Grindhouse cinema is one of the more divisive genres of film. Fans either love it for its over-the-top delivery and graphic imagery and presentation, or hate it for its lack of polish or perceived lack of heart. Though grindhouse has lived on as a genre for decades in the underground, films such as Quentin Tarantino’s double feature Grindhouse allowed the bastard child of action and horror to peek its head through the mainstream curtain. Try as some might, some films simply don’t bring the features necessary to truly hearken back to the era of drive-ins and B-movies. Thus we have Homicycle, a Canadian vigilante film directed by Brett Kelly.
Simply put, this film tries to be Robocop and comes out more Kindergarten Cop. The kills are rather weak for the most part, with the SFX work being painful to watch, without the viewer having to look for flaws. The one kill I did mark out for was when our helmeted doombringer tears off a baddie’s leg and beats him with it, a la Quan Chi in Mortal Kombat 4. The peak “oh god, what were they thinking?” moment came during the shootout in the second act, complete with CG blood that had me shaking my head in disappointment.
Now, according to some articles I brushed up on, this was meant to be a parody of grindhouse cinema as a whole. When a genre is already tongue-in-cheek, how can you get tongue-in-cheek about tongue-in-cheek? It just seems unnecessary and excessive to parody a parody, especially when it’s not executed that well.
I’m not here to absolutely dump on this film. Low-rent as they were, the band Creeping Beauty had a couple of fun horror-infused metal tracks on the soundtrack that had me Googling them to learn more. Actually, the soundtrack as a whole was a great time, but at the same time, coming to a grindhouse movie for a great soundtrack is like going to a sex worker for a hug.
As a film, Homicycle didn’t do much for me. Parts of the whole were better than serviceable, but together, they didn’t make a great final product. Parody and satire are great when done right, but there is such a thing as overdoing it, and I present Homicycle as exhibit A of just that.