Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Real Mind Fuck


Header 2006
Director: Archibald Flancranstin
Writer: Michael E. Kennedy
Starring Jake Suffian, Elliot V. Kotek, Dick Mullaney, Tara Brooks, Jim Coope, Melody Garren and Jim Coope

This was a film I had heard a lot about and had been wanting to see, since it was written by one of my favorite horror writers Edward Lee. This one has been getting a lot of interesting word of mouth. Many have said it is the sickest and vilest film they had ever seen, and those are strong words. Some of my favorite films fall into that category, films like I Spit On Your Grave and Cannibal Holocaust. This film lives up to film of that caliber, it is sleazy, vile and perverted and left me with a bad taste after I watched it. But, like those other films I liked it. I guess it is just the cruel side of my nature. Now, this film is not for everyone and will probably shock and offend many viewers but I love just how intrusive and foul the whole affair is.
The plot basics are this, we meet Stewart (Suffian) a ATF agent who is crooked because of his sick girlfriend, Kathy (Garren) and her expensive medicine. He has been helping moonshiners with their deliveries and soon gets a offer to help a drug dealer transport his heroin through the County. We also meet Travis (Kotek), who has just got out of a lengthy prison stay and goes to live with his grandfather Jake (Mullaney), who lives out in the backwoods. He reminisces with him and then his Grandfather tells him about a header, which is the vilest and sickest thing you can do to someone who has wronged you. Travis then decides to round up the kin of anyone who has wronged him and his family and commits this atrocious act to them. While, Stewart investigates this rash of bodies that are horrendously violated, while still trying to juggle his crooked dealings at the same time. It all leads to Stewart finding Travis and Jake and ending their crusade of terror, but not without damning himself in the process.
God damn, this was one fucked up film. The direction is very sleazy and grimy and it definitely has a Backwoods horror feel to it like Wrong Turn or something of that variety. The film has a real grainy documentary feel to the proceedings. The script is very tight too, everyone is sleazy and has something wrong with them at some level and really none of the characters are very sympathetic, yet you still like watching them. The actors are very good, especially Mullaney as Grandpa Jake. He really has a Walter Brennan feel to his acting style. I also thought Suffian was a great lead, though he does many horrible things, you still hold out hope that he will turn things around for himself. The SFX is really quite bloody and very realistic and at points can make you sick to your stomach. Not many films can get that reaction out of me anymore, but this one did and I applaud that. For genre fans looking for something that is more out there and off the beaten path, I highly recommend this one. But if you are the type that is very squeamish or the faint of heart, stay far away from this monster.
This one gets 4 out of 5

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