptions but this isn't one of it as you can tell)

But positives would come with the film's traditionally handled gore effects, which meant a lot of latex and fake heads that are, as far as the blood works are concerned, more than passable. The film's also sleazy from the fact that we actually had scenes including our lead actress Diane Foster stripping for a shower and revealing that she's wearing only fishnet stocking underneath that skirt, and a nun giving a janitor a head, both of which done inside a church. (Not that I approve of it or anything as a sortah-Catholic, but it's a horror movie, and I just wanna have (brainless) fun)
Wait, so nobody smelled that in church?!
So with the gore and T&A department covered, the only thing we're missing now for a slasher movie to fully work is a memorable killer; David Backus stars as the titular Orphan(ed) Killer, who's get up is a simple mormon's shirt and tie, gunked up with sweat and blood, and a paper-mache mask that looks like an unused Slipknot prop. His savagery does makes him terrifying at some level, plus the fact that this guy can speak and reason at a point makes him even more than your average mute maniac, but the way he was made is what makes me a bit wary. The idea of a monster being molded out of zealous, self-fattening "I'm right-you're wrong-and that makes you evil" hysteria has been done before dozens of times, (Think Carrie) so the shock value and notoriety of this is too worn out for some fans. His punishment for his sister seems to be a very personal vendetta, so they also thrown in a couple of torture scenes for that matter, but ultimately, we can tell this guy had a high probability of survival seeing that a lot of attention is going at him, to the point that Foster's character had to level down into a panicking, screaming, broken victim.

Nothing groundbreaking to note, nor is this movie a perfect example of a good slasher film. if it's anything, it's as basic as the next independently made, low-budget slasher movie waiting to be released, but The Orphan Killer deserves its fans, and it's still a worthwhile watch of an effort made for those looking for a night of bloodletting, and bloodletting alone.

1 male gets a saw-toothed machete through the head
1 male knifed offscreen (flashback)
1 female knifed on the gut (flashback)
1 male killed offscreen
1 female garroted with barbwire
1 boy bludgeoned to death with baseball bat (flashback)
1 male gets a fork to the neck (flashback)
1 male beheaded with hunting knife
1 male gets a hunting knife to the back, head stomped to a pulp
1 female hacked to death with axe
1 male brained to death with hammer
1 male repeatedly stabbed with hunting knife, bled to death
total: 12

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