5/5/09

Terrifying Tuesday: Die-ner (Get it?) (2009)

I love a Waffle House, The Huddle House and the International House of Pancakes. I never turn my nose up to a greasy spoon, and the more ways things can be scattered or smothered is all the better. A cup of coffee that may have been around a bit too long is the perfect complement to the umpteenth cigarette smoked in a night. So when I was asked to take a look at this flick, I answered the titular question, why yes, I do. So, Ladies and Gents, let’s go out for a bite at the…

Die-ner (Get it?) starring Josh Grote, Parker Quinn, Liesel Kopp, and Larry Purtel. Directed by Patrick Horvath.   

When Ken killed the cook and waitress at a diner, he didn’t expect the arguing couple to walk in and place an order or the lonely sheriff, a late night regular, to stop by, but there’s one more thing he never saw coming, Zombies. 

The Bugg Speaks

There’s something I sure as hell didn’t see coming when I popped in the screener of Die-ner (Get It?). I didn’t expect it to rise about the gag in the title. I didn’t expect production values, skillful filmmaking, and acting, but that’s what I got. Patrick Horvath, the writer/actor behind 2004’s Exquisite Corpse, takes over directing duties on his own screenplay with Die-ner, and I’m very impressed with what I saw. The initial strength of the film is the black humor of the script, but the feel of the film is just as vital and interesting. 

Horvath clearly shows his influences, from b movies to Jarmushe and Tarantino, and comes up with a blend of artful nuance nestled in the screwball comedy. Well, a decidedly dark screwball comedy about a serial killer, but what an engaging killer Josh Grote gives us with Ken. Sure, he’s a bad guy, but you can’t help but like him as he stalks the screen looking like Ed Norton in Fight Club and all the while chewing the scenery like Bruce Campbell in a manic mode. This is a serial killer you want to see Dexter Morgan sit down and have a beer with, and for a first role, Grote turns in a stellar performance. 

What is a serial killer without victims though? The waitress, Rose (Maria Olsen), is given a great monolog at the beginning of the film which sets the tone perfectly for everything that comes after when she concludes by apologizing for “spilling her guts”  Then Ken helps her do just  that. The young couple played by Parker Quinn and Liesel Kopp are given their fair share of time to develop, and both young actors make the most of the chance. Kopp is especially good as Kathy, and her scenes against Josh Grote sparkle with intensity. 

This is the first film for Jonathan Rigattieri as DP, and here’s a guy with a promising future. Between Horvath and Rigattieri, they formed a film which wove many styles together seamlessly without ever resorting to direct cribbing. The only misstep comes with a dreamlike 
flashback sequence from a knocked out Ken that looks great, but it never goes anywhere or pays off. I do rather wish these parts had been taken out and we got to spend a bit more time with the main characters. If I don’t need any answers as to where the zombies came from, then I really don’t need to get to the root of Ken’s motivations. 

This is a flick that I truly wish I could tell you all to run out and buy, put on your Netflix, or see at your local Cineplex, but unfortunately, Die-ner is not available quite yet. It’s really too bad because this is one of the best indie horror flicks I’ve ever seen, and will surely make my shortlist of best films I’ve checked out this year. I’ll keep you folks posted when I hear about it getting released, and until then, if you’re hungry for more head on over to their website for more details: DIE-NER (Get It?)

Bugg Rating 


1 comment:

  1. The trailer looks great. I really, really wish to see this one.

    ReplyDelete

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