Synopsis: The urban legend known as ‘The Father’s Day Killer’ began some years after the demise of serial rapist/murderer Chris Fuchman. Since the 1970s, the use of contraceptives has tripled in North America alone and a generation of fathers fell asleep with the covers pulled tight, buttocks clenched. The story has become a fire-side cautionary ritual on camping trips, often used by fathers to warn their sons of the dangers of unplanned pregnancy. That deep seeded fear of penetration, violation and eventually death waned as the murder and rape of fathers continued to decline all over the world. Unfortunately those numbers didn’t remain low, and it would seem that the legend is not yet completeâ¦
Ahab, a man obsessed with exacting a brutal, violent revenge on the man who murdered his dad, joins John, an eager priest and Twink, a hot-headed street hustler on an epic quest to find and defeat this mythical monster known as Chris Fuchman AKA The Father’s Day Killer.
Release Date: February 24, 2012 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Horror, Comedy
Troma Entertainment has done what is does again with Father’s Day.
Father’s Day is the story of the Father’s Day Killer, a crazy homosexual cannibal named Chris Fuchman (played a little too convincingly by Mackenzie Murdock) who rapes, murders and eats fathers. When Fuchman (the ‘h’ is pronounced as a ‘k’) kills the father of a young male prostitute named Twink (Conor Sweeney), Twink’s priest, Father John Sullivan (Matthew Kennedy) tracks down a one-eyed vigilante named Ahab (Adam Brooks) whose father was also killed by Fuchman to help them exact revenge. Joined by Ahab’s sister, Chelsea (Amy Groening), who happens to also be a stripper friend of Twink’s, the quartet comes up with a plan to take Fuchman down. However, the group has no idea that Fuchman is not just an average deranged lunatic, and they are in for more than they bargained for.
That’s about as much of a plot synopsis that can be comprehended in Father’s Day. Viewers pretty much have an idea what they’re getting into when they go to see a Troma picture, and it’s not a coherent and deep story. Troma has made a name for itself shocking people with its low-budget brand of girls-and-gore, and Father’s Day fits the label perfectly. The story is that it’s a response to Troma’s classic 1980 film Mother’s Day, written and directed by a group of Troma fans and filmmakers called Astron-6.
Astron-6 is a collective of filmmakers and artists based in Canada who, according to their own website, “share a fascination with the mechanics of fear and laughter.” That description sounds a lot like Troma’s mission statement. The group includes Sweeney, Kennedy and Brooks, along with graphic artist Jeremy Gillespie and special effects artist/animator Steven Kostanski. Their respective talents come together and make Father’s Day a film, like most of Troma’s catalog, which has to be seen to be believed.
More than anything else, Father’s Day is a movie for people who love movies. The entire film looks like a tribute to the revenge films of Asian cinema. It has nods and winks to Aliens, the Kill Bill movies, Se7en and The Wizard of Oz, among others. It’s got a commercial for a Star Wars rip off called Star Raiders right in the middle. And real Troma geeks will recognize founder Lloyd Kaufman playing God – literally, that’s the character he plays, God. The guys in Astron-6 have done their homework, and the rest of the world gets to cheat off of them.
Father’s Day gives the impression of an old grindhouse film, with its shoddy lighting and scratched film look. It’s violent, bloody and fun. There’s even a cool car chase scene where, it appears, that the Astron-6 guys do their own stunts. The lack of a clever plot does not detract from Father’s Day; it’s furiously paced, funny as hell and wildly entertaining. The film is over the top, but gets away with it because it is completely tongue-in-cheek. The actors overact, the blood and gore are grosser-than-gross and the sex, homosexual and heterosexual (even incest), is gratuitous. Father’s Day is meant to shock and offend, but in the type of way that has the audience cracking up the whole time. Troma Entertainment at its best.
No one goes into a Troma movie expecting Lucas-style visuals. At best, the audience is rewarded with Tom Savini or Roger Corman style effects. Astron-6 is from the Savini/Corman school of schlock, and Father’s Day is full of practical blood and guts effects. Fuchman’s killings are a tribute to old school splatter flicks, with buckets of blood and latex prosthetics flying everywhere. The effects are obviously low-budget, and make no apologies about it.
Father’s Day has much more than just simple gore. There’s a load of stop-motion and creature effects, too, and all are par for the course, done so that they remind the viewer of the original Clash of the Titans or the old Sinbad movies – choppy and jerky, but effective and amazing. And the visuals in the commercial break trailer for Star Raiders look exactly like how the effects in a low-budget Star Wars rip off from the seventies would look. For as silly a movie as Father’s Day is, Astron-6 has taken special care to make the visual effects look perfect, even if perfect means imperfect.
As much as Father’s Day comes under the guise of a horror film, it’s a straight up comedy; and it’s hilarious. Nothing is accidental – even the low-budget effects play into the humorous side of the film. What keeps Father’s Day from being just another unfunny over-the-top exploitation film is the silliness of it all. At one point, Father John preaches to his congregation, gets worked up and runs out the door to join Ahab and Twink. Frenetically, one of the parishioners stands up and yells “let’s trash this place!” The rest of the worshippers just stare at him in silence, and it’s a classic “awkward” moment. In another scene, Ahab tells Twink and Father John that “it ends tonight!” After a long pause, with all the characters looking around at each other, Twink says “we probably should have thought this out betterâ¦” The ability of the characters to make fun of themselves keeps the film from taking itself too seriously, and has the audience laughing with the film instead of at it.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Astron-6
- Producer(s): Michael HerzLloyd Kaufman
- Screenwriter(s): Astron-6
- Cast: Adam Brooks (Ahab)Machenzie Murdock (Chris Fuchman)Matthew Kennedy (Father John Sullivan) Conor Sweeney (Twink)
- Editor(s): Adam Brooks
- Cinematographer: Astron-6
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score: Jeremy Gillespie
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USACanada