06th Nov2019

‘Deadly Reunion’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Trae Ireland, Baron Jay, La’Princess Jackson, Joe Karam, Daryl Keith Johnson, Monica Davis, Chris Sapone, Michael Joseph, Viet Wilcots, Tracy “Stresh” Mcnulty, Joe Bohn | Written by Christian Ackerman, William B. Keller | Directed by James Cullen Bressack

deadly-reunion-poster

I’m always down to watch a film by James Cullen Bressack, I have been since the first time I saw his film My Pure Joy. Since then I’ve seen pretty much every genre film he has put out – including his last, Blood Craft, which was a fantastic slice of mainstream horror from a writer and director more synonymous with extreme fare… After all we’d tried to release a number of his films in the UK via our “Nerdly Presents” banner, an effort which saw Bressack’s Hate Crime officially make the banned by the BBFC list – that’s how extreme his films are/were.

So when I saw his latest film, Deadly Reunion, had hit Amazon Prime here in the UK, I just HAD to check it out. Especially given how much I loved Blood Craft. However, this film couldn’t be further from that film – in fact Deadly Reunion is an altogether different beast. VERY different. But that’s probably to be expected given that this movie is a collaboration between Baron Jay and James Cullen Bressack, with their previous film The Condo being one of the first non-horror titles Bressack had under his belt.

The basic plot sees a group of college friends reunite after 10 years at the home of one of the now-coupled friends Tom and Jill Miller. However one of the “friends” they bullied, Bobby Zwick, turns up at the party uninvited and the group soon become trapped in the house, forced into a night of horrifying games, nanobots (yes, nanobots) and murder.

Yet that is only the tip of this horror iceberg. Deadly Reunion takes some rather… interesting… stylistic choices, harkening back to the kind of schlocky independent drive-in movies of the 70s. Mixing Grindhouse cliches with a more generic “killer in the house” trope. Which, on paper, sounds interesting but is let down by some sub-par acting which deflates any of the suspense built up by the films story and direction. Though it’s hard to build suspense and terror when your film keeps cutting to grindhouse-style theatrical interludes and features the now-overused “broken film reel” cliche…

Though I’m sure none of Deadly Reunion is actually to be taken in any way seriously. After all, how can a film that features an on-screen body count tally and a countdown clock be taken seriously? It’s like watching Student Bodies all over again, only Bressack’s film holds back somewhat on the whole idea of “spoofing” the genre; instead playing with genre stereotypes whilst conforming to them at the same time. Bear in mind this is still just as over the top and ridiculous as Student Bodies – and others of its ilk – perhaps even moreso given how seriously the actors take their roles and this film!

And just when you think Deadly Reunion couldn’t get any more ridiculous. It does. It REALLY does! With an out-of-left-field ending that cements this film as one of the most demented horror spoofs ever committed to celluloid (well digital video in this case)!

Deadly Reunion is available to watch on Amazon Prime now.

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