Having reviewed the second film from the fine folks at Motern Media, "Monsters, Marriage and Murder in Manchvegas," It was with a certain amount of evil and twisted delight that I accepted their offer to take a look at this, "Freaky Farley," the first film from this rather outrageous filmmaking group from New Hampshire.
Now then, before you think I'm utterly crazy and happen to notice the fact that I've rated both Motern Media films the exact same rating that I gave to James Cameron's diabolical, tour-de-force "Avatar," let me acknowledge this...admittedly, a bit begrudgingly.
"Avatar" is, indeed, a better film than either "Monsters, Marriage and Murder in Manchvegas" or "Freaky Farley."
In the cinematic world of The Independent Critic, a C+, 2.5-star may actually represent that the film is, indeed, a C+, 2.5-star type of film. This is the case with both Motern Media films.
Then, there's the case of "Avatar," a film that has a production budget that is so much higher than either Motern Media film that there's literally no chance I could possibly do the math.
Have I ever mentioned I scored a 350 on my Math SAT?
Quit laughing. I'm serious.
Sorry, I digress.
With "Avatar," the C+, 2.5-star rating more symbolizes that while the film may not work for this critic it is of such a quality that I would find it impossible to not recommend.
Thus, while there's an undeniable gap in quality between "Freaky Farley" and "Avatar," Roxburgh and company come far closer to accomplishing their mission on $10,000 than Cameron did his mission with, quite literally, hundreds of millions of dollars. Am I going to rate "Freaky Farley" lower, then?
"Freaky Farley" is the story of Farley Wilder (Matt Farley), a town weirdo with a killer reputation and a domineering father (Kevin McGhee). When he unexpected meets a girl, Scarlett (Sharon Scalzo), who seemingly understands him, Farley gets the courage to stand up to his father and confront a longstanding town secret that has been killing people for decades.
A self-proclaimed tribute to the low-budget horror flicks of the 70's and 80's, "Freaky Farley" is also a rather joyous, spontaneous and downright rambunctious ode to B-movie filmmaking in which the cast is often hilariously over-the-top, the production values would make the folks at Troma proud and one can almost feel the Wayans Brothers salivating over this semi-experimental horror-comedy that is a tad more ambitious than "Monsters, Marriage and Murder in Manchvegas" but also a touch less successful overall.
While the film's packaging might indicate a throwback to those good ole' slasher flicks with plenty of T&A and joyously silly death scenes, the truth of "Freaky Farley" is much simpler and much funnier. Actually, "Freaky Farley" is remarkably non-gory and, while the film hints at nudity and sexuality on occasion, there's little to be found. Instead, director Charles Roxburgh fills "Freaky Farley" with scene after scene of campy actions and cheesy dialogue that lead actor and co-writer Matt Farley spews forth with almost ridiculous glee.
Imagine, if you will, the cast of "Saturday Night Live" tackling a night of horror and you might get a glimpse into the silliness and mayhem of "Freaky Farley."
While the production values for "Freaky Farley" are definitely hit-and-miss, this type of film is perfect for the filmmaker with a modest budget. While better $10,000 films can certainly be found, such a budget created the perfect opportunity for Roxburgh and Farley to celebrate the inherent limitations within the sound mix and occasionally grainy camera work. While such limitations could easily be distracting, in "Freaky Farley" they are embraced and flaunted with entertaining results for those willing to surrender to such an alternative movie experience.
While "Freaky Farley" is certainly not for everyone and, as we already know, "Avatar" will be the absolute winner at the box-office, it is an entertaining, clever and often laugh out loud funny take on the the cheesy horror films of years past.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic