Directed by: Joe Begos
Written by: Matthew McArdle, Max Brallier
Starring: David Patrick Kelly, Dora Madison, Fred Williamson, George Wendt, Martin Kove, Sierra McCormick, Stephen Lang, Tom Williamson, Travis Hammer, William Sadler
A group of war veterans must defend their local VFW post and an innocent teen against a deranged drug dealer and his relentless army of punk mutants in this futuristic but 80’s style romp….
Its quite ironic that most of my early morning routine of recent weeks has been to make myself my first cuppa of the day, then sitting down to watch the classic sitcom Cheers.
Much like FRIENDS, its an easy watch as no matter which episode is played, a feeling of warm comfort starts to overcome you, nostalgia playing a big part as you settle down to watch pals of old!
When “NORM” himself, George Wendt pops up behind a bar in this new action/horror from Bliss director Joe Beogs, I couldn’t help but smile, as the tune of “Where Everybody knows your name” started to play in my head. But as quickly as you could say “We not in Boston anymore” the warm fuzzy feeling soon disappeared thanks to limbs being blown off and enough blood and gore to please even the most demanding of gore-hounds!
Yes….VFW is that kind of film!
Like a deranged hybrid of Assault On Prescient 13 and The Expendables in which OAP’s take centre stage, the lead cast will bring huge memories of a golden age. The last time we saw Fred Williamson having to defend himself in a bar under attack was in the much loved classic From Dusk Till Dawn, and here he is surrounded by quite a cast of yesteryear to help him fight off a new threat!
Stephen Lang (Don’t Breathe), William Sadler (The Shawshank Redemption, Die Hard 2), Martin Kove (Karate Kid, Cagney and Lacey) and David Patrick Kelly (The Warriors, Commando) are all having a blast as they defend themselves from the threat of a heavily drugged gang, who are addicted to a new drug on the street named “Hype”.
Plot-wise its simple! Fred (Lang) runs a bar in which all his old friends hang out, while outside in the futuristic world which resembles a Snake Pissken 80’s landscape, a young girl named Lizard (Sierre Mccormick) has stolen some stash from the local drug gang and turns up at the bar to hide.
This new drug sort of makes anyone who takes it, turn into a blood thirsty zombie without the bite and we end up with a typical stand/off between the Veterans whose instinct is to protect the girl and the gang outside who want what’s theirs back!
With the synth beat running through its heartbeat, VFW fully embraces its 80’s Carpenter roots, who himself was influenced by Howard Hawks and yet both those greats never really showed the gore that this film gleefully piles on by the bucket loads.
Axe through a head, bodies exploding, its so OTT that you will find yourself laughing than being shocked at the extreme violence and the biggest delight you’ll have is seeing these gang of actors having a total and utter blast on screen.
It does feel like one last hooray for all those involved, whose infectious happiness at killing in extreme manners, only brings out a positive vibe to the viewer who is willing for each of them to survive each passing second!
Its not rocket science and VFW in no shape or form rewrites the genre, but its filmed with such style and verve by Begos that once the final battle commences between those left standing, you can not help but feel you have had a gruesome good time…. and for a horror or in fact any film…..what more can you ask for?
My fellow HCF Critic David S Smith saw VFW at the Glasgow Frightfest. Read this thoughts here: