"Headless"

(2015)

 

 

Directed By: Arthur Cullipher

 

          An nameless man (Shane Beasley), who is the product of an abusive, captive childhood (thanks to a sadistic mother and sister) has been fuckin' with people's heads...literally.

 

          A feature length realization of the "film-within-a-film" from Scott Schirmer's brilliant "Found", "Headless" aims to be the slasher throwback to succeed where most fail, and achieves this lofty goal in spades.

 

          The film proper, follows the Killer as he slashes and dismembers his way through a succession of unfortunate ladies and bumbling guys, always shadowed by the manifestation of his boyhood trauma (Kaden Miller). Several surreal set pieces beautifully underscore the dark, hallucinatory world the killer resides in. Beasley turns in an acting tour de force that should definitely win him some accolades, bringing shades of actual sympathy to his character.

 

          After some brief set up, with a sub-plot involving Jess (Kelsey Carlisle), her asshole boyfriend Pete (Dave Parker), her co-worker (the always great Ellie Church) and her sleazy boss at the roller rink, Slick Vic (Brian Williams), the film really starts to get knee deep in the red stuff.

 

          How far is "too far"? "Headless" lets the viewer decide how much they can take with a virtual tornado of depravity. There's: appalling, gross-for-the-sake-of-gross murders, bizarre subtext, profane imagery, necrophilia, sister fucking, desecration of corpses, eyeball chomping, piss drinking, and disturbing cock trauma. All this, and more, is pulled together with an excellent effects crew, intuitive sound design/music, and some game actors and actresses (the "body pit" scene is amazing just for the sheer scope of the shot, no small task for a low budget feature). The bodies, and heads, stack up one after another until the film climaxes (no pun intended) into a finale that descends into a riot of gratuitous violence, with some truly fantastic interplay and performances from Carlisle, Parker and Beasley, that manages some semblance of twisted closure to this sordid tale by utilizing a creepy, frightening "family portrait" tableau.

 

          Brutal, violent, gory, reprehensible, and metal as fuck, "Headless" is a new breed of slasher film that will easily have the most desensitized fans of Krueger, Myers and Voorhees shitting in their pants. I can't thnk of a higher endorsement than that.

 

9.5/10

 

--Scream King Tom