Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sons, lock-up your fathers: Father's Day (2011)

Father's Day (2011)
starring:  Adam Brooks, Mackenzie Murdock and Matthew Kennedy

I honestly never understand the fan following for Troma movies. I mean, yeah, these films are shlocky cheese-fest with lots of taboos and violence. I'm up for blood and guts any day, but there's a limit to how dumb a film can be for me to enjoy. Perhaps I'm saying this because I grew up watching "high-class" horror flicks released by big names like Dimensions, New Lines or Paramount, or even half-decent releases from Full Moon videos, but I have enjoyed some Troma releases such as Mother's Day (1980), Blood Hook, Klown Kamp Massacre, Dead Dudes In The House, and the list can go on!  So, I'm theorizing that any films not made by Troma but released by this company would surely come half-way decent, hence why I have subjected myself to this so-called tie-in film to Mother's Day called Father's Day, eager to see if Troma can change my perspective of them.

Spoilers: it didn't.

Seeing this is a Troma film, I kinda saw some of it's signature cliches dead on from far away: fat guys, ultra-violence, cheesy lines, awkward jokes, taboos ranging from gay jokes, rapes, cannibalism, incest, religion and so forth, but at least for the first hour or so, they made it with the nature of a pure 70s exploitation flick, with an Ahab named, well, Ahab hunting a notorious father serial-rapist/murderer Chris Fuchman. It's a vendetta Ahab is holding against the seemingly uncatchable monster after Fuchman murdered his father, left him missing an eye, and turning him and his sister orphans. Now, it seems Fuchman has returned when a new series of murders starts to spread across a city, with an eager (and gay) priest John tasked to find Ahab and help him kill the monster. Further joining the duo is Twink, a gay street hustler who's father was one of the more recently murdered men by Fuchman and what started as a personal vendetta will soon escalates to supernatural proportions as the fate of the world will soon be on stake.

Sounds good, no? Now, Father's Day does live up to it's slasher-action exploits for the hour before it goes to pure Troma territory again. This first hour had it all: nasty murders and father rapes, some cheesy psuedo-grindhouse grit, and one unsettling killer, rolled into one strange but thrilling slasher-revenge hybrid in vein of Highway Men meets Drive Angry. It's was way above the usual over-the-top mindlessness that the company is known for, almost dead-on being a decent exploitation tribute. But after which, when we believed it was over as the killer gets murdered himself, a new twist takes place which puts everyone in hell. Literally.

It's not entirely bad, it's just the thing gets sillier and sillier by the minute and it quickly looses almost all of the charm it was building with that favors my taste for bad cheesy horror flicks. It can be a bit funny if it wants to, like that obvious Star Wars Java the Hutt-esque scenario where a captured character is taken prisoner by a completely obese monster, or the fact that they commit suicide ala Russian roulette to get to Hell (or Heaven) in the first place, but there is a thing as being too silly for its own good and Father's Day just dove too deep into cartoonishly overwhelming proportions that the climax literally gave me a headache and I needed a glass of water and a Tylenol just to ease up my brain after watching the damn thing.

It's a Troma fan's wet dream, I assure you that. If you're one, or at least seen two or three titles of their releasing to somewhat understand the tone of the movie, then you can expect the same thing from Father's Day, only more thought through and imaginative at some places. I enjoyed it in a silly manner for a few while, but as soon as the "hell-scapades" start, I can easily say to myself that I overstayed my welcome to this title and was more than willing to ditch the inexcusable collection of senseless taboo that no film would try to tackle, played out in the table like cards and rearranged to form a story and a jumbled mess meets clever ingenuity with a 50-50 chance of being hated and loved. I came to see it out of curiosity and it nearly gave me a tumor by the size of a bowling ball in my head at the near end, but I'll assure you, if yer up to it, it's purely watchable. So until then, I'm gonna rest my head for a while as, I swear to God and Buddy Jesus, that tumor's singing in my head again...

1 male seen being butchered
1 male ran over by car and shot
1 male set ablaze (flashback)
1 male had his neck bitten open
1 blind male found beheaded
1 male raped, disemboweled
1 female gets a shotgun shot to her chest
1 female beheaded with chainsaw
2 females found with throat slit
1 male and 1 female found murdered
1 female found with missing eyes
1 male shot on the head with shotgun
1 male found tortured, left for dead
1 male beaten on the head with brick, stomped on
1 male shot to death with machine gun
1 male had his head shot off
1 male decapitated with sword
3 males suicide through Russian roulette
1 demon baby stomped to death
total: 23


  1. Yeah, Reinstate's a bit of an aquired taste. I can take it on small doses when I'm in the mood as they do bring a certain energy to all their movies. But this one may not make it onto my viewing list. Thanks for the review!

    1. Well said, buddy. well said! Exactly how I feel.

  2. By the way - the word Reinstate up there was supposed to be Troma - but my smartphone turned into a dumbphone and "corrected" it for me!

    1. ah the wonders of automated technology~ haha!

  3. Saying this movie is AT ALL typical TROMA is horse-shit and proves you to be an inept reviewer, easily clouded by the label.

    This movie is not at all like ANY TROMA film!

    Watch five minutes of Toxic Avenger, Poultrygeist, Terror Firmer etc. - those movies are shit jokes, crossed eyes, bad lighting, bad acting, and finally - BAD effects.

    FATHER'S DAY IS NONE OF THOSE THINGS!!!! It's full of sex and violence yes, but that does NOT make it typical TROMA. Father's Day is a beautiful looking film, with lighting and framing homages to Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, and Quentin Tarantino. The gore effects in Father's Day are top notch! The greenscreen work isn't amazing but it's authentic to the genre. The naked girls in Father's Day are actually hot and don't look like your average pierced, tattooed "Tromette." If you think the acting or the jokes in Father's Day are bad then you have no sense of the ironic/absurd, and I wouldn't be surprised if you also hated Monty Python and Evil Dead 2.

    What is especially annoying about your critique is that you seem most bothered by the final act, the act which elevates this film FAR above films like Hobo With a Shotgun, and Machete.

    Obviously all art is subjective but you let your bias against TROMA ruin your viewing experience! I hate TROMA too, but open your eyes man!

    1. Dude, I gave it 3 stars! What more do you want? Ten? Dude, it's my taste, it's my opinion and it's my blog! I'm glad you love this movie, but this is how I see it. If you can't live with that, then don't. Not everyone's gonna find this perfect, eh!

    2. i agree that this is an ignorant review.