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Friday, September 6, 2013

SILENT BUT DEADLY -- DVD review by porfle

These days when filmmakers want to set a story in Louisiana,  they go to Louisiana to film it.  Or, they do what director Stephen Scott did--film it in Ontario, Canada and call it Louisiana.  Not that it makes much difference, since most people who make it through the made-for-Canadian-TV horror comedy SILENT BUT DEADLY (2011) probably won't even remember where they are when it's over. 

The lame joke of the title sets the tone for the rest of the story that begins when mentally-challenged farmboy Thomas Capper (the ubiquitous Jason Mewes) slaughters his abusive dad (William Sadler,  DIE HARD 2) for killing his baby goat with a shotgun in retaliation for Thomas peeping in on his lesbian stepmothers, Anya and Titianna, who are Russian mail-order brides. 

While it's hard to fault any film that begins with naked Russian lesbians having sex and lines like "What is it now, you Soviet sluts?", we soon get the idea that this modest production isn't going to be very effective as a comedy or a gore film.  For one thing, all the blood 'n' guts action is done with bad CGI,  which is about as much fun as eating a fast-food taco with the wrapper still on it.  The comedy, on the other hand, is often of the kind in which whoever screams his or her lines the loudest is deemed the funniest. 

At any rate, Thomas leaves the farm with his true love, Lisa the goat, in tow, and ends up working on a film crew that's shooting on location in rural (wink, wink) Louisiana.  He gets the job by making the perfect goat-milk latte for crabby, egotistical director Victor, played by former "The Red Green Show" co-star Patrick McKenna.  But when the craft services cook kills Thomas' beloved goat for lunch,  the heartbroken farmboy goes on a murder spree in which every impliment of death within reach is employed for slicing 'n' dicing.

Along the way there's some mildly amusing confusion regarding the nationalities of various crewmembers, not to mention some very  pleasing nudity by flakey actress Jackie (Nicole Arbour) and cutie-pie Sandra (Kim Poirier, DAWN OF THE DEAD remake), a documentary filmmaker doing a story on the local cops as they investigate Thomas' initial goat-revenge murders. 

"Little person" Jordan Prentice (HOWARD THE DUCK,  WEIRDSVILLE) and Benz Antoine (DEATH RACE) are sporadically amusing as redneck sheriff  Shelby and his unflappable black deputy Jimbo, who, along with the likable Sandra, are the main reasons why SILENT BUT DEADLY  is as endurable as it is.   In fact, the film actually manages to generate a few fleeting sparks of funny once this odd law-enforcement team goes after the mad killer who's leaving a trail of bloody bodies strewn around the movie location.  Which is a good thing since star Jason Mewes is about as exciting a screen presence as that goat-milk latte he whips up.  

The film plods along trying to evoke a quirky, lighthearted, mildly irreverent sort of atmosphere and not succeeding very often, until it finally jerks to an abrupt end.  Nice cinematography and capable directing help make it as watchable as it is,  but  a bland script, fakey CGI gore effects, and uninteresting lead performance work against it.

The DVD from Inception Media Group is 16x9 widescreen with 5.1 digital surround sound.  Closed-captioning but no subtitles.  The sole extra is a trailer. 

SILENT BUT DEADLY is the kind of low-budget comedy made by people who obviously have plenty of comic sensibilities but can't quite turn them into a funny movie.  I can imagine sitting through it if it happened to pop onto my TV screen one day and I didn't have the energy to find something else to watch.  But as far as actually going out of my way to see it--naaaaaaah.

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