Deathboard (2020)

Valerie buys a house with a gruesome past. Four of her friends come over to help her move in and have a housewarming party. After a strange encounter with a creepy neighbor, the ladies discover an old Ouija board in the basement and unwittingly unleash a horrifying evil. Can they survive the night?

I’ve started to become quite the fan of Brad Twigg’s work. You may remember my reviews for his films, Killer Campout, and Wrestlemassacre. Wrestlemassacre recently saw a DVD release from Wild Eye Releasing which you can pick up here. Brad asked me to give Deathboard a watch since it will be coming out soon. After him telling me that the wrestlers Mad Maxx Morrison and Jimmy Flame were in it, I knew I had to watch it.

Deathboard has a lot to offer fans of B horror films, it’s got pretty ladies, a crazed killer, and my personal favorite, wrestlers. Mad Maxx plays Valerie’s kooky neighbor, Milton Harris, who waltzes in on the girls while they are having a conversation in her new house. He warns them that it probably isn’t the best idea to be there and they should stay out of the basement but the girls go in the basement anyway. You see, the house used to belong to Cyrus Riker, a killer who made a pact with Satan to gain immortality.

The movie takes place over the day and night that Valerie has her friends, Kathleen, Dawn, Annie, and Pam help her move in to the old Riker place. We get to spend a good chunk of time getting to know the girls and seeing their friendship, they get pizza, drink, discuss their lives. Then the killings begin to start back up after a brief ouija session. 

I had a lot of fun with this movie. The girls all do a great job with their roles, I’m especially fond of the characters Pam and Kathleen. My favorite parts of the movie are whenever Milton shows up, as well as Jimmy Flame’s role as Bo. Jimmy is hysterical as Bo. It was also really cool to see The Winner Andy Vineberg as Lt. Kincaid and TJ Mathis as his partner, Sgt. Wilson.

The gore on display in this one during the killings is top notch too, it’s chunky, it’s slimy, it’s perfect. There is also a bit of nudity for the folks who like that in their horror. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed with either.

If you are fan of any of Brad’s other films, you’re going to love this one as well. If you haven’t seen any of his previous work, I suggest you give Deathboard a watch and dive into his filmography. Brad is someone whose work is always something I look forward to. Deathboard should be releasing sometime within the next two months so keep your eyes peeled for it soon.

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Andy Vineberg as Lt. Kincaid

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Mad Maxx Morrison as Milton Harris

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Jimmy Flame as Bo

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TJ Mathis as Sgt. Wilson and Vineberg as Lt. Kincaid

Crazy Lake (2016)

Group of coeds go looking for fun at cabin on the lake and find the cabin wasn’t always used for rest and relaxation.

Recently I watched Dragons of Camelot which features current NWA star Thomas Latimer as a knight of the round table; you may remember Thomas as Bram from TNA wrestling. I was researching wrestlers in film like usual when I came across this film which also had Latimer in it, titled, Crazy Lake. I was not passing up the chance to watch a movie with a title like that! I decided to not rent it and skip right to buying it because of the trailer.

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Crazy Lake is a slasher film from 2016. The movie is about group of kids who go to a cabin in the woods to party it up which is a perfect set up for the killings; you got girls in bikinis, guys running around in their underwear and swim trunks, and lots of alcohol. Crazy Lake was the site of a government experiment where they loaded violent criminals up with drugs, tied cinder blocks to their legs then threw them in the lake.

Latimer plays a killer in this film and although he has zero lines of dialogue he does a great job lumbering around and being a powerful on screen presence. With a half mask similiar to Hannibal Lecter and wild unkempt hair and beard, he looks like one scary ass dude. Add the size of Latimer and his physical abilities and it makes him even more terrifying.

What really makes this film in my opinion though is the kids partying and the accompanying music during those scenes. All in all it is just a typical slasher film but I really enjoyed it because of the partying. Spring Breakers is one of my favorite films and I got a tiny bit of that vibe from some of those scenes

If you like slashers, you will probably enjoy this film. It doesn’t do too much to stand out from the many other slashers that come and go throughout the years but it’s a solid slasher. It also made a great addition to my wrestlers in film collection. Heck, even if there wasn’t a wrestler in it, this seems like something I would pick up anyway. You can rent it through Vudu, YouTube or can buy it digitally as well. I found my new copy of the DVD on Family Video’s website.

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Beat Down (2012)

Beat Down is an irreverent comedy about wrestling, family and following your dreams no matter how painful that can sometimes be.

I used to spend every night searching through the movie section on cagematch.net. I’d look for hours through the list of movies on there to see what wrestlers were in what. It’s not updated as much anymore but I still do utilize it often. I’d throw every wrestler I could think of’s name in the search bar to see if they were in anything. One night I threw in Courtney Rush’s name and among her roles was the film Beat Down from 2012.

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I spent a while searching online for the movie but couldn’t find a legal way to watch it so I figured I would never see it. I took the chance to message the film’s director Deanne Foley a few years back about the film but she said it was never released on DVD despite it playing festivals, getting a small theatrical release, and premiering on Canadian TV. Late last month she messaged me on Facebook saying she remembered me inquiring about the film and provided me a private link to watch the film. I was elated.

Beat Down is about a washed up pro-wrestler, Whitey, who went by White Lightning and his daughter Fran who pursues being a wrestler despite his protests. Whitey is played by Trailer Park Boys’ Robb Wells and his daughter Fran is played by Marthe Bernard. Fran runs off to join her dad’s ex-tag partner Jimmy “Dark Thunder” Langdon’s (Tony Nappo, Saw franchise) promotion Legend City Wrestling (a real promotion based out of Newfoundland that still operated during the filming of this movie but seem to be defunct now) after learning that her mother is not dead and that her father never promised her to not let their daughter wrestle.

This film has quite a few wrestlers in it too, Cherry Bomb/Allie (All Elite Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, Shimmer Women Athletes, and various independent promotions), Courtney Rush/Rosemary (Impact, Shimmer, various independent promotions), Mr. Fantastic (Legend City Wrestling), Andy “2 Dam Hyp” Roil, and Nikita. It also features Ed Power aka Loco, Xandra Bale, and Troy Merrick as doubles for the wrestling scenes.

With the help of her mom, the famous wrestler, Roxy LaRue, and her new found romantic interest Michael, Fran becomes Archangel. Her father Whitey attempts to put an end to her career because of his bad past with Dark Thunder, who slept with Roxy years ago, even going so far as planting drugs in what he thinks is Jimmy’s room. Fran’s journey in wrestling is something you really cheer for and when she gets screwed over by Jimmy, you just want to sock him in the face. 

I love films about wrestling because it gets wrestlers involved in so many aspects of the films be it stunt directing, stunts, or acting. Cherry Bomb is perfect in her role and she really makes you believe that her character is just a bad person in and out of the ring. Courtney’s small interactions with Fran are sweet despite her role as the heel French Kiss in the ring. Nikita has a small part as one of the wrestlers Archangel faces, Sapphire. Andy “2 dam hyp” Roil did the wrestling for the character of Whitey, Loco did so for Michael’s, Xandra Bale was the stand in for Archangel, and Jimmy’s was Troy Merrick.  I have seen Courtney’s other roles in Exit Humanity (2011) and Monster Brawl but I would love to see her do more acting. Cherry if she decides could be a huge asset in film and I hope I see her in a role some time.

The real stand outs in this film, though, are Robb, Marthe, and Tony. Robb is absolutely hysterical in his role as Whitey. I found myself laughing at his actions and words throughout the whole film. Tony plays the scummy promoter like he was born just for the role and Marthe brings such life to her character that I found myself fully invested in her hopes, dreams, and struggles.

This is a funny and charming little dramedy and I am hoping that this will one day see release as it is a great little piece about independent wrestling. It has a bit of everything in it as well; comedy, romance, betrayal. The film shows us what it means to chase your dreams, and the importance of family.  It is an absolute shame that this film did not make it to DVD.

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Tony Nappo as Dark Thunder vs the masked Mr. Fantastic

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Marthe as Fran with Courtney Rush as French Kiss before Fran’s debut as Archangel

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Archangel faces off against Sapphire played by Nikita

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Copper Bill (2020)

Two thieves attempt to steal 80 million dollars of hidden Texas drug money from the famed ranch belonging to a dead member of the Cowboy Mafia.

When I see a wrestler is in an upcoming movie, it’s time for celebration. Even though the world around us seems to be crumbling, I still can find some comfort in film. I saw Dustin Rhodes (AEW,WWE,WCW,TNA) was going to be in this crime thriller a few months back. It was originally supposed to hit VOD on Valentine’s Day but it was met with a bit of a delay. Thankfully, I found the time to sit down with it today.

Dustin Rhodes debuted as Preacher Woodward in 2014’s Meet Me There, an independent horror film that not only features wrestling in it but also stars a few other wrestlers in cameos.  He also was in The Murders of Brandywine Theater alongside Diamond Dallas Page. He has also been cast to be the lead in the director of Copper Bill, Brett Bentman‘s upcoming film, Thunderclap!, along with Kevin Nash and R-Truth. I’m especially excited for Thunderclap! because I am a big fan of Nash’s acting and R-Truth is one of my favorite current stars in WWE.

Copper Bill is about a down on his luck gambler named Jessup who cooks up a scheme to rob one of the ranches of a legendary member of the cowboy mafia. He partners up with Mitchell (Dustin Rhodes), a tougher than leather debt collector for a man known simply as The Indian. They run into some trouble when after breaking into the mansion on the ranch, they discover that the grand-daughter the man’s ranch they are robbing is mute and doesn’t want to disclose the location of the millions they are after.

Dustin Rhodes churns out a wonderful performance as Mitchell in this film. He looks the part of a rough and tough no goodnik, with his myriad tattoos, cut off shirt, cowboy hat, and boots. His speech is natural, which is a thing not all actors have mastered. Sometimes I have a real hard time believing in character because something about their manners and line delivery just seems off. Dustin really gets a chance to showcase his acting abilities in this film, his ferocity in questioning the grand daughter, Lily, was outstanding. He really commands the scenes he is in, because of his physical stature. I imagine that Dustin will see many more roles in his future after his outing in Copper Bill.

This movie is quite violent at times, almost alarmingly so at some points. I really wasn’t expecting this from the movie for some reason but it is not out of place. The violence really works to further the plot, so it is not gratuitous.  They used their budget wisely in this film and pull off some great special effects through out. The movie is beautiful to look at and I had an excellent time with it. You can watch Copper Bill on Amazon Prime Video for a small rental fee. I think most folks who are into crime thrillers will enjoy this.

Brett Bentman certainly seems to be on a great path as a film maker who works with wrestlers as he also wrote and directed 90 Feet From Home starring Shawn Michaels. With two films starring professional wrestlers already under his belt and one more in the pipeline, he is someone I’m going to keep my eye on.

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Resurrection of Gavin Stone (2017)

A washed-up former child star, forced to do community service at a local megachurch, pretends to be a Christian to land the part of Jesus in their annual Passion Play, only to discover that the most important role of his life is far from Hollywood.

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is a 2017 Christian dramedy that stars WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels. This is an interesting watch for me as I always have a hard time when it comes to watching Christian films because they come from such a strongly post revivalist evangelical state of mind. I grew up in an intensely Penecostal background but have since shifted to Lutheranism so it’s a stark contrast to see these films nowadays.

This film centers around a former child star, Gavin Stone, whose recent life choices have lead him into a sticky predicament where he is forced to do community service at a church in his hometown of Masonville, Illinois. Originally set to do maintenance work he lies his way into getting involved with the church’s production of a play about the life of Jesus.  Gavin goes from an out of control man to someone that has finally seen that life isn’t always about what you want and that sacrifices are sometimes necessary

I won’t get into all of the theology of this film which is largely based on the idea that one can accept Jesus into their heart when the bible shows that humanity from its conception to death is whole-heartedly opposed to God and that even the good they try to do isn’t worth a lick of spit. Without the work of the  Holy Spirit through the Word our hearts would remain hardened. It also showcases that conversion is an extremely emotionally charged experience instead of a gradual learning process.

Shawn Michaels plays a tougher than nails biker named Doug, with a heart geared to do Jesus’ will. His character is a wonderful part of this film even if it’s just part of a larger ensemble. Shawn is a Christian off screen as well so you really know he was giving his all to the part. He was a very enjoyable part of this movie.

One thing I did find that the film had a particularly good grasp on theologically was forgiveness regardless of whether or not someone deserves it, a virtue that is heavily espoused in most doctrines. Again forgiveness without the love of Christ is meaningless and an empty gesture.

This film will go over like gangbusters for most folks who enjoy positive and encouraging films. It certainly knows when to crank up the emotional leverage at any given time. I do enjoy these types of films to an extent but a part of me is always weary because so many of them focus on the experience of conversion and that Jesus will make your life infinitely more happy and enjoyable when the Word of God shows us at many turns that even through the lowest of lows and misery that it is all done to the glory of God.

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Shawn Michaels as Doug

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Nash’n Through the Snow Extra: The Newest Pledge (2012)

The morning after kicking off their semester with a patriotic “stars, stripes, and strippers” party, the members of the Omega fraternity awaken to a find a baby on their doorstep. After little to no deliberation, the Omegas decide to pledge the baby. When a rival fraternity member, Rico, learns of this, he devises a plot to ruin the Omegas reputation in the eyes of the student body at Hamilton University. It’s up to the Omegas to not only secure their legacy at the University, but to also raise a baby in a fraternity house.

A baby turns up outside the Omega house with a note that says, He’s yours. A bunch of mostly irresponsible frat bros come to learn what it means to be a father. Kevin Nash is in this for less than 5 minutes as the Omega member Merkhaus’ father. I would have liked to see more of their interaction but it’s an okay cameo. He gets to tussle with the actor who plays his son, Greg Vrotsos. The movie itself is sort of charming in an odd way and I actually found myself enjoying it. It’s a fun little comedy and the baby Kegston is adorable. The actor who played Rico did a good job and I found his character insufferable and a great antagonist. If you’re only watching for Kevin Nash, I wouldn’t bother with this. However, if you are a fan of college life movies, you may like this one.

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Nash’n Through the Snow: Monster Brawl (2011)

Eight classic monsters fight to the death in an explosive wrestling tournament set inside an abandoned and cursed graveyard.

It’s been about 10 days since I first decided to watch and in this case re-watch a bunch of Kevin Nash movies before possibly meeting him tomorrow so far I have managed to watch five films starring the wonderfully entertaining co-founder of NWO and leader of my favorite wrestling faction the Wolfpac in those days. Of the 20 some films he has been in I’ve seen about 15 of them overall.

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Monster Brawl is a 2011 movie about a tournament that pits monsters against each other to see who will become the first Monster Brawl champion. The great thing about this film is that it melds two of my favorite things, horror and professional wrestling. It’s also pretty stacked as far as wrestlers appearing in it as well, Jimmy Hart, Kevin Nash, and Kurrgan are probably some of the more notable names, however, it also stars RJ City, Courtney Rush, Rico Montana, and Kelly Couture, who are all Canadian professional wrestlers.

I’ve watched this one a few times over the past few years and I have a blast when I watch it. It’s so cool to see monsters wrestling against each other and the commentary team of  Buzz Chambers and Sasquatch Sid Tucker is funny. Jimmy Hart plays himself, he serves as backstage interviewer, announcer, and has beautiful women with him when introducing the combatants. The tournament itself is divided into two conferences the undead conference and creature conference. The undead are represented by Zombie Man (Rico Montana), Lady Vampire (Kelly Couture), Frankenstein (Kurrgan) and Mummy (RJ City). The creatures are represented by Swampgut, Cyclops, Witch Bitch (Courtney Rush), and Werewolf (RJ City).

We are given some fun background and stats on each of the monsters, some of my favorite bits of the film. Witch Bitch, Werewolf, and Zombie Man are the standouts in my opinion. RJ City plays a man who loses the woman he loves and his unborn child and is then turned into a werewolf that hates monsters. His portrayal of a lycanthrope is one of my favorite ever put to film and I hope he gets more roles in films soon. Zombie Man’s story involves a Colonel and his Lieutenant who smuggle Zombie Man out of their secret facility to test him as a global weapon at the Monster Brawl. The Colonel named Crookshanks is played by Kevin Nash. His line of, “What are you gonna do when he defeats you and eats you?” uttered before Zombie Man’s fight is one of the most memorable bits of dialogue. The dialogue is full of interesting and funny bits, including Jimmy Hart berating a man pulling his cart to the tourney.

The wrestling in this is also fun to watch and it’s crazy to think that even non wrestling actors put on the performance they did in the ring. Their choreographer was excellent. I wish that the whole cast were wrestlers but this is still a gem of a film. It may turn some audiences off as it seems super niche but if you like wrestling you’re sure to find some enjoyment in this film. As for me I found a lot to enjoy. It was especially great to see Courtney Rush as Witch Bitch who had a comedic background story where she was trained and managed by a troll named The Grub. Watching her box with asshole villagers who had been torturing her was a fun bit of vindication that threw shade at the witch hunt craze. Altogether this is a film I will re-watch often and I can’t wait to get Nash to sign my copy. My copy is already signed by Jimmy Hart and it’s my plan to get it signed by all the wrestlers in it.

 

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Lady Vampire played by Kelly Couture

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Zombie Man played by Rico Montana

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Kurrgan as Frankenstein

 

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Werewolf played by RJ City

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Jimmy Hart running late to Monster Brawl

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RJ before becoming a werewolf

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Nash as Colonel Crookshanks

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Courtney Rush as Witch Bitch

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Werewolf played by RJ City

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Jimmy Hart running late to Monster Brawl

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RJ City before being bitten by the werewolf

 

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Nash’n Through the Snow Extra: Klippers (2018)

An assassin is sent by his psychotic employer, to kill his ex-wife. In his quest to accomplish his task, he becomes familiar with his target, making his mission difficult. Now, he must face the consequences of his actions.

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This one is a thriller about a hitman who is hired to kill a woman but ends up falling in love with her. The reason he takes the hit is to pay back a loan shark played by Kevin Nash. It’s a decent low budget film with a few plot issues. Kevin Nash is not in this for a long period of time but is given very high billing. Kevin does a good job being a menacing loan shark in this. I think most people would give it a pass but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be after reading horrible reviews for it. As far as low budget thrillers go, it’s a decent outing.

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Nash’n Through the Snow: D.O.A. Dead or Alive (2006)

Four beautiful rivals at an invitation-only martial-arts tournament join forces against a sinister threat. Princess Kasumi (Devon Aoki) is an aristocratic warrior trained by martial-arts masters. Tina Armstrong (Jaime Pressly) is a wrestling superstar. Helena Douglas (Sarah Carter) is an athlete with a tragic past. Christie Allen (Holly Valance) earns her keep as a thief and an assassin-for-hire.

Dead or Alive is a film adaptation of a popular fighting video game franchise, Dead or Alive. I watched this many years ago but recently decided to purchase and give it another watch since Kevin Nash is in it.

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Dead or Alive is about an invitation only fighting tournament, among the many invitees are the professional wrestlers,  Tina Armstrong (Jamie Pressly) and her father Bass Armstrong (Kevin Nash). The film really nails the fun parts of the Dead or Alive franchise with a slew of wild characters, including the very attractive female fighters. It even includes a volleyball scene which is reference to a series of offshoot games in the franchise, Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball.

If you’re watching this movie, you’re probably here for the girls and the fights, which this has in spades. Some of the fights are pretty frenetically edited, but they’re all pretty great. Some of the highlights of the film are the soundtrack and the fight announcements lifted from the game. I really think this film is probably the closest adaptation of a video game that I’ve seen put to film.

My favorite part of the film though is Kevin Nash as Bass Armstrong, Tina’s father. The Armstrong’s are both pro-wrestlers but her father is much more over the top. Kevin Nash looks like he is having a blast in this role and I am totally here for it. His outfits in the movie are outlandish and his fight scene on the river against Tina is my favorite fight of the film. It’s just a shame that we only get to see him fight Tina as I would have loved to see some other matches with him.

Kevin was perfect for this role since he is a professional wrestler as well as an actor. I had so much fun with this movie. I connected with it much more than I originally thought I would. I watched it when I was younger only because it was a video game adaptation whereas now I watched it again because I am such a fan of professional wrestling and the games. Dead or Alive is a lot of fun and I recommend it for fans of martial arts movies, fans of professional wrestling, and fans of the Dead or Alive franchise.

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Jamie Pressly as Tina Armstrong enjoying a drink with her father Bass Armstrong played by Kevin Nash

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Nash’n Through the Snow: The Manor (2018)

“The Manor,” is the macabre tale of mental patient, Amy Hunter (Christina Robinson) and the horrific events that follow her release from Psychiatrist, Dr. Tryvniak (Rachel True). Amy’s mother, Jane (Tanja Melendez Lynch) feels it best to immerse her daughter in the warm, family atmosphere of Anders Manor, inviting Amy’s long lost family (Eric Lutes, Tandy Tugwell, Danielle Gulden, Michael Zuccola) to join them at the manor. The Manor, however, has deeper plans for the Hunter Family, as gatecrashers and cultists (Sully Erna, Kevin Nash, Mike Bennett) arrive as the nefarious and ancient demonic force, Aka-Mana (David Tessier) goes to work, in short order, to sow madness and reap blood.

At the end of the month I’ll hopefully be meeting Kevin Nash at Absolute Intense Wrestling’s Hell on Earth 15. Kevin seems to be a popular choice in a lot of low budget film castings  which I will forever be grateful for. Kevin’s imposing figure is always a welcome sight in any film I’m watching and he gets better with every acting role.

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I picked up The Manor sometime earlier this year at the local Family Video solely because Kevin Nash‘s face is plastered on the cover. I was pleasantly surprised to discover it also stars Mike Bennett (WWE, Ring of Honor, Total Nonstop Action, New Japan Pro Wrestling).The Manor.jpg

I have been having a whirlwind of a year emotionally and it’s kind of intensified this past month, one constant though has been movies. I had no idea what I was getting into with The Manor, I had never seen the trailer, I had simply read the synopsis on the back of the DVD. Why I picked today of all days to watch it is beyond me but odd frame of mind or not, this one is a wild ride.

A young lady, Amy, is turning 18, not only stepping into adulthood but also stepping foot out of the asylum she has been living in the past four years. Her mother has the grand idea to take her to Anders Manor to try to get some rest and relaxation with her cousins, aunt, and uncle. The only issue with this is her doctor feels she may regress because of the location and the attached memories.  They are not the only guests though, joining them are the backwoods Bayton brothers, Ole, Darsaw (Mike Bennett), Brett (Sully Erna of Godsmack) and a wonderfully odd group of universalists called True Believers led by Reverend Thomas (Kevin Nash).

Amy is a schizophrenic who has a hard time separating reality from her hallucinations, especially the heinous demon Aka Mana, who she feels manipulates her like a puppet. Add in all these wacky ass people who are mostly disturbed themselves and it’s a recipe for disaster. This film feels and is cut like a fever dream I might have when I can’t keep my medications down, surreal but still all to real. I probably wasn’t in the best mind frame to handle this film but I think there is no better way to watch it than when you’re just a bit off. It adds to its impact.

This movie is all over the place and has some pretty extreme plot elements, including incest, murder, rape, and mental illness. But mixed in with all those extremities stands Reverend Thomas, a kooky spiritualist with a heavy bent on universalism, who believes that “Love doesn’t care, let’s crank up the tunes.” He is the most positive person in the film along with his True Believers. Kevin Nash plays this role wonderfully and he is the only one who seems to actually care about Amy’s well being. I just wish there was more of him in this film. Cult like leaders are always an attractive element to me, so that’s probably why I’m so enamored with those particular parts of this film. His cotton candy social looked like the chillest thing to attend.

Another great turnout in the film is Mike Bennett as Darsaw Bayton, a perpetually horned up beefcake of a hillbilly, with an interesting perspective on familial relations, even espousing the idea of kissing cousins. He’s a true country casanova, replete with tank top, jeans and a flannel floppy eared hat who seduces one of Amy’s cousins. He’s a welcome addition in this film as he and Nash both help break up some of the depressing bleakness of the film.

The film is riddled with interesting music choices and the editing can be disorienting at times but I thought the film was entertaining. It might have to do largely with the fact that it affected me so strongly because of my current mental state but I highly recommend this film. Nash and Bennett make this good film into a great film and it’s one of my favorite movie purchases of the year. It is by far the oddest thing I’ve watched in 2019 but it will stand proudly in my collection.

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Mike Bennett on the right as Darsaw Bayton

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Kevin Nash as Reverend Thomas

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