10th Oct2019

‘Incredible Violence’ VOD Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: M.J. Kehler, Stephen Oates, Michael Worthman, Kimberley Drake, Erin Mick, Meghan Hancock, Allison Moira Kelly, Patrick Foran | Written and Directed by G. Patrick Condon

Incredible-Violence-poster

G. Patrick Condon’s feature-length debut Incredible Violence is also written by him, and it’s… well, it’s something. It’s a ferocious, weird and flat-out insane film with a somewhat meta concept and plenty of ill-mannered and cruel things going on through its hour and a half runtime.

The concept-slash-story, see’s G. Patrick Gordon (yep, the director’s name is the name of the main character) played by Stephen Oates, a filmmaker who has squandered the budget to make his film, a budget given to him by some shady folks from some organisation. He now has to figure out a way to make his film, and do it quickly and without any money. He hires a small cast and decides, being the altogether nice and completely not mad guy that he is, to lock them in a cabin and film them. He sends them a script each day, and as the script itself becomes more and more… erm… batshit wacky and disturbed, the actors begin to lose their minds too. Now, this is a premise I’ve never come across before, and an applause must be given for that alone. Conceptually this is something unique, and I had fun experiencing the premise and watching it play out. Condon, using a style of grimy horror fresh out of the era of Hostel and Cabin Fever, manages to make a film that is very self-aware, somewhat metaphorically nodding at the world of filmmaking, and he makes it entertaining too, which is an important element, after all.

There’s a definite feel of grittiness and darkness to Incredible Violence, with Condon exploring the depths of depravity through his narrative, and while there’s a punk-aesthetic going on, it still looks good, and is written well. I was completely in the dark on what to expect from this, and I was pretty happy with what I got. Original and bursting with bold and brash ideas, it’s one of those gory torturous horror films that will not be for everyone. We witness this plaster-masked killer spilling his buckets of blood and it’s effective visually much of the time, though you can certainly tell that the film is made on a low budget. I’m cool with that. Horror often doesn’t require a ton of cash to work, it needs good ideas, an unsettling atmosphere and some good practical effects, and you’re doing pretty well.

The down-and-dirty style isn’t an accident, and it shows in the props, the location and the unfolding of the plot. It aims to be a low-budget horror film, in concept as well as financially, and it works. There is, also, plenty of humour to be found here. I mean… if you’re in the right frame of mind and look at this film for what it is, you’ll see plenty of irony and silliness going on, from the outdated tropes and horror stereotypes we see, to the off bit of actual physical comedy. The characters themselves, however, aren’t drawn as well as the ideas the film has going on. Aside from our masked killer, these characters locked up in this cabin are mere blood-packets ready to be slashed open. We don’t learn much of anything about them, nor do we have much of a reason to care if they get snuffed out or not. This is a bit of a shame, because I’m a sucker for character development in horror, but that isn’t what this film is about. This is about a high-concept plot device followed by lots (and lots) or brutality. If you’re a fan of that sort of thing, then you might just find something to dig about this.

A film completely in-the-know about what it is, Incredible Violence is madcap gore and insanity shown through nightmarish eyes. It’s weird, it’s confusing sometimes, and it expects a lot of patience of its viewers. I found some things to enjoy about this, from some of the concepts to the way it unashamedly lifted its head in the air, yet there’s also plenty to narrow your eyes at and say “what the hell is going on?”. There’s brilliance here among ideas that are sometimes left hanging, unfinished and bewildering. A debut that is certainly ambitious but undoubtedly stupid. Avoid it if you want development, thoughtful storytelling and psychology in your horror, but maybe check it out if you merely fancy a low-budget slasher with a difference.

** 2/5

Incredible Violence is out now on streaming services, including Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Google Play and Vudu.

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