DIRECTED BY: Deagol Brothers
FEATURING: Eric Lehning, Cody DeVos, Leah High, Brett Miller, Tia Shearer, Jordan Lehning
PLOT: A young man finds one summer love with the reanimated object of his desire.
WHY IT SHOULD MAKE THE LIST: Skillful blending of genres combined with a premise of genuinely romantic necrophilia make this movie 100 percent weird, without being over-the-top.
COMMENTS: Patrick and Wendy are best friends for life. He is crazy. She is dead.
When Patrick finds Wendy reanimated, he attempts to remedy his unrequited love for her. Pursing his obsession, his existence spirals into the uncanny.
Thinking, creative-minded viewers will be entranced by this peculiar, arty atmosphere tale. Not a horror movie with conventional thrills and chills, Make-Out With Violence is an unsettling story about love triangles and living death. Dreamy cinematic sequences blend into contrasting scenes of horror and the grotesque.
Brothers Carol and Patrick love best friends Addy and Wendy respectively. Wendy loves Brian, Brian has a fling with Addy, Addy gets jealous when Carol makes eyes at her friend Anne, and Wendy is dead. Dead, and inexplicably reanimated.
Wendy went missing the spring of her senior year. Never found and declared dead the summer before college, she is discovered in a field by Carol. Undead, but in a semi-catatonic state, Wendy is mostly unresponsive. Because she was so well liked and admired by all who knew her, Carol and Patrick are compelled take her to the home of an out-of-town friend where they attempt to care for her.
As the summer waxes, then wanes the brothers and their friends pursue their love interests. Carrol dates Addy. And well, Patrick “dates” dead Wendy, both siblings taking time out to tend to her as if such an endeavor is perfectly normal. All goes well until their love triangles cause them to break their pact of secrecy and Addy finds out about Wendy, with macabre consequences.
Good acting, pleasing photography, and a gentle, artful soundtrack complement wholesome, likable characters, and a dreamy, sepia-toned, perspective on youth and summer. The overall effect makes the cinematic experience like a rosy look back at our idealized impression of golden meadows and free spiritedness of the 1970’s, interspersed with creepy, repellent sequences of undeath.
Make-Out With Violence is a different kind of horror movie, definitely not for a mainstream audience. This film is a well produced, conventionally assembled movie with a truly bizarre plot. It will appeal to fans of mood films such as 2007’s One Day Like Rain, who will find Make-Out With Violence to be infinitely more lucid and coherent.
I am including the trailer below against my better judgment. Whoever put it together should be shot. It fails to adequately convey the essence, tone and substantive impact of the film, making it look like a Generation-X teenage movie, which it is not.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:
“…invests in spacey horror tropes one moment, plunges into absurdist adolescent angst the next and begs questions every step of the way, but just about holds together with its strong compositional sense, killer atmospheric lighting and wall-to-wall music track… the offbeat rhythms of the pic’s non-pro cast cranks up the film’s bizarre intensity.”–Ronnie Scheib, Variety (contemporaneous)
Make Out With Violence trailer