Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Landlord (2009)

The Landlord

Written & Directed by Emil Hyde

Tyler...Derek Dziak
Amy...Michelle Courvais
Donna...Erin Myers
Rabisu...Rom Barkhordar

Lovable loser Tyler is the live-in manager of a three-unit apartment building. The location isn't all that great, and it's in constant need of repairs, but at least the rent is cheap. That's probably because Tyler isn't in this business for the money; he's in it to fulfill his end of a bargain wherein he supplies a pair of demons with room and board...and all the human flesh they can eat. But when he falls for Donna, the new tenant who is on the run from her previous life, he begins to have second thoughts about the arrangement.

As you can imagine, hellspawn don't take too kindly to being lied to.

Meanwhile, Tyler's sister Amy--a cold, cruel and somewhat crooked cop--is dealing with her own evil arrangements. She and her partner have struck up a deal with a gang of local vampires--they feed only on the criminals that she assigns to them, and never--NEVER--on children. But bloodthirst can sometimes make a man say things he doesn't really mean.

This is an independent horror comedy with a small budget but a lot of heart. While the special effects are sometimes corny, other times they are pretty impressive--especially considering the source: Demons teleport in and out of scenes, body parts are sent on a supernatural mail-chute to hell, etc. This movie isn't afraid to show you the things that most other smaller films would gleefully leave off camera.

The acting is at times uneven, and the horror is more than a bit on the light side, but the low-fi gore works reasonably well even on the occasions when the humor falls flat (which it occasionally does: some of it works, some of it doesn't.)

The real selling point of this film isn't the special effects; it isn't the acting or the humor either; It's the story, which is actually pretty original if not expertly executed, and not just a tired retread of things that the Big Boys in Hollywood have already done before. I actually enjoyed the secondary story, revolving around Amy and the vampires, even more so than Tyler's tale, as it brought a supernatural twist to a plotline that isn't often associated with horror. It reminded me vaguely of the latest season of Dexter, what with the crooked good guy in cahoots with the bloodshedding baddies.

The greatest character here, bar none, is Rabisu. With his green skin, smarmy attitude and affinity for Hawaiian shirts, he was like the Devil's own version of Bruce Campbell; What Ash would be like if he was one of the Evil Dead, perhaps. Take him, add him to the Amy story, and tone down the violence a little've got yourself a hell of television show.

Ah, a man can dream.

With a little more time, a little more money and a little more experience, the writer-director may be capable of some pretty great things.

His name is Emil Hyde, for Pete's sake! If that's not a name for horror, I don't know what is.

View the trailer below!

Not Rated
98 Minutes
United States

Read more about it at the IMDB, and visit the official webpage!

"Don't make fun of hell!"

HorrorBlips: vote it up!

1 comment:

  1. I saw this movie somewhere...maybe it was on Netflix instant watch and I thought about checking it out, but ultimately passed and left it off the queue.

    I'm happy you covered it, sounds a lot better than I would have expected and I'll have to give it a whirl some time.

    Great post!


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