THE COOK *** U.S.A. 2013 Dir: Joshua Miller 90 mins
TV star Jim (Jeremy Castaldo) is grieving over the loss of his sister and returns home to throw a party in her honour with a bunch of friends. The party takes place outside at Mourning Woods, as things kick off some drunken revellers looking for a place to shag stumble across a house belonging to The Cook. A feared, psychotic, tattooed, shirtless, shamanistic man who is busy cooking up the most potent, psychedelic meth ever and he doesn’t appreciate guests. Cue a veritable smorgasbord of delightful practical gore effects, everything from a harpoon through the head to disembowelling, decapitation and everything in between.
It feels to me to be a typical slasher movie, very reminiscent of the familiars (Halloween, Scream etc) but because of its obvious low budget it falls short of these in production so maybe more likened to Charlie’s Farm and such like. The camera work is unbelievably trippy and the whole film has a great surrealism to it with the added bonus of a fantastic and unrelenting soundtrack. The Cook (Wade Blevins) himself is a very imposing and fearsome bloodthirsty maniac but unfortunately the rest of the cast are devoid of any likeable characteristics and really cringe worthy to watch, some of the fight scenes are laughable only relieved by the various mutilations. Luckily the infrequent dialogue is overlapped with the great music and crazy hallucinations. You can forgive the actors as it would seem, if you watch the end credits, that most of the cast had numerous roles behind the scenes as well, Jeremy Castaldo being responsible for the music. This movie is a lot of fun to watch, cant help but think you may need to be on copious amounts of drugs to truly appreciate it but enjoyable all the same.
Review by Sarah Budd