The Beach House (2020) | SHUDDER
From director Matthew John Lawrence comes a very blood soaked reminder of why our parents warned us about shady looking dudes and their creepy vans.
There are many things I took from this film. Yes, it’s a story about a man eating demon roadie, but for me it’s also a story about the lengths aspiring bands will go to in order to get their career started. It’s reminiscent of the fictional band in Jennifer’s Body, who resorted to actual demonic rituals just for a chance at success. Except Uncle Peckerhead follows the band rather than their victim. This band just wanted to get through their first tour, and they’ll stop at nothing to accomplish that goal. Along with that, Uncle Peckerhead shows a great appreciation for the DIY punk rock music scene in fantastic humor, but without mocking it.
I think what works the most is how it’s not a horror film sprinkled with comedy, but a buddy comedy with horror elements carefully placed throughout. It has a lot of heart, and that makes it all the more palatable in my book.
Twenty something Judy and her band DUH, consisting of she and her two best friends Max and Mel, get their tour van repoed the day they are supposed to hit the road. Looking for a van to borrow, they stumble upon Peckerhead (Peck for short), a middle aged man with a charming Southern drawl living in his van that offers to drive them. Little does the band know, their new roadie becomes a ravenous cannibal with a small feasting window every night at midnight. Being the only viable option, the band agrees to let him stay and he promises never to harm them, thus embarking on a very unforgettable first tour.
This is one of those scripts that marches to the tune of it’s own beat and I can tell so much love was put into this story. Horror comedies tend to follow certain formulas and tend not to fall off the beaten path, but I commend Lawrence for shaping this into something very new and memorable, and most of all exciting.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
My favorite part about the entire movie is Peck himself. David Littleton’s performance is a riot with seemingly endless witty delivery. Chet Siegel (Judy), Ruby McCollister (Mel), and Jeff Riddle (Max) create an admirable tight knit unit as a fictional band, while each having their own likable qualities. The way the band shows humility to Peck says a lot about them as people who have probably experienced being outcast at one point or another. This determined yet chaotic bunch would only work in this sort of scenario which makes it even more special.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
It’s reminiscent of the fictional band in 'Jennifer’s Body'...
I loved the cut away transitions of the rock show flyers or the title cards, like the one before the metalhead scene. They come up a couple times and are consistent, almost acting like chapter placements. I always find those little non diegetic inserts fun as well as good for pacing.
Uncle Peckerhead (2020) | VOD
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
The music from their band DUH was awesome! For an indie movie about an indie rock band, I was thoroughly impressed by how cool it sounded. I guess since it's a comedy I expected the band to sound rough as one of the main gags, but I find myself STILL thinking about how good it was. I’d kill for one of those cassette tapes.
Ya know, for as crappy as the world is right now I honestly can’t think of a better movie to drown everything out for a little while. Uncle Peckerhead comes to VOD on August 11th and Blu-ray August 25th.