Watched June 17, 2013
Starring: Michael St. Gerard, John P. Ryan, Maureen Teefy.
Rough stuff. The back of the box reveals the twist ending, which sucks because it's the only thing this movie has going for it. At the same time, if I hadn't read the synopsis I would have had even less of a clue to what's supposed to be happening in this movie. It's a terrible art house drama that is slow and difficult to watch, IMDB says it's a horror movie, but I think it barely fits in that genre.
We meet Henry (Michael St. Gerard) as he's walking onto the roof of a building where he plans on jumping off to commit suicide. While on the building, a strange older man, Sam Bones (John P. Ryan) shows up and talks him down off the ledge. Sam Bones becomes a mentor to Henry. I guess Henry became suicidal when his favorite TV show was cancelled; it was a Leave It To Beaver style black and white family show. Sam convinces Henry that now it's his time to shine and become a TV star. From Sam's viewpoint, the best way to get on TV is to become a serial killer. Henry obviously has a lot of problems, we see flashbacks of his meetings with his social worker, Wendy (Maureen Teefy). These sessions don't seem to help Henry much, he gives in to Sam Bones pressure to kill people pretty easily.
Henry puts on a crazy baby face mask, grabs an ax and starts his killing spree. He kills a bunch of people and does make it on TV. I don't think that it helps him with his problems at all. He continues to see Wendy but I don't think she really is helping him work through his problems either. She also doesn't put it together that he's the serial killer that's been on the news. There are all these strange flashes on multiple TV screens with naked ladies telling Henry that they'll be his once he kills. The best part of the movie for me, were the fake commercials, including one for donuts that come in a handy single serving box.
SPOILER: It wraps up with Henry trying to help Wendy escape from Sam Bones, only to figure out that Sam Bones is a figment of Henry's imagination. Henry is pushed off the roof of Wendy's apartment building but is still somewhat alive at the end. The ambulance arrives as Wendy, a witness, runs away. The last scene is Henry in a gurney by the ambulance but everyone is gone? As the credits roll, a crazy free jazz song about star time plays.
There is a lot of nonsensical dialogue between Henry and Sam, maybe that's supposed to be a tip off that Sam Bones is just a figment of Henry's imagination. This movie does contain a fair amount of naked ladies show on the TV screens that entice Henry to kill, but it's mostly just creepy. Henry does kill a lot of people, but they're all strangers and you don't see much of the murders. His social worker is completely inept, but she is played by the director's wife, so it was a labor of love. This crazy movie was nominated for the 1992 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, what!?