Having previously reviewed Bazz Hancher’s feature WHITE GOODS I was quite happy when he offered me a screener of FILMS FROM A BROKEN MIND, a collection of four of his shorts from 2010 – 2014. These have a wide range of subject matter and I was curious to see how he handled the different styles and subject matter.
After a quick opener in which Satan himself introduces the film, we get into the first segment.
Leon’s Broken Mind is a piece of exploitation in the style of the more infamous of the UK “video nasties”. Hancher compares it to COMBAT SHOCK, and I can see the similarities. But I got more a feel of BEYOND THE DARKNESS, ABSURD or even ISLAND OF DEATH.
Leon (Richard Rowbotham, Lonnie Knutsengripper: Man, Myth and Movies, WHITE GOODS) has never gotten over the death of his mother and has visions of his abusive father (Mick Rendell). After renting a DVD full of images of human and animal death he snaps and goes on a killing spree of his own, starting with animals and working up to humans.
The results are disturbing, especially the animal footage, (I’m sure it was faked but it’s convincing enough). He moves up from beating a homeless man (Thomas Lee Rutter FEAST FOR THE BEAST) to death to rather graphically sodomizing and killing a wheelchair-bound victim.
Much like the best of the films that inspired it, I wanted to take a shower after seeing this.
After a brief intermission in Hell, it’s on to Bonjour Monsieur Trepas.
Monsieur Trepas (Kevin Varty) is a seemly meek and mild guy with a nasty secret. It’s a fairly straightforward tale of a serial killer and effective as such. There’s some well-done gore by Max Van Der Banks who would go on to work on THE DEAD and OFFENSIVE.
Next up is Darkest Secrets, a gangster tale that evokes films like A DAY OF VIOLENCE with some of its gore. But it has more plot and story in 35 minutes than that did at feature length.
Ray Korvax (Steve Coussens) and his brother Ricky (Joel Smith) decide to leave the local mob. But Mr. LaFont (Richard Taylor) isn’t going to just let them leave. And he has one hell of a secret to reveal in revenge. Based on this I’d really love to see Bazz do a feature-length crime film.
Rogue Filmmaker is the last segment. it’s a fictionalized biography of Hancher himself. Directing under the pseudonym of Hank B Marvelous he skewers himself and everyone around him. Filled with clips from his shorts it ends FILMS FROM A BROKEN MIND on a humorous note.
And of course, the Devil has the last word.
FILMS FROM A BROKEN MIND is a solid collection and worth seeing for anyone into real indie films. It’s available from the director’s website.