Tuesday, November 10, 2015

HEADER (2006)

Header was the novella that turned me into an Ed Lee fan. Though slim (74 pages), it contains more gorror and gross-out humor than tomes three-times its size. So watching the movie was only natural. Unfortunately, the gut-punch/gut-buster that was Ed Lee’s book didn’t translate well to film.
     After 11 years in prison, Travis Tuckton (Elliot V. Kotek) returns home to grandpap Jake Martin (Dick Mullaney). Hearing of the wrongs that people have done his family, Travis decides to get revenge by giving their womenfolk a “header”? What is a header? Well, it’s up to Stewart Cummings (Jake Suffian), an ATF agent who’s playing both sides of the law so he can afford his sick girlfriend’s medication, to find out—and, hopefully, put a stop to the madness.
     For those who’ve never read the book or seen the movie, I’m not going to tell you what a header is. However, I will say this: skimping out on the gore effects like this movie does during the headers is pretty shameful. Come on, we all know we want to see Travis' dick porking those "cracker" brains to mush. Alas, we see no such thing, only suggestive shots and some blood dripping onto the floor. I don't care if you have to use a prosthetic wang, a body double, or whatever but at least show that you're trying. And hell, we don't even get to see the jizz dripping from the brains after they've finished. Fail. Add that to the fact that the scenes are few and far between, and what you’re left with is a rather dull flick with a little bit of bloodshed, some uninspiring prosthetics, and not-so-great acting. And though the film is only 89 minutes long it feels longer mostly because nothing much interesting happens.
     On the plus side, you get cameos from horror writer Jack Ketchum and the man himself, Edward Lee. And the redneck dialogue is pretty funny, too—“You ain’t worth two squirts of piss from a dead dog’s dick.” And I have to say it is a pretty faithful adaptation of the novella, just minus the fun.
     If you’ve read Header, don’t bother watching Header. If you haven’t read Header, don’t watch Header, just read it instead.

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