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John’s Horror Corner: The Editor (2014), a wonderfully gory and raunchy yet awkwardly written ultra-cheesy horror comedy.

October 13, 2018

MY CALL: If you love Italian Giallo films and would love to see them mocked in an extremely awkward film, then you are in luck! Otherwise, this film will likely confound or alienate viewers who either don’t exactly know what they’re getting into, or who are sober.  MOVIES LIKE The Editor: For more horror or horroresque or horror-adjacent films of similarly awkward comedic tone, try The Greasy Strangler (2016), Manborg (2011), Turbo Kid (2015), Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991) and Kung Fury (2015).

Lots of warm neon lighting, great 80s synth scoring, full frontal nudity (Tristan Risk; ABCs of Death 2, American Mary), a gruesome face chopping and some melodramatic dialogue get this film off to interesting (if not stimulating) start… and that’s just in the first few minutes!

Writers (in part) and directors Matthew Kennedy and Adam Brooks (Father’s Day) continue their foray into strange cinema with this horror dark comedy that feels more a soft-handed farce than satire. The tone weaves one Hell of a weird atmosphere, and it’s pervasive.

A film editor with prosthetic fingers and a loveless marriage (Paz de la Huerta; Nurse 3D), Ciso (Adam Brooks; Another Wolfcop, Manborg) has a passion for his work in the film industry. But as his filmmaking colleagues are gruesomely murdered on and off the set, a detective (Matthew Kennedy; The Void, Manborg) becomes suspicious of Ciso’s whereabouts and some of the actors (Conor Sweeney; Another Wolfcop, Manborg) take matters into their own hands to find the killer. What ensues is pure insanity.

This seems to honor, copy or mock various scenes from Se7en (1995), American Psycho (2000), Black Christmas (1974), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), The Shining (1980), cheesy twist endings and an entire era’s worth of 70s exploitation cinema. Despite using such iconic tropes and scenes, the dialogue is deliberately lobotomizingly stupid.

There’s a quirky doctor (Udo Kier; Suspiria, The Theater Bizarre, Mother of Tears, Halloween) with a ridiculously gigantic syringe he sticks in necks, every opportunity is taken to mock 60s-70s era violence against women exploitation films to such extent of dialogue about women slapping themselves, everything is farcically dramatized with every effort to avoid sounding like a real movie—and all the while nothing is ever delivered with a smile. Nope. This is all straight-faced.

The special effects aren’t exactly epic, nor are they at all bad. Somewhere in the middle, but very over-the-top bloody. As in slitting throats with blood spraying into someone else’s face bloody. A really funny and extremely gory scene involves ripping off a woman’s entire face as she continues to scream and then smushing it back on (tongue-in-cheek). We also see sloppily chopped off fingers, yanking out intestines and a face melting off in flames.

 

Oh, but it’s not just bloody. There’s a raunchy 80s workout scene reminiscent of Killer Workout (1987), many shower scenes, male and female full frontal nudity, bizarre sex scenes, sooooo many sex scenes, someone even gets chainsawed to death during a sex scene and then a blood-soaked totally naked man is cornered by the killer. The cheese factor is high on this one.

I don’t think I need to summarize this. If this is for you, you know who you are. I’ll just say that your mood and company will strongly affect how you enjoy this weirdness.

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