In all my years of a horror fanatic and throughout the experience of writing more than 3.000 film reviews, it hasn't happened to me very often (not once, in fact) but right now I'm completely
speechless! I anticipated something quite bonkers, but "Father's Day" is truly the most demented, twisted, sickest and derailed genre outing that I ever watched. And I'm glad that I watched it on a big screen, at the Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Films, together with a chock-full theater of equally avid and enthusiast freaks like myself. The crowd literally went wild upon being exposed to such a massive amount of gore, perversity, craziness and smut! This movie truly embodied the absolute most fun you can experience at a festival. Written and directed by a collective of no less than six creative minds – who are undoubtedly all mentally ill beyond repair – and produced by the legendary infamous Troma Studios, "Father's Day" is best described as a sort of homage/throwback to gritty & low-budgeted Grindhouse cinema from the 70's and early 80's, but I assure you that even throughout that entirely lunatic era, there was never a film so extreme as this one.
Where and how to begin with describing this unique piece of trash? With the plot, perhaps? It's practically impossible, but I'll give it a shot anyways. The pauperized ghetto streets are terrorized by the psychopath Chris Fuchman; an anal rapist and serial killer targeting distinguished middle class fathers. One of the victims' sons (a gay teenage prostitute) teams up with an ambitious young priest, but they quickly realize they'll need the help of the eye-patch wearing warrior Ahab. He hunted down Fuchman once before, but now retired to the Canadian forests in order to devote his life to making maple syrup. I kid you not. Ahab can be convinced to fight, however, as this grants him the opportunity to restore his relationship with his estranged go-go dancing sister Chelsea. Together, this crazy wild bunch tracks down Fuchman, but their work isn't even finished when they kill him, as his soul and even his evil sperm carry forward the killing spree. Mind you that this short description doesn't give you one quarter of insight about everything that's going on in "Father's Day". The plot is much more convoluted and insane than this, complete with dead-end sub plots, a massive load of flamboyant supportive characters, depraved undertones and a finale that left a complete theater full of horror freaks startled! I don't suppose I have to emphasize this, but "Father's Day" should most definitely be avoided by all easily offended, prudish, squeamish and politically correct viewers. The film is a smörgåsbord of blood and intestines, cut off body parts, ripped out organs, bludgeoned faces and – oh yes – even cut open/bitten off penises and crushed fetuses. The acting performances are all extremely over-the-top (like they ought to be) and the movie is supported by a penetrating soundtrack, raw & primitive cinematography and awesomely animated opening credits. Particularly the depiction of heaven and hell near the climax are deliciously deranged. And, as some sort of extra reward for the fans, there's a brilliant cameo appearance by Troma's smut-deity Lloyd Kaufman in a genuinely apt role.
Lloyd Kaufman and Jeremy Gillespie, one of the director's collective Astron-6, were present in Brussels at the festival to introduce their film and provided some interesting background production info. The crazed out collective initially fabricated a fake trailer for "Father's Day" and sent it to the Troma headquarters. To their own surprise, Troma contacted them back and offered them the relatively low (at least to make a full-feature film) sum of $10.000. Gillespie elaborated that it's incredibly difficult to make a full movie out of a fake trailer that actually even started as a little joke. Most of the downright absurd and unfathomable situations and plot twists in the film are a direct consequence of the fact that Astron-6 stuffed nonsensical ideas into their trailer, unaware they later had to bring coherence between it all. But the result is there. "Father's Day" is destined to become a Troma cult favorite for sure.