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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 78: The Violent Kind

The Violent Kind
The militant wing of the Girl Scouts

Usually when I pick a random horror movie to watch, I get burned. I'll get suckered in with a cool poster, a description that sounds vaguely interesting, or one actor I like will be in it. Most of the time, they are completely terrible and I feel dumber for watching it. This is not one of those times. A biker horror movie? Don't think I've heard that too often. It was a shot in the dark and that shot definitely hit the target.

The Violent Kind stars Cory Knauf as Cody, a member of the biker gang “The Crew.” Joined by leader Q and Elroy, The Crew head up to a secluded house to celebrate Cody's mother's birthday. Cody's sister and Q's girlfriend, Shade is there, as well as Cody's ex-girlfriend Michelle and her sister Megan. After the party, Michelle leaves with her current boyfriend, leaving her sister behind. Megan and Cody get to talking and share a moment. A blood-soaked Michelle appears at the house and faints. Megan tends to her sister while Cody, Q, and Elroy walk down the road to find Michelle's boyfriend mauled by some unknown creature. When they return, they find that their car no longer works and they are too far from town to get help. A now-possessed Michelle violently attacks Elroy, biting a chunk out of his throat and clawing his face. They chain Michelle to the bed while they try to think of a way to get help. Meanwhile, strange flashes of light and shadowy figures are seen moving around outside the house. The figures are a group of 50's style greasers that have come for the spirit possessing Michelle. They punch, stab, shoot and torture Cody, Q, Shade, and Megan. Why do these throwbacks want Michelle and how can Cody and Megan stop them?

Hey, what kind of paint do you use?

The Violent Kind succeeds with it's mystery, suspense and downright awesome acting. You don't know exactly what is going to happen throughout most of the movie, which creates a strong air of suspense. Quick flashes of light and the shots of the greasers wandering around the house keep you interested in what happens next. Whereas a movie like The House of The Devil builds the entire movie around suspense and nothing else, Violent Kind actually gives you a good amount of action and blood to keep the audience entertained. The leader of the greasers, Vernon, is played by Joe Egender (The Mentalist, Alcatraz) and he is absolutely fantastic. He is over-the-top in the best way possible. He is both endearing and terrifying at the same time and is complimented by the solid job of his greaser crew. I seriously look forward to seeing some of his future work.

This movie has the strong feeling of being three separate movies that were mushed together. The “possessed demon in the secluded house “ part of the movie clearly brings Evil Dead to mind, the scenes with the crazy greasers gleefully torturing the Crew reminds me of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and the explanation reminds me of Lord of Illusions and Exorcist. The Violent Kind does a fine job of paying homage, but it's just not cohesive. I did get a little bit lost when it came to the possession and devil-worshiping bits. It wasn't very clear and felt a bit rushed. I think the movie would have been fine just with either the weird possession genre or the evil family of torturers. 

Don't blow your top

The Violent Kind certainly puts it's own unique spin on multiple horror genres. Great acting, good makeup and blood, and some serious action will keep you entertained throughout. The first 2/3 of the movie are really solid, but it does kind of peter out towards the end with a slightly confusing reveal. If this movie has taught me anything, it is that there needs to be more 50's style characters in horror movies. Daddy-o.


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