ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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The Last Horror Movie (2004)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Julian Richards

Starring:
Kevin Howarth/Max
Mark Stevenson/The Assistant
PLOT-CRUNCH
A serial killer (Howarth) shares with us a slice and dice of his life by having a camera follow him around as he does good deeds. What deeds you may ask? Help an old lady cross the street? Nope! He kills for our viewing pleasure and spits out thought provoking commentaries on life and the artistry of murder. How sweet! Thanks Max!
THE LOWDOWN

I'm trying to make an intelligent film about murder, whilst actually doing the murders. – Max

I finally got around to seeing “The Last Horror Movie” and I’m glad to say that the flick did not disappoint. In fact, it kind of scared me where I found myself agreeing with pretty much every comment that “Psycho Max” had to say about life, our insecurity driven society and people in general. Made sense to me! Taking its cue from the “Video Camera” bit in Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer and the French film “Man Bites Dog”, this head-shot of a movie worked due to four potent bullets that it had lodged firmly in the barrel of its Magnum.

Bullet 1: The script (by James Handel) was incredibly well written where it often slyly played with our perception of its lead and our expectations to viciously bang us across the head. Furthermore, the subject matter at hand was thankfully not handled in an obvious black and white manner. Much like real life it communicated its substance through a “dead on” shade of grey. The whole was taken even further via a clever little narrative “twist”, intelligently handled themes, though provoking dialogue; a multi layered lead loony and a biting bleak sense of humor. I felt ashamed at times for giggling like a Helium junkie sucking on balloons! I mean what was I chuckling at here? Innocent folks are getting tortured and killed and I’m getting off on it! Max pulled a “Cannibal Mc Lunch” on his family and I thought it was amusing! Shit, I’m either the most jaded person in the world when it comes to violence or I’m inches away from picking up a kitchen knife and carving myself a turkey.

Bullet 2: This nail-gun asked the audience member (me, you, us, my dog) to somewhat participate in the events going down. Max often shared his points of view with us and we were given the choice to agree or not to agree. Max frequently asked us deep questions and like a well trained Mule, I found myself answering them in my head. Max repeatedly showed us some mucho ugly stuff and I always thanked him for it with my undivided attention and my belly laughs. The audience participation nature of the picture made it kick that ass harder than it already did, where yes, this was more than just a film…it was a visceral experience.

Bullet 3: Somebody buy actor Kevin Howarth a bottle of Jack, 6 lap dances and Tara Reid’s butchered nipples for his incredibly credible and multi faceted performance. His rendition of “Max” captivated the hell out of me! I couldn’t take my eyes off the lad! Not only was he as charismatic as the Devil, he was also as daunting as…well…the Devil. The duder made me want to hear and see more due to his sheer presence alone! Probably the best casting move of the year! I couldn’t and can’t imagine anybody else in the role! CHEERS KEV!

Bullet 4: This is a mock reality film and let me tell ya I bought its reality wholesale with an Apple Strudel on the side. From the performances; to the way the flick was shot, to the grounded and brutal execution of the murders… I truly forgot that what I was watching was a piece of fiction. I believed in Max and all of the situations presented. For a flick to pull the wool over my glazed eyeballs when I knew damn well before hand that this was all “make believe” means that its damn good at what it does.

On the slim downside I thought Max recruited his new partner a little bit too easily. I had to suspend disbelief there. Lastly, my own numbness to violence took away from the film where 99.8 percent of the murders failed to shock or move me. The only time I got my panties in a bunch was when A: Max tried to get his assistant to partake in the fun and B: When some poor girl got her stomach stabbed and died slowly. Other than that, I was either laughing or watching the film intensely in awe. Was it me? Was it the movie? Was it both? See the flick and judge for yourself.

When all was said and gutted, “The Last Horror Movie” resulted in being quite the midnight snack surprise! I only expected a side order of mashed potatoes when popping it in my player but got the steak, the peas and the glass of wine too! Dig into this horror sandwich and kill the Cook afterwards…out of RESPECT!

GORE
Max didn’t “F” around when it came to doing his “Spring Cleaning”! We get brutal bludgeoning, stabbings and slit throats. The movie wasn’t overly graphic but what it showed and suggested was enough to please this a-hole!
ACTING
The weight of the picture was on Kevin Howarth's (Max) kitchen knife and “Hip Hip Hurray”; the man came through on all counts. His charisma, delivery and natural demeanor were all top notch. Mark Stevenson (The Assistant) was extremely convincing as the “weakling” assistant.
T & A
Not much of this stuff going on, unless Kevin Howarth in a tank top counts on your watch.
DIRECTING
The slickly directed “book ends” aside; most of the movie was shot the “hand held” or the “tripod” way. I highly respect the fact that Julian Richards managed to communicate a sense of to the grit realism while at the same time making sure that it all came across in a coherent enough fashion to hold up as a “film”. He pulled off this tricky balancing act like a champ!
SOUNDTRACK
I esteemed the use of ambient sounds and background music here. It should be said that silence, more often than none often makes for the most powerful score of all. This flick applied that rule to a “T”.
BOTTOM LINE
“The Last Horror Movie” managed to effectively bend reality and swindle my simpleton brain into accepting that what I was watching was factual. Tag to that its thought provoking statements on life and murder, its biting sense of humor and its mesmerizing lead player and you get a compelling sit down. Sure I can’t say that I was shocked much which is negative since I’m assuming the flick was aiming for that, but that’s not necessarily its fault. I just might be clinically insane! So you in the mood to march in a serial killer’s shoes? You want to know about him, his motivations and his thoughts while witnessing ruthless acts of murder? Rent “The Last Horror Movie” but beware… Max is waiting!
BULL'S EYE
For the reality of “The Last Horror Movie” to hit you hardcore, rent it and watch it at home as opposed to seeing it on the big screen. Trust me on this one.

Fangoria is handling the film’s Theatrical Release.

The flick was shot for an estimated 780, 000 dollars.

Thye Last Horror Movie will hit DVD on December 7 2004
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