Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – Honeydew

My notes on Honeydew

More nasty business in the barn, and yet another warning to city types not to set foot off concrete.  This has an outstanding music score by John Mehrmann, some full-strength mad Ma Kettle energy from Barbara Kingsley as the folksy matriarch of a demented menage, and a quease-inducing, greenish widescreen look going for it – but it’s 106 long minutes of misery with very little suspense, and doesn’t really do anything particularly fresh.  In this year’s FrightFest line-up, it’s a much stronger movie than the schlocky Butchers, but it still feels like a bad time most folks won’t be too enthusiastic about suffering though (the biggest downer in this field in recent years was The Farm, though).

Rylie (Malin Barr), a horticulturalist, and her boyfriend Sam (Sawyer Spielberg), a resting actor, venture into the backwoods to study the long-term effects of a crop disease on the local economy … and ignore all the usual omens, which brings them after a car breakdown to the homestead of Karen (Kingsley), a daffy eccentric who offers all sorts of homecooked delights – Sam has had a cholesterol scare, and is on a very strict diet but can’t control his cravings – while waffling about the help she’s called for, which we know won’t be coming, and trying to pass off bandaged, drooling lump Gunni (Jamie Bradley) as a member of the family who’s suffered an accident with agricultural machinery.  The mid-section has some hallucinatory sequences, prompted by some lysergic grain rot, but then we’re into the same old chained-up-and-abused-and-lectured business with a side order of warmed-over Farmer Vincent’s fritters.  And it’s a long, long haul of characters literally being spoonfed despair before the fade-out.

Someone needs to sign Mehrmann up quickly for a film worthy of his talents – his work here really is extraordinary.  Directed by Devereux Milburn, who co-wrote with Dan Kennedy.



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