My notes on Mollywood, released digitally in the US June 4.
Though it has a contemporary Chicago party drug/DJ milieu, this reminds me a lot of a strain of gory policier from the video nasties era – cutting between the gruesome doings of slicker-clad, whispery drugs chemist/born-again loon Chase (Micah Fitzgerald) who picks off kids on the scene and kills them off in horrific ways and the investigations of undercover cop Zach (Vincius Mercado) who is out to stop the slaughter. The cop is edgy pals with Rush (Billy Dec), star DJ of the Mollywood weekend (no connection with Mayalam language Indian cinema), who is also close to the cracked Chase, who has a tragic backstory that still doesn’t excuse the splatterage. ‘They’ll never be redeemable unless I shepherd them,’ he raves, justifying his torture-execution of sinning kids, though later – in one of several snatches of voice-over, he admits ‘who am I kidding? I just like killing people.’
There’s a lot of talk about how big a star Rush is on the nouveau rave circuit, but this doesn’t have the resources to lay out for much in the way of music and so that aspect of the proceedings is undercooked. Fitzgerald goes so full-out in the sinister mania (complete with a hairdo that’s even more offputting than his psycho hoodie) that even his access to exotic drugs and all-access fest laminates doesn’t explain why so many doomed girls are even willing to talk to him, much less go back to his weird lab and take drugs vaginally. As it happens, the notional leading lady keeps telling people how sketchy Chase is, but no one listens to her – in the finale, Chase holds knives to two interchangeable female hostages in succession while arguing with the cop and then the DJ.
As always – cf: Mardi Gras Massacre, Don’t Answer the Phone, many many others – the video nasty stuff is rote and unpleasant, but more queasily interesting than the compendium of cop clichés trotted out in the other half of the film as Zach does all the just-back-from-suspension, connections-in-the-underground, don’t-play-by-the-rules, outwardly cool/inwardly square business that comes with the territory. It does have old-fashioned practical gore effects, with eye abuse, throat-cutting, bullet hits, cut-off limbs, and the like. Written by Ken Hoyd; directed by Morocco Vaughn.
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