Tuesday, April 9, 2013

MULCH (Review)

MULCH (2013)

review by AARON ALLEN 

Written and Directed by
Frank Popp Jr.

Starring Joel Corriveau, Darren Toderick, Lindsey Queen, Justin Peeler, Frank Popp Jr., Chris Luciow, Dave Sharpe, Dan Langevin, Bryan Reid

I've seen enough no-budget, backyard movies to know that 90% of them horrible garbage made by people who think they can make a movie just because they have a camera. So why do I keep watching them? Because sometimes a movie like Mulch will come along -- a gory, funny, and genuinely well-made movie that just blows me away.

It's always a fun time at Boo Boo's playhouse
Mulch, which had its World Premiere at Shock Stock on April 12, 2013, is a riff/spoof on the old familiar Texas Chainsaw Massacre tale of backwoods killer rednecks, but this time with a hilariously vegetarian twist. In Mulch, a young man named Lance (Joel Corriveau) is suffering from repressed memories relating to the violent death of his parents and then the traumatic murders of his friends. Dr. Darnell (Darren Toderick), his doctor and the world's most irresponsible psychiatrist, decides to force Lance to confront his fears by returning to the rural scene of his friends' deaths. Along for the ride on this ill-advised field trip are two other of the doctor's patients, a whimpering agoraphobic (Justin Peeler) and a busty paranoid narcissist (Lindsey Queen). But waiting for them, in the woods, are a trio of backwoods psychopaths with a gruesome passion for gardening. And these twisted green thumbs traffic in a fertilizer that's decidedly more red. Part gross-out comedy, part exploitation gorefest, Mulch is chockablock with disgustingly over the top blood, guts, boobs, and dark comedy.

For a no-budget, backyard film that was shot over the course of a decade in the off-hours of the cast and crew, Mulch blows me away with how polished and cohesive it is. This ain't one of those zero-budget trash movies on Youtube where people walk around dimly lit woods for an hour and thirty minutes and bore you to tears with bad sound and a black hole where a script should be. No, Mulch is a bona fide, feature-length movie with a wild script and some amazing gore gags courtesy of Scott Patterson and the Four Horsemen. It's intentionally sleazy and breezy, spilling -- reportedly -- over 80 gallons of fake blood in the process. It is, by far, the most exciting and successful home-made B-movie I've seen this year.

Is this you? Then you have an excuse for missing the MULCH World Premiere at
Shock Stock. The rest of you better be there.
Mulch was filmed in and around the rural areas of Welland, Ontario on a low-end, digital camera, so sometimes things don't look as bright or sharp as they should, but it's easy forgvie the film's low budget limitations and occasionally wooden actors, especially as the film cranks it into high gear for its bloody finale. Mulch is a movie that feels bigger than it is, and its success throughout is due in large part to the film editing, which is crisp and exciting and really pushes the envelope on the film's impressive action choreography. This is a no-budget movie, after all, so director Frank Popp Jr. ain't got no money for stunt doubles, CGI, or shit like that. Clearly, though, Frank Popp Jr. and his crew have an abundance of raw film-making talent and love for sleazy B-movie genre material; their dedication and passion is evident with every car explosion, decapitation, and gratuitously insane character and oddball one-liner.

There we go. I feel "mulch" better.
I don't know how Frank Popp Jr. was able to do what he did in Mulch with its budget and means, but somebody's got to give this guy some money and a better camera pronto. I'm telling you, Frank Popp Jr.'s got an eye and an ear for the gory and the absurd, and we need more indie Canadian filmmakers out there making great low-budget sleazeoid horror shows like this one.

Be some of the first to get mulched! Don't miss the World Premiere at the Shock Stock VHS swap and subculture weekend on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 6pm in the International Screening Room at Centennial Hall. 
Get your tickets at Shock-Stock.com

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