TADFF’11: ‘Father’s Day’ – sick, depraved, exploitative, ultra-violent and outright offensive
Directed by Adam Brooks and Jeremy Gillespie
Written by Steven Kostanski and Adam Brooks
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.
Toronto After Dark – October 20-27 – Visit the official website.