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Overall Rating
4

Awesome: 30%
Worth A Look60%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 10%

1 review, 4 user ratings


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Freak Out
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by Scott Weinberg

"I'll take 'cheap and funny' over 'expensive and dull' every time."
4 stars

"Freak Out" is yet another of those ultra-low-budget mega-in-jokey horror-movie-parody things created by a handful of goofballs who spent waaaaay too much time during their youths watching slasher flicks. Yet unlike many of these homages / parodies / ripoffs, "Freak Out" is, well, funny. Very funny actually.

Horror freaks who know their internet know where to find the buried treasure. The early word on movies like Cabin Fever, Dog Soldiers and Ginger Snaps often comes from great websites like Creature Corner and Bloody Disgusting. John "Arrow in the Head" Fallon is another gore guru who knows a great little indie when he sees one, so his rather enthusiastic review of something called Freak Out had me quite intrigued.

I dropped the filmmakers a line and asked for a look at their flick. These freaks actually knew who I was! They really were hardcore movie loons. I promised that I'd be fair and honest, but also professed that I had a soft spot for dumb humor and slasher flicks. Their response was to "Praise it or rip it, man. We just appreciate the review." I liked these guys already.

So when Freak Out got off to a somewhat spotty start, I felt a little sad. I so wanted to like this movie. But just then...something happened. It's like the movie just sort of clicked into place, the pace (and the gags) picked up solid steam, I started to 'get' the vibe it was slinging, and here's where the Happy Ending comes in:

As a person raised from the age of 10 on the finest Crap Horror Movies ever made, I had a damn good time with Freak Out. It's like a movie your college buddies would have made...if your college buddies were actually funny instead of just drunk and loud.

The plot is about two Movie Nerds who "adopt" a rather bizarre serial killer. It's their hope that the slasher will cause a big and bloody ruckus, thereby allowing them to step into the world of movie tie-ins and book deals. This silly conceit exists solely to give filmmakers Christian James and Dan Palmer 80-some minutes in which to showcase their juvenile jokes, manic montages and hilarious homages. I'll not list the three dozen horror movies that Freak Out pokes fun at, but the Evil Dead bit was my favorite. And this isn't the forced and exasperated sort of humor one sees in the Scary Movie trilogy. Three frames of Freak Out is enough to tell you the filmmakers absolutely love their horror movies, dammit. It's impressive what you can pull off with just good humor and (extremely) creative editing.

Though Freak Out is clearly made for the serious horror hounds, there's an affable and broad sense of goofy playfulness that should elicit giggles from even the grumpiest ghouls. The two leads are, of course, raw and rough-around-the-edges - but they're also confident and enthusiastic and plainly willing to do just about anything for a larf. One has to respect that. James Heathcote (as Merv) is funny and quite likeable, while co-writer Dan Palmer (as sidekick Onkey) proves himself quite the capable comedian. Also particuarly winning is Nicola Connell as a video store clerk with a crush. Funny gal!

Freak Out presents us to a frankly retarded world, one filled with lisping vegetarian serial killers, pornography entitled Ass Piranha, and a hilariously insufferable dork who thinks 'Snootchie Bootchies' is still funny. It was made for no money (over the course of 4 years) by a bunch of goofballs who clearly had a fun time making it. It's raw and rough and indie to the core, but Freak Out delivers the yuks with an admirable consistency...and what else really matters? Plus there's this one line about "Matrix fan fiction" that had iced tea spurting out of my nose. Not many movies can do that.

Look, a bunch of young British Movie Geeks made a movie about their love for horror movies. It's cheaply-made and probably not something your mother would watch for more than 2.3 minutes, but hey, funny's funny. And "Freak Out" has more laughs than the last three Adam Sandler movies combined, and I'll throw in the entire works of Martin Lawrence to boot. Give these nuts a budget and I bet they make...a damn funny movie that won't make a dime before becoming a huge cult hit with the Cinefreekz.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8799&reviewer=128
originally posted: 02/26/04 15:32:36
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User Comments

11/13/06 Jeff Martin 'Awesome! Evil Dead meets Freaked meets Cheech & Chong, insane!' 5 stars
9/12/05 Joe Terrier This film is awesome !! I want the DVD!! 5 stars
7/08/05 aimee wilson it was a suckie movie it wasn't even scary at al 1 stars
5/04/04 John B A great debut feature - absolutely hilarious. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  25-Oct-2006
  DVD: 07-Nov-2006

UK
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