Freak Out (2003)
Director: Christian James
On the island of Redwater Cove, loser horror fan Merv (Heathcote) and wannabe player Onkey (Palmer) see their pitiful lives “Hershey Highwayed” to shitsville when they adopt a “femmy” escaped loony and train him to become a no-bull serial killer. Things get out of hand as spatula slashing, bloodletting, Larry Hagman hauntings and mucho ass feeling ensue!
"I’ve got Kentucky Fried Testicules!"-- Onkey
DISCLAIMER: I have a tiny part in this film. I provided the “voice” for the Loony Doll. Take that into account when reading this review…or don’t. It’s up to you, Taco!
"Freak Out" is a heart-warming story that addresses the repercussions that abandonment can have on a child throughout his evolution into a man. YEAH, RIGHT! Pull my finger! YEAH, YOU FUCKS! Sometimes...just sometimes, you watch a movie and it winds up appealing to your every dirty sensibility. That happens to me often with adult-oriented art forms, especially when witnessing the beloved Jenna loves Brianna series, but that’s my own shit going on. Having said that, it rarely happens to me with comedies, unless I’m beyond trashed with two mademoiselles playing the clarinet on my lap. Well, all that changed when I popped "Freak Out" into my player.
The best compliment that I can pay this side-splitting magic carpet ride is that it felt as if my genre-hungry, politically-incorrect buddies and I could’ve been behind it. I related to this film’s aura and ballsy attitude. Spawned and brilliantly written by gay overtone aficionados Christian James (director/producer/writer/editor) and Dan Palmer (writer/actor/producer), this unique and creative toddler on Ritalin put out some genuine pole waxing moments. And the good news is: most of them revolved around horror! And I’m not talking about a "Scary Movie 3" type of vibe where “what’s trendy” is regurgitated down our throats for our viewing self-mutilation. I’m talking THE REAL DEAL with humor derived from "Friday the 13th: Part 2", "Night of the Living Dead", "Evil Dead" (wait till you meet Granny…FUCKING A!), "When a Stranger Calls", "The Terminator", "Ghoulies" (love them toilet Piranhas), "Frankenstein", "Nightmare on Elm Street", "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "Halloween", "The Blair Witch Project" (in the guise of a stage play…funny) and more! No "8 Mile" reference in this petting zoo! YIPPEE!
Straight up, "Freak Out" just wouldn’t give me a damn break via its insane “tongue in anal orifice” happenings. I haven’t been this wildly entertained since I heard my ex-girlfriend got a strong case of Syphilis (he he he). If it wasn’t the many pokes at typical movie conventions slaughtering my noggin, it was the endearing performances by all, the plasma showcases or the clever “British Kevin Smith”-like banter wowing me. And when that wasn’t going down, the flimsily dressed ladies on display and the wilder than Sam Raimi on Pop-Tarts directing, made sure to keep me in the playpen. To top that all off, the onslaught of snazzy montages at hand literally had my stomach in “laugh knots”. I almost bust a nut over here! I’ll never listen to the song “Maniac” (from Flashdance) the same way, that’s for sure, and that little “music video” moment that surfaced (you’ll see what I mean) had me chewing my big toe in giggles. Where did they come up with this stuff? I gotta get my hands on what they smoked when writing this script. PURE GENIUS!
Now I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t comment on the most potent canon in this one’s tight Levis. Yes, I’m referring to the endless array of gay themed jokes which assaulted me left, right, center, under and over the belt. Not since "Top Secret" and the original "Scary Movie" has homosexuality been poked at so efficiently. It should be told that from this heterosexual point of view, gay jokes are some funny ass shit. Why? I truly don’t know. But they are! Thankfully, "Freak Out" shared that affinity, slapped it in the glory hole and milked it dry. So many standout moments here! The queenie spatula wielding psychopath…NICE! The sensual shower disrobing scene…AMAZING (and gross)! The doll petting bit…PRICELESS! The plot twist with the alien…WHAT THE HELL!?! The dudes behind this film are some sick mofos no doubt and I love them for it! If gay oriented yucks-yuck crack you up, mark my words, you’ll have a KY good time with this gimp.
On the slight "Viagra-less" side of the salami, the film’s micro budget was apparent at times, decreasing the impact of certain scenes, especially when it came to the red grub. A lot of the mayhem here was sadly off-screen or tackled in a non-graphic way. We’re treated to lots of red splashes, but not enough visible ripping and slashing. Also, since the flick was basically an endless collection of gags relentlessly tossed our way with not much beef backing the slim narrative up, it did feel a tad (I said a tad...get off my back!) redundant in places. Lastly, I just couldn’t get into the cowboy-like cop character. The potential for successful comedy was there, but alas, the execution didn’t do it for me. I just didn’t find the dude funny or remotely entertaining, for that matter. But that’s just me, as we all know...humor is highly subjective.
But overall, "Freak Out" was a high-rolling, non-stop laughfest that much like Jason Voorhees on a good camp day, just kept on coming and coming. Every time I thought I was safe, another tight joke would machete my melon and send me to the mat. It must also be said that any picture that references the GREAT Larry Hagman (yes, J.R.) mercilessly and sports posters of Patrick Duffy and Steve Guttenberg in its backgrounds has to be gold! I think we've got ourselves a new cult classic on our hands guys. Scratch that…I KNOW we've got ourselves a new cult classic! FEEL THIS!
We get lots of blood splashes, after-the-fact cadavers, some spatula stabbing, Dan Palmer’s ass crack (yes, that goes in gore), some bleeding throats and the highlight....a dude cut in half by a giant spatula. I kid you not.
James Heathcote (Merv) was bang-on as the more insecure lad of the duo. He was extremely likeable! Dan Palmer (Onkey) owned as the happy-go-lucky jerk that we all love to love. What an a-hole! The man’s got my respect. Nicola Connell (Abby) was very convincing as the motor mouth, neurotic video store clerk. She actually turned me on, even with her constant yapping. What’s wrong with me? Chilli Gold (Cherry) scared the shite out of me as the sex-crazed orgasm on two legs type of gal. Good show and better ta-tas! Now back Satan, back I say!
T & A
We duders get Chilli Gold (Cherry) showing cleavage and doing the butt shot thang. We also get lots of chicks in bikinis and a sizzling hot blonde nurse who was shamefully underused and over-dressed for some reason! The ladies get Dan Palmer shirtless and proudly displaying his butt crack in one scene. They also get James Heathcote shirtless. Enjoy the shower scene gals!
Christian James directed with a firm hand and high energy while putting out a fair amount of quick cuts and zany angles. The many visual Sam Raimi references were much enjoyed by this horror nut!
We get a slew of engaging pop/rock tunes, a hip hop-like ditty, an able score and groovy 80’s classics the likes of “Rock me Amadeus”. The soundtrack ruled!
Now that’s what I’m talking about! "Freak Out" is a horror comedy made for horror fans by TO THE CORE horror fans. I was bludgeoned to a bloody pulp by the neverending barrage of gay pokes, genre nods, sight gags, nutty montages, plasma buckets, fine ladies and more gay jokes. Wrapped in kinetic directing that kissed Raimi’s buttocks and sprinkled with all kinds of slick tunes, "Freak Out" will either have you rolling on the floor like a Fruit Roll-Up or pissing on it like an untrained Chiuaua. Either way, you’ll have a smashing good time! Unless you’re easily offended, of course. Meet, greet and bend over for the Bill and Ted of horror! It’s about damn time we get our dynamic duo! Now give me a sequel!
During the fast zoom on the clock (when we finally get to see granny), you can see an "Arrow in the Head" sticker to the left of the clock.
This flick was shot on 16MM for 30,000 pounds over the course of 4 years.