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FILTH TO ASHES, FLESH TO DUST is one of those flicks that deserve an A for Effort, as its obvious the filmmakers were attempting to make something solid, regardless of the miniscule budget and a cast of recent drama majors. There’s an attempt at creating a dreadful tone throughout, some cool lighting effects, and enough gore to sort of satisfy the horror hounds out there. Combining the sadisticness of torture porn with the stalking/killing M.O. of a slasher flick, the two genres are spliced relatively well… or rather, it was a solid attempt to create something awesome.
That said, the execution was far from awesome, with an end result that was just OK in terms of being entertaining or satisfying to fans of either genre. The biggest flaw has to be the killer in question (who goes by the name Filth to Ashes… WTF?), who is essentially a skinhead in a wife beater and camo pants. His reasons for killing is to rid the world of needless people (mush like Jigsaw in the SAW movies), but how he goes about it is like a degenerate Jason Voorhees. And while some of the kills were pretty damn cool and bloodier than expected, he’s such an uninteresting tool that you don’t really care. He’s not the type of bad guy you’re afraid of, nor is he the kind that you sort of root for (like Jason or Michael or Freddy or Jigsaw), he’s just a baldheaded a-hole in camo pants and a handlebar mustache. Booooring!
The other big flaw in the flick are the actors and the characters they’re portraying—first off, they all look like they’re 30 yet they’re supposed to be fresh out of high school. Make them fresh out of college and I’d buy it, but out of high school? No way. They’re also a bunch of rich jerkweeds who hate on minorities and pretty much just hate each other. There’s not a single likable character here and yet, we’re suppose to root for them? At least, I think we’re supposed to not want them to die. But since we don’t want the killer to win either cause he’s such a tool too, it comes to the point where the whole thing is just kind of pointless. Two characters also show up who survived being killed by the dude a few years earlier and want to take their revenge on the guy—these two are OK and are easily the most likable characters of the bunch, though not by much.
So beyond the lame killer and shithead victims, the flick does a decent job with creating a slasher/torture hybrid with some level of atmosphere. Cool lighting techniques and a decent musical score makes the flick more interesting to watch than some others out there, and then of course there’s the brutality of the gore and the kills that brings it to a slightly higher level than other student films. And that’s another thing to note: this is essentially a student film on a shoestring budget, and for a flick like this… it was better than expected. There’s definitely some promise in the filmmakers to go on to do bigger and better things.