Greetings, all. Ambush Bug here. Happy Birthday to AICN HORROR which celebrates its fifth year in October! Always hoping to pass on new and exciting films for all of you ravenous readers, I have once again compiled a list counting down to my favorite horror film released since last October and covered in this here AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS column. Some of these films might be new to you since there isn’t a lot of horror in theaters these days that aren’t toothless remakes or watered down sequels. Theaters just doesn’t seem to be the place where the horror is at these days, I’m sad to say. Some of these films have only seen the light of day on Video On Demand or simply go straight to DVD/BluRay or digital download.
As far as how I compiled this list? Well, I simply looked over my AICN HORROR columns over the last year since October 1st, 2013 (which happens to be the birthday of this little column five years ago!) and worked and reworked a list until I had 31. No real method to my special brand of madness. We’ll be counting down every day until Halloween to my favorite horror film of the year. I’ll also provide a second film suggestion at the end of each post that is worth noting or missed being on the list by a little bit for those who can’t get enough horror.
So let’s get to it! Chime in after the article and let me know how you liked the film I chose, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, and most importantly, come up with your own list…let’s go!
Available on iTunes & DVD from Black Fawn Distribution!
DISCOPATH (2013)aka DISCOPATHE
Directed by Renaud Gauthier, Marie-Claire Lalonde
Written by Renaud Gauthier
Starring Jérémie Earp-Lavergne, Catherine Antaki, François Aubin, Sandrine Bisson, Nancy Blais, Catherine Castellucci, Katherine Cleland, Ivan Freud, Sibylle Gauthier, Francesca Gosselin, Nicolas Laliberté, Pierre Lenoir, Mathieu Lepage, Christian Paul
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
Holy cow, I loved this film!
Set in 1976, DISCOPATH opens with an homage to the New York we have grown accustomed to from films like SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and Scorcese’s films of that era, with a Brooklyn boy working in a pizza shop being distracted by a gaggle of kids who walk in with disco music playing on their radio. When he is fired for lazing on the job, he skips over to the local roller park and meets a sweet gal. The film feels like it’s going to be one of those quirky slice of lifers set in a specific era, but soon derails into one of the most entertaining serial killer films I’ve seen in ages.
Much like SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT, where the lead character is sent off the deep end when events in the present cause deep-seated psychosis to erupt in the present day, DISCOPATH substitutes Santa with disco music with similar results. While the reasons for the deranged killer’s derangement are revealed midway in the film, it’s pretty evident early on that Duane Lewis (Jérémie Earp-Lavergne) is pretty nuts from minute one, and the level of goofy serial killer mayhem reaches comically monumental levels by the film’s end.
Jérémie Earp-Lavergne looks like a slightly less wooden Hayden Christensen and has a lot of his mannerisms, which actually adds to the creepy quality the character exudes. His reactions to the disco beats are sometimes comical (such as donning a nun’s costume in order to hide out) and sometimes unbelievably disturbing, as he is shown later in the film dancing in his secret lair nude and covered in blood with two severed heads. There’s also a subtle and creepy effect used here as Lewis’ eyes become completely dilated, causing his eyes to look completely black in times of his super serial killer rampages.
DISCOPATH feels like a true throwback to the 80s when horror was simpler and all it took was some childhood trauma to push a guy to kill. The unconventional narrative switches gears midway as Lewis flees to Canada after his first spree and the time jumps four years to 1980, when Lewis is pushed over the edge again. As if the locale and time shifts weren’t jarring enough, the film all of a sudden is subtitled in French for the latter half of the film. But while I might fault some films for this shift in tone, locale, and even era, it adds to the charm DISCOPATH exudes like a thickly layered cologne on a crowded dance floor.
What I love about this film is the reckless abandon that occurs in terms of gore. It isn’t enough that Lewis stabs a woman in the wrist with a knife. He later rips the hand clean off. A beheading is too boring in and of itself; it’s better to desecrate the bodies and shove multiple records into the torsos. And the scene where Lewis rams a hearse and the dead body topples out of it is going to put you through the roof. It did so for me, especially when the slo mo shot makes sure to highlight some mysterious blood coming from the corpse’s crotch…
This film with satisfy retro-freaks and gore hounds, and pretty much anyone who loves the over the top takes on slashers that went on in the Eighties. Rhyme and reason is thrown out as this simple-minded serial killer goes on a simple-minded rampage with genius results. Those of you who wish they could go back in time and destroy the disco era now have a film to idolize. Set to all sorts of painfully awesome disco music (especially an inspired use of the song “I Was Made For Loving You, Baby”), DISCOPATH is fun from kooky start to its absolutely batshit finish.
Worth noting: STAGE FRIGHT!
Check out my full review of the film here and you can check out the film here on Netflix and here on Amazon!
See ya tomorrow, folks, as I count down the best of the best covered in AICN HORROR since October 1st, 2013!
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of AICN COMICS for over 13 years & AICN HORROR for 4. Follow Ambush Bug on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller.
Be sure to tell your comic shop to order his new comic PIROUETTE from Diamond Previews (item code JUL14 0937) and the new issue #2 available to order in Previews (item code AUG14 1131) from Black Mask Studios!!