Monday, September 18, 2017

Eat Me

Font choice is not something one should ever take lightly. Consider the prologue of Souleater, which opens in the past with subtitles overloaded with serif, leading me to try to figure out if "beavy" meant something different in the 13th century. 

Quick Plot: Welcome to Bixby, home of Tucker's Motel, a diner, and a house in the woods that contains a souleater. Put that on your postcard and mail it.

If you're like me, you may very well hear "souleater" and think "sin eater" and be taken back to The Order, a film with better font choices but far less energy than today's feature. If you recall, a "sin eater" is a handsome centuries old cursed Catholic who helps sinners get into heaven via a side door that opens with sin eating. A souleater (one word, apparently) just eats souls.

On hand to fight the souleater is weathered priest Father Dolan and his protégé, Spencer. The pair teams up with the local po-lice (including the film's big name grab, Peter Hooten) and Demon and Pike, a pair of grizzled bikers looking for Pike's soul-teasing daughter. There's TRON-esque night vision, mild CGI (that in fairness, makes The Order look even worse), and when in doubt, zombies.

Directed, co-produced, co-written, edited, sound edited, and title designed by Michael Lang, Souleater is, without question, an indie horror film. It doesn't look great, it doesn't sound great, and nobody will be having nightmares after it's over. That being said, it's clearly made with heart and enthusiasm by all involved. The actors aren't going to show up on the list of Oscar nominees anytime soon, but nobody is phoning anything in. That's something.

I can't say Souleater is a good film by most measures, but in its very specific realm of micro-budgeted horror, I can't say it isn't more watchable than a lot of what's out there in bargain bins. 

High Points
I wouldn't be surprised if it was simply a case of casting convenience, but it's always refreshing to see a cast primarily made up of actors on the other side of middle age

Low Points
I could quibble with the dialogue and performances all I want, but at the end of the day, what really gave me the most pain with Souleater was its damned font decisions

Lessons Learned
Priests are second only to rock stars when it comes to leaving a motel room in ruins

The key to impressing a small town Florida deputy is to demonstrate a modicum of skill level with chopsticks

People just won't take you very seriously if your first name is Demon

Never hit a lady in front of bikers

If you enjoy slightly-more-professional-than-homemade horror movies, then Souleater can go on your Amazon Prime watchlist. Personally, I don't have much of a palette for this level of film in my grumpy old age, but I can certainly acknowledge there's still charm in DIY filmmaking for some genre audiences. If that's you, then have fun. 

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