Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Obsessive and Fanatical: 13 Fanboy (2021)

13 Fanboy (2021)
Rating: **1/2
Starring: Corey Feldman, Dee Wallace and Kane Hodder

As of writing, the Friday the 13th franchise is in a bit of a standstill due to a plethora of legal battles which prevents any opportunity to create another official movie. This, however, does not stop Friday The 13th alumni Deborah Voorhees of the Part V: A New Beginning (1985) fame to produce, write and direct her own meta-slasher film project wherein fellow Friday the 13th stars are hunted down by a fan who takes their love for the film series to a whole murderous level.

13 Fanboy follows Kelsie Voorhees, who witnessed the death of Deborah Voorhees, her grandmother, by the hands of deranged fan 13 years ago. She now believes the killer is back and targeting as many Friday The 13th stars as they can in what looks like a twisted act of vengeance when Lar Park-Lincoln, Tina of Part VII: The New Blood (1988), is last seen in a creepy video of her seemingly being held captive somewhere. The cops, of course, think Lar's disappearance is just a marketing stunt for an upcoming found footage horror she'd be starring in, though Kelsie knows something is up when she starts receiving threatening phone calls and more familiar faces from the franchise starts ending up missing or murdered. 

There's no surprise here that 13 Fanboy (2021) is made with hardcore Friday The 13th fans in mind, both as an appreciative gesture for their on-going support to all of the talents involved, as well as a look into the darker side of the fandom where obsession and toxicity dwells. As a meta-horror, there's certainly a touch of realism in the plot when it comes to its more dramatic moments of grief and trauma, though the effectiveness of this clashes greatly against the movie's campier elements, like the killer's lame and whiny one-liners, Corey Feldman as a sleazy producer named Mike Merryman, or Kane Hodder doing a monologue about his family while being on death's door, among many. This leads to the movie's tone to be a bit all over and it distracts the effectiveness of the plot. 
Other issues that hobbled my experience with 13 Fanboy (2021) would be its padded out pacing, where we get characterizations and scenes that do little to none in bettering the story, as well as an annoyingly expressive editing style that leaves some shot looking too wonky and cheap. And then there's the killer’s weak design of a random ghoul mask and a dirty hood, a presentation that falls too average for me, if not hardly striking enough to be memorable as a menace. I do like their deranged motive, but once this film rears its last minute twist in, the hodge-podge of murder motives just doesn't work altogether.

Fortunately, as a slasher, it does good when it comes to the killings, all done in gloriously gory practical effects and each a little different from the other. We also got ourselves a capable heroine out of actress Hayley Greenbauer as Kelsie Voorhees, who pretty much carried this film as a rising horror actress haunted by a dark past. Add a few interesting alternate-reality twists as our horror stars play a version of themselves for that extra touch of humor and satire (Ron Sloan, Junior from Part V: A New Beginning (1985), being married to Dee Wallace, for example), and you get an otherwise still okay watch here.  

While not the grandest stab at a meta-slasher, 13 Fanboy (2021) does enough to ham its way through a plot and bring a sizable bloodletting along to be at least considered capable. May you be a casual slasher fan or a hardcore Friday The 13th fanatic, I say still give this one a round!

1 female ran through with a pitchfork
1 female knifed to death
1 girl seen knifed in the gut (photo)
1 boy seen dead with a head wound (photo)
1 male seen with a plastic bag over his head, shot through the neck with an arrow (photo)
1 male seen knifed in the head
1 male seen gutted
1 male gets a broken mop handle skewered through his head
1 female killed offscreen
1 male repeatedly stabbed with a machete, bled to death
1 female knifed in the chest
1 female mentioned repeatedly knifed and decapitated
1 male found stabbed in the throat with a pair of scissors
1 male gets a throwing axe to the gut
1 female hacked on the head with a hoe
1 male shot to death
1 female gets a powerdrill to the temple
1 female stabbed to death with a mirror shard
Total: 18

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