TADFF’11: ‘Father’s Day’ – sick, depraved, exploitative, ultra-violent and outright offensive

Father’s Day

Directed by Adam Brooks and Jeremy Gillespie

Written by Steven Kostanski and Adam Brooks

2011, Canada

Every once in a while a special film comes along that inspires and uplifts a generation. Troma’s latest production, Father’s Day, is not one of those films. It’s sick, depraved, exploitative, ultra-violent and outright offensive. One cannot help but wonder what kind of demented mind(s) would create such unspeakable mayhem. Even worse, what unruly souls would take pleasure in viewing its wickedness. These sentiments represent the majority of the movie-going public and mostly I would tend to agree, but in light of the obvious fact that the film’s debasement is tongue-in-cheek and a bold homage to 80’s grindhouse, I’ll give it an enthusiastic pass.

A sadistic predator is assaulting and mutilating defenseless fathers and, unfortunately, the city’s only hope is Ahab (Adam Brooks), a bumbling, leather-clad, eye-patched vigilante, who is joined by his stripper sister (Amy Groening), a conflicted priest (Matthew Kennedy) and a male hustler (Conor Sweeney). As the body count mounts and the villainy turns supernatural, Ahab is not only forced to fight his old nemesis but his personal daddy issues.

As mentioned, Father’s Day isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and anyone who’s familiar with the Troma brand will understand why. Their films (Toxic Avenger, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead) are typically made for shock value — often glorifying sexuality, gore and violence. Father’s Day follows their infamous code to the letter. The film showcases gratuitous female and male nudity, acts of cannibalism and countless body dismemberments. Troma’s co-founder Lloyd Kaufman, who also makes a cameo appearance as God and Satan, is undoubtedly proud.

Written and directed by Winnipeg-based Astron-6, Father’s Day will likely bring the five man team global notoriety for their courageous guerrilla filmmaking and campy humour. The direction and editing are impressive and their funny script moves the action along superbly. The subpar acting from the supporting cast is forgivable considering that it’s a b-movie. Fans of Grindhouse, Black Dynamite and Hobo with a Shotgun will not want to miss Father’s Day.

Nigel Hamid

Toronto After Dark – October 20-27 – Visit the official website.

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If you ask Nigel what his all time favourite film is, he’ll proudly tell you that it’s a tie between The Godfather and Saturday Night Fever, but don’t hold that against him (the latter is a guilty pleasure). He works in the financial district, but secretly wishes he could review movies 24/7 – unfortunately for him, that wouldn’t pay the bills. A true horror fan, while in L.A., Nigel actually had his girlfriend wait in a cab while he took pictures of the original Halloween house (much to the dismay of the homeowners). In his spare time, Nigel enjoys photography and writing & directing short films. Artist, Musician, Poet and Scholar – yes, Nigel is none of those things, but you can rest assured knowing he’d like to be. Email Nigel: [email protected]