DVD
The Last Horror Movie

Starring: Kevin Howarth, Mark Stevenson and Antonia Beamish
Tartan DVD
RRP: 15.99
TVD 3504
Certificate: 18
Available 24 October 2005


Max Parry is a wedding photographer thought by others to be a little carefree, but they don't know the half of it. Max is a serial killer who defies profiling because all of his victims are totally random with nothing specifically in common. He's killed more than fifty people and sees no reason to stop. Now he's making a film of his day to day exploits. You, the single viewer, are the target audience, and you watch as he carries out his spontaneous, but not always quick, killings. All the time the emphasis is on you: Are you enjoying what you see? Do you feel superior to Max? If you're disgusted, why haven't you turned off yet? And more specifically, Are you going to be next...?

Not to be confused with The Last Horror Film, which starred the luscious Caroline Munro, this one goes back to grass roots, and so requires little in the way of sets or special effects. The idea is to make the film seem as real as possible, as if you are watching someone who's picked up a camera and has chosen to film themselves justifying their actions and simultaneously trying to get inside your head by means of basic Freudian psychology. Kevin Howarth does a pretty good job, being a sort of Hannibal-like intelligent murderer with no inhibitions whatsoever, and it's just as well because the entire film hinges on his performance.

The bold quote on the cover compares it to Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, but I have to say it reminded me of Gregory - Diary of a Nutcase, an episode from The Comic Strip Presents, but without the multitude of humorous moments created by Ade Edmondson.

The Last Horror Movie has no soul. Nothing particularly draws you into the character's life, and there's no plot to speak of. A film killer has to have charisma or a trait that draws you into his or her dark world. This one has nothing. I was watching with all the enthusiasm of viewing somebody else's holiday snaps. Compare this with the quirkiness of Seed of Chucky; it's not the killings that are particularly funny but the situations and reactions to them.

The extras confused the hell out of me. The packaging lists an audio commentary by "Max", but there isn't one on the disc. The disc menu lists a commentary by director Julian Richards, but this time the packaging gets it right when it says that commentary also includes Kevin Howarth. A selection of Julian Richard's short films actually relates to just two (the better being 3 mins, the other around 28 mins). The disc menu also has deleted scenes and a featurette, neither of which are listed on the packaging, and yet the packaging special features show film notes which are nowhere to be seen on the disc.

You see my problem? As my review copy was a sample, perhaps the error has been corrected prior to its official release. If not, it's an unusual oversight by Tartan who have released some quality material.

Ty Power

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