Thursday 21 October 2010

Abra Cadaver (2010)

Director: Jay McBeth
Stars: Tommy King and Kelly Ames
This film was an official selection at the 6th annual International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival in Tempe in 2010. Here's an index to my reviews of 2010 films.

Into a old time bar/brothel comes a large man with a wicked eye. He's like a cross between Steve Buscemi and Clark Gable, not just in facial appearance but in sheer size, as if they had melted together in some strange Japanese movie. He has bad teeth and the mildly repulsive aura of a toad but he's very well spoken, with precise intonation somewhat like Tim Curry's. He picks a girl who tells him how very careful she is, given that her friend Alice disappeared a few days earlier, but she tells him this back at his place. It's here that he explains that he's a magician, which fits the style and the theatrics, actor Tommy King happy to chew up every bit of scenery he can find. His idol is Marvello the Great and he has a cool poster to prove it. He talks about the cannibal witches of Pago Pago who made the shrunken head he gleefully exhibits. He talks the talk but he can't walk the walk. As a magician he sucks. I'm better. And I suck.
He explains what he wants and it isn't sexual. To successfully emulate the magical feats of his esteemed idol, he's come to the conclusion that all he needs is a sweet and innocent assistant. Yep, he's so deluded that he thinks that a lovely assistant will make up for all the wicked skills he's failed to acquire, but then to find a sweet and innocent candidate he visits the ranks of the town's skanky prostitutes. Judgement is certainly not one of his stronger attributes, however enthusiastic he comes across. Anything more would spoil the surprises to come but I can say that Kelly Ames chews up a fair bit of scenery herself as the hooker, albeit not as much as King who revels in it. Such overacting does fit the story, to be fair, so it's very deliberate, but while it all plays out enjoyably, I couldn't help but feel that the biggest success of the film was its look, the sets and the clothes from the wonderfully named Malabar Thunder Thighs Costumes.

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