When one thinks of horror, they could picture many things, but most often blood and gore and violence come to mind. Sometimes, however, the real horror can be when one’s mind begins to play tricks on them and for someone who relies on their brain, their creativity, well, that can be pretty damn scary.
This past weekend we here at Film Combat Syndicate had the privilege of viewing several films that partook in this year’s ensemble virtual film festival debut, Nightstream. The lineup was full of shorts, new films, documentaries, and even some throwback films. One of my choices to review was Deadline, a film directed by Mario Azzopardi, which was made in 1979, but not actually released until a few years later.
Here’s the summary:
Steven Lessey (a perfectly uptight Stephen Young, SOYLENT GREEN) is a decadent horror writer living on the edge. In between upscale drug parties and domestic decay, he desperately works through writer’s block by conjuring the most shocking and gross scenarios this side of EC Comics. This includes: a telepathic goat with a taste for farm equipment, children gleefully burning their grannie with gasoline and a Nazi punk band whose sonics make hobos’ guts explode! Restoration courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome and the American Genre Film Archive.
Okay, so based on the above, you can tell there is lots of gore in the film, but there is more to it than that.
While the writer is struggling to come up with his next great idea, he is forced to hear criticism from everyone: the studio wants something more gory from him, college students hate his work and what it means for society, and his family is falling apart. The stress of it all finds Lessey losing himself in his daydreams, trying to create something better, but…well, I can’t spoil the ending for you, now can I?
If you are a fan of older horror films, you have to give this one a try.