Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Angry Psycho Thoughts: Nutbag (2001)

Nutbag (2001)
Rating: *
Starring: Mack Hail, Renee Baio, Jenesses Kenney

The lines between serial killer flicks and slashers are often blurred; while many may argue whether titles like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Maniac, and Crawlspace (1986) are considered slasher flicks or just really bodycount-friendly character studies of a horror movie, there's very little doubt how influenced these movies are when it comes to their bloodletting.

What makes these films likable, though, is that despite focusing on the monsters and their crimes, we get to see sides from said monsters that can be sympathetic; Henry Lucas in Portrait is portrayed as a morally absent man that somewhat has his own sense of limit for the carnage he creates, Frank Zito in Maniac is mentally disturbed and wishes nothing more than to stop his own madness, and Gunther in Crawlspace is a Neo-Nazi with a quirky sense of madness that borders on the cheesy side. 

Basically speaking, villain-centered slashers normally work if said villain itself have a redeeming feature. Now if we have one that's completely out of his own head and hates everyone  everything just for the sake of hating, well, we are in for a long night...

The titular nutbag in this film is a nameless serial killer who spends the entire film bickering about other people regardless of gender, race and social status, killing them off anytime he wanted to. 

And that is simply it. Two days of this guy's twisted life packed in a measly low budget movie. As much as I want to respect the director's effort in making this film, I kinda wonder myself if he is simply trying too hard to shock us with as many taboo breaking as possible, or if he really has nothing else going on with his mind to fully flesh out this villain.

I mean yes, we get to see some flashbacks concerning him as a youngster being abused by his father, but that is old hat! We get hundreds of horror villains abused as a kid during their childhood so what makes this guy any different from them? Not much really, save maybe more racist and sexist? Ironically, he isn't targeting abusive fathers which would have made more sense but, again, I really have no idea what is going on with the brains behind this dreck.

So unimaginative story aside, the slasher element in this film is still present but done in a manner closer similar to those August Underground movies; they're demeaning, raw, and often cruel, sad to say mostly to the killer's female victims. The male victims get murdered off tamely, a fact that bothers me since the production claims this is a throwback to early 80s slashers. Yeah, not sure what kind of films the eggheads behind this movie saw and considered slashers, but the early 80s entries always have a balanced ratio of female and male victims. Nutbag is simply exploited sexism.

Acting is weak, the kills are unimaginative and tries too hard to be shocking, and the low budget really shine through from the sets, to the audio, to special and make-up effects (if any was used). The fact that this film was made is the only thing terrifying about it, and this is coming from a guy who lived through nasties like The Human Centipede trilogy, A Serbian Film, and Angst (1983).

Bottom line, we are better off watching the original Maniac or Henry, Nutbag is just too full of itself.

1 female had her throat cut with a cleaver
1 female murdered, method unknown
1 female seen murdered, covered in blood
1 female drowned in a bathtub
1 male murdered off camera with a knife
1 female knifed to death
1 female sodomized with a knife
1 female knifed to death (flashback)
1 female knifed on the gut
1 male nearly beheaded with a kukri
1 female knifed on the groin
Total: 11


  1. I've had the big budget (over two million dollars, somehow) pseudo-remake Murder-Set-Pieces lying around for a while. I should probably get to it, but then, I have so many other, better-sounding films...

    1. If you are stalling yourself from watching that film...we understand.