Monday, May 13, 2013

Short Review: 'Father's Day' (2012)

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First of all, it goes without saying that if you’re a genre fan, the 70s, 80s and early 90s were a great time for B-movie cinema obsessives. Including myself in this spectrum, I am somebody who generally spends the better part of almost every day seeking out the very best (and sometimes worst) in weird and wonderful filmmaking by whatever means possible in the hope of having the opportunity to see something previously banished from public view. Furthermore, unlike the vast majority of conceited mainstream film reviewers, I find sincere critical value in movies like Nymphoid Barbarian In Dinosaur Hell, Bloodsucking Freaks, Humanoids From the Deep, Mod Fuck Explosion, Demented Death Farm Massacre and any other number of so-called ‘trash’ titles commonly neglected by all except those who cherish them.

The recent explosion of retro exploitation ‘homages’ by young, low budget filmmakers eager to strike a cord with like-minded fans seems to be very in vogue, evidenced by titles like Black Devil Doll, Run Bitch Run, Prison-A-Go-Go, Bitch Slap, Jesus Christ: Serial Rapist and countless others. For whatever reason though these filmmakers seem to completely misunderstand the fact that it is – by definition – impossible to consciously manufacture a cult film. Period. No matter how much intentionally bad acting you interject, no matter how realistic the faux film grain filters are or how grotesquely cheap the special effects, the test of time is the only governing power what will determine whether or not a film as culturally significant on the midnight circuit. It’s that simple.

Distributed by maverick independent studio Troma, Father’s Day is but another lowly attempt to pay tribute to transgressive cinema and the result is one of the most boring, reprehensible pieces of filmmaking you’ll ever have the displeasure of sitting through. 

Slobby sexual sadist Chris Fuchman (Mackenzie Murdoch) is going around raping unsuspecting fathers before dismembering them and eating parts of their bodies. After teen gay prostitute Twink (Conor Sweeny) loses his own dad to the killer, he decides to recruit a fellow by the name of Ahab (Adam Brooks), a reclusive vigilante who thought he killed Fuchman years before. Together they uncover a demented plot instigated by the Devil himself that involves demonic possession, heaven, hell and a ton of other gibberish that makes no sense whatsoever.


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Astron 6, the label for the filmmaking team behind Father’s Day, were supposedly granted $10,000 to finance a film based upon a fake trailer they had made some time before. Ultimately, if you were to imagine a gang of college film students obsessed with Z-grade movies being given their first minor budget and told to make whatever film they wanted, this would be pretty close to the resulting product. Thus, the film suffers terminally from almost every reoccurring problem present in movies of this ilk. It is painfully unfunny, woefully uninspired, dreadfully acted with no attempt at sincerity, the effects work is deliberately hokey and poorly conceived and, just like every other supposed homage made today, its tongue is embedded so heavily in its cheek that almost nothing presented onscreen during its 90 minutes can ever be taken as a genuine compliment or point of praise. It’s difficult to see how Astron 6 view exploitation cinema as anything more than a cheap lark. 

Perhaps more unfortunate though is the films’ connection to Troma and the legacy of Lloyd Kaufman, even if it is simply from a distribution standpoint. Unlike the delightful directorial efforts of Kaufman, Father’s Day displays no awareness at all for either substance or style, despite being an alleged tip of the hat. Even the early films of Roger Corman and New World Pictures found ways to incorporate a sly flick of the middle finger to the establishment through cheeky socio-political discourse that was a treat to revel in should one have been of a likeminded intellect. Unfortunately, it would appear there was not much else driving the creation of Father’s Day except a juvenile penchant for shock tactics and cheap shot humour, all of which are of the lowest possible denominator.

But hey, if 90 minutes of endless sodomy jokes sounds like it might be your thing, then by all means go right ahead and check out the glory that is Astron 6’s Father’s Day. Otherwise, there are far less time consuming solutions to curing sleep apnoea than forcing yourself to sit through this drivel. At any rate, one can only hope that eventually these indie filmmakers will finally come to understand that an expression of one’s own nostalgia for pop culture, no matter how authentic, is no substitute for a creatively crafted and entertaining film experience.

Dir: Astron 6
Writer: Astron 6 
Cast: Adam Brooks, Mathew Kennedy, Conor Sweeney, Amy Groening
Country: Canada
Run Time: 97mins
Rating: R18+

34 comments:

  1. Did Lloyd Kaufman write this retarded review?

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  2. Actually no; someone who deeply respects the work of Lloyd Kaufman.

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    1. bwahahahhahahahahaha.... this might be the best thing to come from Troma in the last 20 years. You really just don't get it.

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    2. Are you kidding me? Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD. Tromeo & Juliet. Cannibal The Musical. Terror Firmer. Toxic Avenger 4: Citizen Toxie. Poultrygeist.

      Those movies are all much better than Father's Day. What's with all the Troma hate?

      People can "get it" and still not like something. When did Father's Day become the most popular film in the world?

      Jesus, Father's Day fans are worse than arguing with religious right wingers.

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  3. Epic Review Fail. No style? No substance? Samityville has no eyeballs.

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  4. Lloyd is God. Literally.May 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Someone with a deep respect for Lloyd Kaufman would understand Father's Day a whole lot more. I don't suppose you watch the movie because if you did you would have seen Uncle Lloyd in there having the time of his life!

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    1. @Lloyd is God. Literally: Actually I did watch the film. All 97 minutes of it. I found Lloyd's performance uncharacteristically lifeless, very unlike his normally spirited self. Perhaps it had something to do with the ineptitude of the scenes he was asked to appear in. Unfortunate really.

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  5. If you thought Father's Day was boring then you probably need to shove sewing needles into your genitals so you don't nod off during the first few seconds of The Avengers.

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  6. Bogus review. The explanation for having a deep respect for z-grade or cult film is in no way a disclaimer to make this review valid. This film is hilarious and exactly in the ilk of it's intent.

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    1. If you found it hilarious than that's great, I'm glad you enjoyed the film. I simply cannot say it did the same for me, that's all. I sincerely wanted to enjoy it, however I was overcome by how sloppy I found almost everything on screen to be. As for the films' intent and ilk, I feel it has more in common with parody than praise.

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  7. Film critique isn't exactly my department because I'm not actually real. However, to be fair, while I love Father's Day, I think Sam raises some very valid points about retro-exploitation in general. Also, like most reviews, it's one person's opinion based on how they personally experienced something. Given that most of these nasty comments are Anonymous and Sam at least has the conviction to put himself out there, I think he wins by default. I say this as somebody commenting under a made-up creation. I never said I wasn't a hypocrite.

    p.s. I've loved Lloyd and Troma since I was a baby. May it flourish well beyond its expiry date.

    yr pal,

    Hoardax.

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  8. Having a different opinion about a film isn't the end of the world guys. I'm not out to attack anyone, unlike many of the hateful comments posted above which are not constructive in any way. This review only illustrates my thoughts, nothing more. Thank you for stopping by.

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    1. A lot of the comments here are appalling, I agree. But you have ruffled feathers with your lack of comprehension and understanding of some fundamental things. How you can label a filmmaking outfit like Astron-6 is absurd and uneducated of how films are made. Fathers Day is an absolute accomplishment and your review comes across (evidently) as though you didnt even watch it.

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    2. Yes but presenting your opinions as if they're facts and ignoring any positive aspects of the film at all only proves that you probably shouldn't be reviewing films in the first place. Adding items into the review that don't exist (all of those imaginary sodomy jokes) doesn't help either.

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    3. An opinion IS a fact. The fact IS they have that opinion and they're sharing it. It's a REVIEW (anybody around here ever heard of one of those? Had one? No? Yes?) which BY DEFINITION is somebody's opinion.

      Every Rape Scene in Father's Day IS a Sodomy Joke you losers. It's a comedy ABOUT Sodomy Rape (as well as incest and lots of death and violence).

      It's not a genre film. It's a spoof of a genre film.

      And that's a fact. Also my opinion. Mind Blown. Could it possibly be both?

      Please now tell me that I haven't even watched it, because I just expressed one - an opinion. That you don't share.

      Thanks for your time.

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  9. "Perhaps more unfortunate though is the films’ connection to Troma and the legacy of Lloyd Kaufman" ...

    Stand back major dick riding in progress.

    This review - wow just wow seriously. How somebody can miss the point this badly is beyond me

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  10. and just how are you affiliated with Lloyd & Troma again?

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  11. "But hey, if 90 minutes of endless sodomy jokes sounds like it might be your thing, then by all means go right ahead and check out the glory that is Astron 6’s Father’s Day"

    Are you sure you even watched the right movie? I've seen Father's Day three times and not only did I love it, but I don't remember a single sodomy joke. Please describe one of these many sodomy jokes.

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  12. Finally! Somebody intelligent agrees with me about the woeful piece of shit that is Father's Day. All the people here that are so hatefully defending this movie are either dumb as two dicks, never seen a good genre movie before, one of the movie's dumb shit distributors or actually Astron-6 themselves in disguise! If only the Fuchmanicus had gotten to some of these fan's dads - the world would be a nicer, smarter place.

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    1. Sam Bowron's mom to the rescue...

      "Finally! Somebody intelligent agrees with me", how often do you ac tually get to utter these words lol.

      "All the people here that are so hatefully defending this movie are either dumb as two dicks" - not sure if you're trolling here...

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    2. Yes. I am Sam Bowron's mum. You got a problem with that?

      When was the last time somebody intelligent agreed with you about anything?

      Of course I'm trolling. You cunt.

      Since just about every comment on this review reads like trolling, I thought I'd be accepted with open arms. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

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  13. Roger Ebert never got reactions like this to a review and he wrote Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls for fuck's sake!

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    1. At least Roger Ebert watched movies properly before he reviewed them.

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    2. Roger Ebert backed his opinions up with intellect.

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    3. Did he though? Please list the criteria for watching a film "properly." I'd love to know what that is. Maybe I've been doing it wrong.

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    4. There's no doubt Ebert had an intellect but I think he phoned it in often when he didn't warm to a film. I wonder what Ebert's review of Father's Day would have read like? I'm sure he would have said it was a piece of shit but backed it up with "intellect" so you'd all have to swallow that bitter pill. Oh wait, it's been backed up with "intellect" here too. Uh-oh spaghetti-o's.

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    5. Yeah guys let's not put ol' Rodge on too high of a pedestal, he was kinda slummin' for a while. he gave "Knowing" with Nicolas Cage four stars. I'm sure he received a similar response.

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  14. I think the worst thing about this review is that although you're entitled to your opinion, you haven't even attempted to describe a single positive aspect of the film. Sure it's not a great film but honestly, you don't think that it had some good lighting? Or decent cinematography? You weren't impressed by how well Astron up their meagre budget?
    Giving a more subjective review and not trying to present your negative opinions as facts might be a better option next time. That way at least you won't sound like Lloyd Kaufman's lap dog.

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    1. Hi Thomas. Thanks for your comment.

      I agree with your initial comment about attempting to identify positive aspects about the film, but I honestly found it incredibly difficult in this case. I will say the lighting design was at least stylistic where possible and there were a few neat synthesizer stings in the score, however these factors were so fleeting to me because I found everything else to be of such a flimsy standard that they ultimately ended up being overshadowed.

      I'm all for micro-budget filmmaking but I just feel there's far better stuff out there than this film that is also much more impressive.

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    2. Can you be so kind as to refer me to some of the films that fall under the "far better stuff out there" category for microbudget. I'm always looking for a good movie ;)

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  15. There's just not much in your review that indicates you actually watched the movie. There's nothing specific you pick apart, you just gloss over everything and say it's all bad. I could write a review of Michael Bay's Transformers and comment on its overall shittiness, but when I dissect the movie and say something like "The scene where Bumblebee pees on John Turturro? That didn't need to happen." it gives me a lot more credibility. I don't give two flying shits what you thought about the movie, because I already saw it and know it's awesome. But to your writing I say "boo", sir. Surely you could put more effort into it.

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  16. this might be the most action your blog has ever seen. Be sure to thank Astron-6 for the publicity. Loved your review of Trailer Park of Terror btw... now that's a fine piece of original quality filmmaking there ;) (tongue firmly planted in cheek).

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  17. YOU KNOW NOTHING JON SNOW

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  18. Please give examples of sodomy jokes sir. This should be no problem for you, as there are 90 minutes worth of them.

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