Trophy Heads

Dir: Charles Band
Star: Adam Noble Roberts, Maria Olsen, Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer

A surprisingly charming nostalgic riff, has demented B-horror fan Max (Roberts) aim to preserve the beauty of his beloved scream queens... By first kidnapping, then killing them in the manner of their movies, and finally hanging them high on the wall of the basement in which he lives, beneath his doting mother (Olsen). The irony comes from the fact that his targets, unlike Max, have more or less moved on: Stevens, is a massage therapist, while Linnea Quigley is (according to the movie) a door-to-door evengelist. They are, therefore, understandably surprised by their abduction and subsequent fate, and continue their surprise after death, berating both Max and each other from their wall-mounted location.

To some extent, this is Band biting the hand that feeds him, poking none-too subtle fun at the rabid horror fans. But Max is actually given more character than you'd expect, and having existed on a steady diet of their movies in the 80's, it's a joy to watch the likes of Stevens, Quigley and Michelle Bauer, play both against type and into it. The second half is less effective, featuring more modern scream queens, with far less impressive resumes [Okay, let's be honest: I'd never heard of Jacqueline Lovell or Denice Duff before this]. But it holds together well enough, and I was surprised to discover that this was originally a web series, rather than made directly as a feature. Horror/comedy is a tricky line to walk, and this proves more adept than most at balancing it.

[November 2015]

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