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I Need You Dead! film review

★★★

Directed by: Rocko Zevenbergen

Written by: Rocko Zevenbergen

Starring: Estevan Munoz, Sidra Morgan-Montoya, Derek Slade Tucker, Sean Abplanalp

 
Poster for I Need You Dead! showing protagonists.
Poster for I Need You Dead!

A wild ride filled with eccentric characters, outrageous situations and a talking, deformed head.


The protagonist in this crazy story is Dood (Munoz), a young punk fan, who after a night at a house party involving drugs and punk music, begins having hallucinations and imagines that he sees and interacts with a horrible-looking head with sharp teeth and an attitude. Poor Dood must try to maintain his sanity, while at the same time avoiding the cops, leading to all sorts of shocking misadventures.


This dark comedy horror film utilizes the movie-withing-a-movie technique. The narrative keeps moving between Dood's adventures and the 'real world', in which the film about the sinister head is a movie and its cast and crew discuss their progress and have disagreements regarding what the next step is. The result of this narrative technique is like watching two films.


Regarding Dood's story, things are rather bonkers. His hallucinations are often revealed and, apart from the talking head, they involve a pizza with a face, a man's face melting and Dood himself having his body being magically covered with dark liquid. There is plenty of violence and gore too, with people being shot and mutilated. There are also disgusting actions, such as a person vomiting on someone's face. Therefore, this movie is not for the easily-offended.


The other story that is supposed to take place in the real world is less hectic, with the main focus being the stubborn director, who refuses to listen to others and change his plans regarding the film. As time goes by, he appears to be going mad.


The performances are over-the-top and wacky, creating quite a collection of unconventional and atrocious characters. There are drug users, incompetent cops, a gay police officer who goes on a killing spree and the filmmaker who loses his marbles.


The mise-en-scene is interesting, with the clothing looking good and the various creatures (Dood's hallucinations) catching the viewer's attention, particularly the monstrous head that resembles the evil entities from Critters. The special effects and makeup are not convincing, but that does not harm the movie, as it does not take itself seriously.


The filmmakers make wonderful use of lighting techniques and the cinematography makes this feature look like it was made during the eighties and so does the entertaining score. The directing features awkward camera angles and the editing is creative. Generally, the film has an 80's B-movie feeling about it.


I Need You Dead! is not for everyone and it feels overlong. However, it is a thrilling ride, that pays homage to eighties B-movies and it is a satire on drug addiction.

 


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