Director – Brian Patrick Butler (Hatred, The Phantom Hour)
Starring – Nick Young (The Vagrant, The Case of: Dakota Moore), Alexandra Slade (5150, Luminous Flux), and Michael C. Burgess (South of 8, Hacksaw)
Release Date – 2020
Rating – 3/5
What I love about horror is that the possibilities are truly endless. You can have a serious horror film baked in the horrors of the real world that showcase just how sick and depraved mankind truly is. On the other hand, you can explore the horrors that go bump in the night and explore the deepest and darkest reached of our imagination. Personally, I love the weirder and unusual side of the genre. Films that are trashy, odd, and from filmmakers who are not afraid to take a risk are the type of movies I love the most.
A few weeks ago I received a press release for the horror comedy Friend of the World from director Brian Patrick Butler. The film was acquired by Troma and most of you know my obsession with them. A few days back Brian reached out to me to review the film and I quickly said yes. It was not what I was expecting but I really enjoyed it. Thanks Brian for allowing Horror Society and myself the opportunity to check this one out.
**Spoiler Alert** The film takes place after a great war. A young filmmaker awakens underground among the dead and dying. As she makes her way through the unusually large bunker she crosses paths with general who takes her in. However, she is far from safe as other survivors are changing. They are mutating into something else and the generals vaccine to cure it causes severe hallucinations. To make matters worse, the general has an ideology different than her own and often looks down on her. **Spoiler Alert**
Friend of the World is a film that will exceed expectations and surprise many of it’s viewers. It’s a film that blends many genres along with some satire into something that not only horror fans but movie goers in general can appreciate.
The acting in this one is great. There is no weak links in this film. Young and Slade are fantastic together. They contrast so well and fit in the story perfectly. Young’s performance is my favorite of the film. He can be intense at times and his dialogue was damn near perfect. His portrayal is great and one of the memorable performances in the film. Slade’s performance is down to Earth and just enjoyable. Her character doesn’t have the same robust personality as Young but she knocks it out of the park as well. The supporting cast is great as well but the lack of screen time does make it difficult for viewers to appreciate.
The story for this one is a wild blend of horror, sci-fi, and comedy. We get some unexpected humor, a Cronenberg take on the infected, and a politically charged post-apocalyptic film that doesn’t over-complicate things. The infected portion of the film wasn’t explored as much as I would have liked but the character driven scenes were fantastic to watch.
Finally, the film has some great make-up effects and some visuals that I thoroughly enjoyed. Shooting the film in black and white gave the movie a little leeway with the effects. I enjoyed them and they fit the film very well. Overall, Friend of the World may not look like a film many genre fans will enjoy but I assure you that this is one you will not want to miss. I highly recommend this odd and strange spin on the post-apocalyptic sub-genre.