DEAR GOD NO! (2011)
Written and directed by James Bickert
Dear God No! has been on the lips of many a horror film fan for months and finally witnessing the 2 Disc Impaler Edition DVD, I can see why. With the opening scene depicting a hairy biker ruthlessly kicking a dead nun in her blood-splattered nether regions and another opening up the throttle, causing the rear tyre of his motorcycle to spin and grind away at the sister’s corpse, you just know this film is gonna be a shocking treat!
The slaughtering and torture in Dear God No! is done in a very tongue-in-cheek way, despite its aim to shock it’s audience in true exploitation fashion. I myself found none of what I witnessed horrifying… well, maybe the nun bit at the beginning made me go “WTF!” but in a good way. Director James Bickert has clearly injected his passion for exploitation flicks into this movie, with the attention to detail to recreate the 70’s atmosphere very evident. So is Bickert’s commitment to realising the project that he even shot the entire film on Super 16MM film to ensure the film felt from that decade, in addition to correct costume, cars, bikes and hairstyles from the era. It takes confidence, with a sprinkle of pure craziness, to do something this wacky yet gritty and downright shocking to average audiences. You only need to scour the internet to find repulsed critics, but I feel they have missed the point entirely with Bickert’s movie. Beneath the rape, boobies and raw flesh is one man’s loveletter to grindhouse and joys of keeping independent filmmaking free and fun, something which the bikers in Dear God No! can relate to.
As I mentioned, Dear God No! has many ‘out there’ scenes, which were common place in plenty of the exploitation films and flicks of the 60’s and 70’s. One particular scene involves topless dancers shaking their bits wearing Nixon masks. The camera lingers on the curvacious girls for what seems like forever, with the erotic illusion shattered as soon as Nixon’s trademark conk enters the lense. Subsequently arm the masked lasses with guns and you’ve got quite a memorable sight indeed!
The assumption that this is just a run of the mill biker exploitation flick could not be further from the truth. Yes, it’s about notorious bikers who rape and murder for the thrill and freedom of it, but it also develops into a monster movie, blending the two different genres together quite nicely. Throughout the film, the audience witness a parallel story occurring deep within the woods and only when the two plot threads meet do we finally see the bigger picture.
Practical FX fans will have a field day with Dear God No! with the crew opting for good old-fashioned latex, costumes and buckets of cherryade-syle blood squirting and spraying over the characters and scenary. I must admit scenes of this nature were those that I enjoyed best, with over-the-top deaths and graphic visuals, both gruesome to look at and morally wrong.
The cast do a great job and look fantastic in their indivdual roles, in particular the biker gang who not only look the part, but their camaraderie feels authentic. The doctor role could have been better written with clarity and the young couple visiting would have benefitted from a deeper involvement, but their roles were adequate enough to serve the purpose of the story.
Needless to say, Dear God No! has cult favourite written all over it and is a wicked ride from start to finish.
The 2 Disc Impaler Edition includes:
· All new Grindhouse Cut of the feature (UK Exclusive)
· Exclusive full colour booklet featuring the words of director James Bickert and graphic illustrator Tom Hodge, production stills, and more
· Audio Commentary with Writer/Director James Bickert and composer Richard Davis
· Audio Commentary with actors Jett Bryant, Madeline Brumby and Shane Morton
· UK Theatrical trailer
· Redband Trailer
· Behind the Scenes Gag Reel
· Poster and Still Slideshow
· Zombie Parody
· Torture Porn Parody
· Vlog the Magnificent at The Dear God No! World Premiere
· Easter Eggs
· Animated short featuring two of the characters from the film (UK Exclusive)