Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The Campaign Night He Came Home: President Evil (2018)

President Evil (2018)
Rating: **1/2
Starring:  Ryan Quinn Adams, Kevin Alain, Sitara Attaie

Despite sounding a whole lot like a political satire of a zombie movie, President Evil (2018) is instead a parody of John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) centered on a goofier take on Donald Trump as a plus-sized murderer going around killing (and insulting?) people who aren't with the Republican party.

It begins with the point-of-view shot of some kid named David, sneaking up on his gold-digging pornstar mom and her lover getting into some smut talk while his unnamed real estate billionaire dad's away. It also happens to be the early 80s and around a presidential election so everybody's on a political mood, down to the Ronald Reagan masks and republican letter openers. Can you take a quick guess what David wore and used to pop dear ole' mum's water balloon implants with out of sheer anger?

David is then caught and institutionalized until modern times when he murders his way out to freedom, heading back to his hometown of Libertybelle where life is hard, unless you're white. By luck, the night he comes home coincides with Trump's ‘state of the union’ address, something our Muslim heroine Lana and her Mexican, Haitian and transgender friends wanted to watch and poke fun at seeing that night's also Halloween.

With David more or less set to go on a killing spree targeting anyone who isn't white or straight, all the while empowered by the powers of the Dark One courtesy of an unexpected ally, Lana and her friends have no choice but to defend themselves against the large gut and sharpened knife of an angry Republican in a bad wig and mask! 

Now, as a self-proclaimed guy living comfortably under a rock, I never see myself as a political person even til' this day. I understand there is a need for a government to exist as we cannot function without order, as well as the matter that a government cannot exist without its people to support it, but you wouldn't find me arguing on who fucked a donkey or who had a quickie with an elephant as, to simply put it, I just don't have the patience for it and the subject of politics bores me.

This said, with a range of satire from name-dropping (or hinting) political figures involved with the Trump administration to lengthy talks of how Republicans are evil and Democrats are good fueling every scene like precious life blood, President Evil is just forced and hardly subtle. It's a point that hurts the movie as it makes the plot and gags feel rather dated, replacing much of the wit and humor with outcries lazily driven by a single political jab and hardly anything else. There are moments that got me laughing at the cheesiness and outrageousness of the scenes (Particularly the ones with a vandalized tombstone, a demonic pact and David's defeat in the end. Oh god, you wouldn't believe how much I laughed at these) but they're very scarce and peppered throughout the movie awfully far apart.

On the horror side of this horror-comedy, President Evil is literally a Halloween (1978) clone that deviates little from the source, dropping in other slasher knock-off sequences like Psycho (1960)'s stair kill whenever its not sparing some time poking fun at the state of America under Trump. Despite this, the murders are sadly dry and lacking variety as they're mostly knife murders, their only identifiable trait being that they come after a joke or two. I could blame the movie's low budget, but I've seen other slasher titles with minimal funding do better with their bloodletting so this just comes off underwhelming. At least some of these jokey killings work alright and our masked maniac does look memorable enough for what the jests are worth, wielding a flag-themed kitchen knife and donning a cheap Trump mask topped with a bad wig.

Frankly, I understand the filmmakers' grounds and what they're trying to achieve here, it's just that I'm not the right audience for this kind of jabs. Again, government politics bore me and President Evil has enough pleasantries to tackle the subject sideways, but all I want in a slasher comedy is a good kill count, maybe some splatstick gore and a much more general array of funnies that anybody, regardless of age, gender, skin color, beliefs and preferred barnyard animal can enjoy. It still had me laughing at times so I will give it that, but I'm sure there are others out there who will love this more than I do. 

1 female stabbed in the chest implants with a letter opener
1 female found dying from a stabbed back
2 males found murdered
1 victim mentioned murdered
1 male knifed to death
1 female knifed on the back
1 male knifed to death
1 female knifed to death
1 male shot dead
1 male decimated with a grenade launcher
Total: 11


  1. "a political satire of a zombie movie"

    I think we already got that with that one equally hamfisted episode of Masters of Horror.

    1. And it's one of my fave episodes from that series. Mainly for nostalgic purposes!