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Headcheese (2002)

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Overall Rating 59%
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Ranked #13,739
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Shot on 8MM & 16MM black and white film stock and loosely based on Luke 8:29 in the New Testament, Headcheese is the gritty account of a deranged man's unholy psyche while on a bizarre pilgrimage to Quick Hill, Texas to rid his soul of feeble-minded parasites. Taking inspiration (as well as the original title) from the seminal 1974 movie Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Headcheese was filmed in and around locations of the famous horror film, featured as dilapidated ruins and vestiges of their former glory. Although not a horror film in the traditional sense, Headcheese follows a tortured killer's mental unravelings as he comes to grips with his inner demons, resulting in a hallucinatory short film that is as raw as it is bleak. With a pervasively harsh, noise-focused soundtrack to match the intense visual decay, Headcheese is a compelling, albeit experimental visual document of torment. --TMDb
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Review by Tristan
Added: October 25, 2007
From what I can gather, it's not uncommon for Shock-O-Rama to release films with a short film as one of the many bonus features. Such is the case with Headcheese, a short film that is eons better than the movie it's coupled with. Freak was laughable, while Headcheese is creepy, thought provoking, and a great window into the mind of a psychopath. Well, not a real psychopath. Just the kind you love to root for in a movie.

Legion (Justin Meeks) is a psychopath wandering around the desolate farmlands and woods of Texas. After purchasing some beer and Elvis glasses, he is picked up on the highway by Mortal (Quentin Guerrero). Legion sits in silence while Mortal berates him with questions he never gets answers to. This doesn't trouble him any until Legion asks why the man has leg braces. The man takes offense to this, and after threatening Legion, is beaten and dragged out of the car, after which Legion walks off down the highway as if nothing had happened.

The remainder of the film follows Legion as he finds an abandoned car in a field littered with the skeletal remains of various animals. Legion proceeds to chain the bones around his body, run wildly through the trees, beat and scratch the car with antlers, and, last but not least, fornicate with a cow skull. First time I've seen a legitimate skull fuck, to say the least. His madness only seems to thrive, as he is seen bleeding on a cross and using a power drill to bore through the skulls he finds around and inside the burned out car. When it seems his insanity will never end, he decides to do himself in, in one of the most brutal acts of self-mutilation one can imagine.

Clocking in around 20 minutes, Headcheese was one of the weirdest and most entertaining short films I've ever seen. Aside from scarce narration, and the short conversation in the car, there is no talking throughout the whole movie. They create atmosphere using sound effects, music, and some pretty nifty camera work. Many of the shots are a nod to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which makes sense since Kim Henkel co-produced the film. For those of you with a keen eye, you'll notice many of the locations are the same from the classic, which ups the geek factor a few points. Also, the two directors, Duane Graves and Justin Meeks, were students in Kim Henkel's film class.

If you have a chance to watch this film, I strongly suggest you do so. I doubt if it's available on it's own on DVD, you may have to get it the way I did, with Freak. While Freak was absolute trash, it wouldn't hurt to pick it up for this film. At the very least you could probably find it on a video site somewhere.

8/10
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