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Father's Day

2011 | 99 min | Unrated | 1.85:1

Father's Day


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Movie appeal

Dark humor100%



Theatrical release date

 10 February, 2012

Country of origin

 United States



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Screenshots from Father's Day Blu-ray

Father's Day Preview  

 / 10
Preview by Brian Orndorf, February 11, 2012

“Father’s Day” is the type of genre entertainment that gives its audience plenty of reason to refuse its blood-soaked charms. It’s an unbelievably violent and nasty enterprise with a taboo-smashing, genital-eating attitude certain to make the unprepared run screaming for the exits. It’s also one of the funniest features I’ve seen in quite some time, using its inherent sickness to come together as a clever, sublimely silly grindhouse goosing, able to assemble disparate elements of gore and goofballery in a fluid manner missing from similar efforts searching to shock and guffaw. While leaning on chaos to fill its running time, “Father’s Day” is a triumphantly diseased motion picture, easily the best movie to pop out of Troma Entertainment in quite some time.

A lunatic is on the loose, terrorizing the fathers of Tromaville with promises of sexual invasion, penis consumption, and a horrible death. The monster is known as The Fuchman (Mackenzie Murdock), and the only man who can stop his reign of terror is Ahab (Adam Brooks), a one-eyed lethal enforcer who’s resigned himself to a life of maple syrup harvesting. When teen hustler Twink (Conor Sweeney) learns his father has been slaughtered by The Fuchman, the young man teams up with Father Sullivan (Matthew Kennedy) to convince Ahab to return to duty. Back on the case, Ahab stops at nothing to track down The Fuchman, reuniting with his stripper sister Chelsea (Amy Groening) to help find the monster, while Father Sullivan and Twink gradually recognize the nightmare unfolding before them, looking to extinguish evil for good.

Instead of mimicking the “Grindhouse” formula of single-screen exhibition worship, “Father’s Day” establishes itself as a z-grade shocker broadcast during the wee hours on a UHF station. Setting the tone for the production in the opening minute, the picture embarks on journey of ‘80’s schlock and mayhem, freely roaming wherever it wants to go. The credited writer/director is Astron-6, a team of five creative forces including Brooks, Kennedy, and Sweeney, who’ve joined up to make a horror send-up that’s heavy on the blood and light on its feet, skillfully avoiding oppressive genre habits by maintaining a tight ship of humor and snowballing macabre elements, making sure to tickle potential viewers before completely grossing them out. It’s a difficult tonality to maintain, with “Hobo with a Shotgun” a recent example of a feature that attempted to make a harebrained mess, only to fall flat on its face. “Father’s Day” doesn’t show the same fatigue, keeping matters causal and awful without expelling all of its energy emphasizing the obvious.

“Father’s Day” is a lark, but a well-crafted one. The Astron-6 squad shows tremendous skill assembling a no-budget effort, with special attention to a toxic waste lighting design and shadow play, while the synth score ripples with an exquisite retro pulse, furthering the enticing sense of VHS escapism. The filmmakers find interesting visuals to combat the expected plunges into revulsion, a graphic adventure that includes some decidedly unrated forays into genital mutilation and cannibalism -- it wouldn’t be Troma if it didn’t require a nervous fingering of rosary beads while watching. The Fuchman’s wrath is a disgusting routine of bodily evisceration (the make-up effects are outstanding), captured here in an over-the-top fashion to combat anticipated viewer blood loss. Although outrageously gruesome, “Father’s Day” isn’t looking to kill the fun factor of its screen tomfoolery. It’s the type of film that offers a battle between The Fuchman and a topless stripper wielding a chainsaw. There’s blood, nudity, and violence. Everyone goes home happy.

Bordering on camp, “Father’s Day” doesn’t give itself over to overtly winking shenanigans, preferring deadpan reactions and straightforward silly business. The cast demonstrates a comedic competency that opens the effort up to chuckles and a few bellylaughs, having a grand time staying committed to foolishness, with Brooks a merry Snake Plissken copy keeping straight with syrup, Sweeney playing up Twink’s naivete, and Kennedy digging into the Father Sullivan’s spiritual divide as the priest is confronted with horrors beyond his imagination. The ensemble is loose and occasionally unprepared, but they’re effective throughout, selling the organ-slicing madness without leaping into the viewer’s lap. “Father’s Day” is outrageous, yet maintains an even flow of comedic mischief without tainting its rather appealingly lurid interests.

While the feature contains an excursion into tainted berry hallucinations, a mid-movie commercial for a cheapy “Star Wars” knockoff, and an understandable venture into incest, “Father’s Day” transforms into something else entirely for its final act. Traveling to Heaven (God is portrayed by Lloyd Kaufman, natch) and Hell to face The Fuchman’s ultimate form, the production goes haywire and a tad existential, greeting stop-motion animated creatures and ultimate temptations, pulled off with a winningly ragged style befitting such late-night television programming. The berserk climax pulls “Father’s Day” off the rails, but doesn’t sour the experience. In fact, there’s a bravery in execution that’s downright admirable, making the picture even more of a lovable, sickening daredevil filmgoing experience.

Starring: Adam Brooks, Mackenzie Murdock, Matthew Kennedy, Conor Sweeney, Lloyd Kaufman
Director: Adam Brooks

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