Writer/director Joshua Reale’s Necropath started out as a 2014 short that eventually became part of the anthology film Empire State of the Dead. Then, according to the production company’s website it was combined with two other shorts.
“Necropath is three award winning short films combined into one full length movie. Necropath was created with the thought of what happens to the Michael Myers, the Hannibal Lector’s, the criminally insane who wander freely during extreme pandemics. A horror icon called “Scag” is born.
Films cut together from multiple features or shorts, unfinished films, etc. aren’t a new thing. The 80s cult film Spookies is a prime example. Of course these kinds of films have their own issues such as matching footage and plot consistency. Can Necropath rise to the occasion?
Necropath opens with a guy (Erik Mikuta, Two Suspects) getting head from his date (Noelle Noir) in a car parked in the middle of nowhere. A barely human looking figure, Skag (Moe Isaac, The Vampire) cuts his throat. Skag is an addict as well as a psychopath, and we soon see him freaking out in the filthy hole he’s squatting in. Shortly after he gets bitten on the shoulder but gets away.
From here things get a bit confusing. We see Skag terrorize a woman (Cassandra Hayes, Amityville Island, Revolt of the Empire of the Apes) and her son (Keilen Mosher, Number 5) in a warehouse. A cop (Rick Allen) intervenes and shoots him.
Next Skag is back on the street, this time getting bitten by a zombified bag lady before breaking into what looks like his dealer’s lab. The world is ending and he just wants a fix. Then we’re back in the warehouse where the woman leaves the boy with the cop and staggers off. Only to run into Skag breaking into the building along with some zombies.
After this runs its course, Necropath moves on to a family trying to make their way to safety. Dad (Nathan Faudree, The Shrieking, Kottontail) isn’t nearly as good with a gun as he thinks and soon their young daughter (Lillian Colvin) and infant are left to fend for themselves against both Skag and a zombified female crackhead (Natalie Colvin).
With almost no dialogue, bizarre lighting and camera angles and a score that seems to consist of random noises, Necropath is anything but mainstream. If your familiar with the films of Dakota Ray such as Sebastian’s Unholy Flesh and American Antichrist you’ll have an idea of the effect Reale is going for here. So if you’re looking for a traditional zombiefest this isn’t your film. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an experimental and surreal film with an incredibly grim and nihilistic tone, Necropath may well be what you’re looking for.
With it’s frequently flickering lights, mismatched and sometimes intentionally out of focus footage combined with the random noise in the background I found Necropath hard to watch. And harder to follow. More than once I had to back up more than once to try and figure out what was going on. Something that was doubly annoying since by about the halfway point I started losing interest in what was going on.
The one thing about Necropath that really stood though was Moe Issac as Skag. If he wasn’t an actual junkie when this was made then he deserves some kind of an award for his performance. Scrawny and wasted looking, missing teeth and eyes that just scream fucked up he’s got the look down and is a scary sight. The shots of him shooting up are also some of the most effective I’ve seen in a long time. If Reale had focused the script better he might have had a zombie equivalent of Combat Shock. How’s that for wasted potential?
Necropath will be released on digital February 9th by Gravitas Ventures and Kamikaze Dogfight. You can check them or the production company, Cayo Industrial Horror Realm’s Facebook page for more details.