31st May2021

Grimmfest May Madness: ‘Vicious Fun’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Evan Marsh, Amber Goldfarb, Ari Millen, Julian Richings, Robert Maillet, David Koechner, Alexa Rose Steele | Written by Cody Calahan, James Villeneuve | Directed by Cody Calahan

Grimmfest keep on delivering the goods despite a worldwide pandemic. Their latest treat comes along with the May Bank Holiday and includes Cody Calahan’s latest movie Vicious Fun.

Set in the eighties, the crazy story has us follow a horror movie journalist (instantly relatable to a big chunk of this films audience!) who somehow ends up in a self-help group for serial killers. When his attempts at blending in don’t go to plan he has to work out a way to survive… I’m glad the word fun is in the title of this movie. It is often something that people seem to think is a less than positive way of describing films. But I love films that are fun and it is a perfect description here.

A lot of the movie and its comedy relies on lead actor Evan Marsh and he is superb. Best known for his part as a bully in Shazam!, here he really shines as the relatable Joel. He hits every single line perfectly and his comedic timing is spot on. I honestly laughed at every joke and that was almost entirely because of his delivery. Its clearly a well written script too but it wouldn’t work half as well with someone else in the lead. He has a bright future ahead of him. Hes easy to like and many guys will relate to him. And despite the ridiculousness of the film, his character reacts to things and says things that you and I would say and do in those situations.

Its been a long time since Ive laughed as much as I did during Vicious Fun. From angry police officers when their moustaches are mocked to our lead almost vomiting after eating an ice cube that surrounds a dead body. The jokes are varied but always funny, visually and in dialogue.

There’s plenty to enjoy with the rest of the cast too with David Koechner (Anchorman and lots of other things!) producing his usual solid performance while the other serial killers Julian Richings, Robert Maillet (Sherlock Holmes, Deadpool 2) and Sean Baek are all really good. But its Ari Millen (Orphan Black) as Bob who really excels. Oozing charisma throughout he almost steals the show and is a highlight in every scene he features. He has that watchability about him that sticks out from the screen.

Being a movie that involves several serial killers, you would expect Vicious Fun to have plenty of death scenes and it does not disappoint. Not only does it feature plenty of them but they are original, bloody and yes, fun! Genre fans will love the use of practical effects as the blood and gore spray and splutter from all angles. Set in the eighties and clearly with a love for horror movies (and magazines) of the era, it’s no surprise it is so plentiful with the gore. And even with its comedic tones, its still fantastic.

Basically, an eighties comedy horror made in 2021, this appeals to whole lot of people. Vicious Fun looks great with all it’s eighties colour and style. If its not a huge success, it will definitely pick up cult status in the near future. With this and The Oak Room, director Cody Calahan is building up quite the reputation. Vicious Fun is an absolutely perfect title for one of the very best horror comedies of 2021. I’ll be waiting for the sequel!

**** 4/5

Vicious Fun screened from May 29th to today, My 31st, as part of Grimmfest’s May Madness digital event. You can also check out Phil’s review of the film from this years Glasgow Frightfest right here.

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