Friday, March 3, 2017

American Scumbags

Director - Dakota Bailey (Faces of Snuff, My Master Satan: 3 Tales of Drug Fueled Violence)
Starring - Larry Bay (Nights of Depravity, My Master Satan: 3 Tales of Drug Fueled Violence), Vince Bee, and Nick Benning
Release Date - 2016
Genre - Crime
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
     My return to horror was a success.  After diving deep into the world of sleaze, sex, and sin I decided to return to my beloved genre where I watched and reviewed the Scream Factory release of The Devil's Dolls.  The film needed tighter writing and a little more meat on the bone in terms of story but the kills were good and bloody.  Couldn't have been more pleased in terms of death in regards to that film.  The next movie on my chopping block was the sleazy crime anthology American Scumbags directed by Dakota Bailey.  Bailey is one that has been on my radar for sometime but I never had the pleasure of viewing his films before.  He reached out to be sometime back and asked me to check out American Scumbags and I graciously accepted.  Thank you Dakota for allowing Horror Society and myself the opportunity to see your new film.
     The film is three separate stories that is interconnect and consisting of the same people.  One of the tales follows drug addict and womanizer Billy the Kid who is obsessed with his ex-girlfriend to the point he kills her dog and forces her sister to give him her whereabouts.  When not terrorizing her and her family you can find Billy picking up hookers and then ditching them before paying for their services.  The second story follows drug addict Lucifer who believes he is indestructible.  He mails shit to his drug dealer, who he owes money, and the drug dealer sends out his hitman to take care of the nuisance.  The third and final tale follows the drug dealer himself who is too arrogant for his own good.  He calls a hit on his normal hitman and attempts to have Billy the Kid take him out.  Billy is loyal to the hitman and warns him a head of time sending the hitman to the drug dealer to settle the score.
     A lot of people compare Dakota Bailey and his white trash surreal films to the Wayne Alan Harold's 1999 comedy Townies.  I can see why.  Both films show the seedy side of American society.  The only difference is Townies focuses on the mentally ill and unstable while American Scumbags focuses on the drug dependent and organized crime.  Both are gritty, raw, and amateur and they both just don't do it for me.  The acting in this one is rough even for indie standards.  The cast spew their dialogue from their lips like shit through a goose.  They show no conviction, no direction, and they all lack emotions that would sell the scene.  Inexperience shows.  The stories for this one could have been fun but they bleed into one another way too much to create that anthology vibe.  The film should have been written in a way that all the stories meshed together in a more linear fashion like a traditional film.  They show a lot of promise but execution ruined it.  Finally, if you are looking for blood the film has a little.  The kills are more straight forward, which fits the film, but the effects are not there to make them believable.  The effects team used the black and white film pallet in their favor and opted not to make the kills more believable.  Overall, American Scumbags was not my kind of film.  The film is rough even by my standards.  The film had a cool idea but the execution was all wrong.  Hopefully, director Dakota Bailey will be able to edit this one a little better and re-release it.

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