Bastard: The most authentic retro-slasher ever?

It's not often a creative team accomplishes everything they set out to do.

Bastard (2015)

Directors: Patrick Robert YoungPowell Robinson
Writer: Patrick Robert Young
Starring: Rebekah KennedyEllis GreerDan Creed

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A few months back, I had the pleasure of interviewing the creative team of Powell Robinson and Patrick Robert Young on their then-yet-to-be-released retro slasher film, Bastard (check out the interview HERE). I asked them a lot about this film and, as it turns out, they accomplished everything they set out to do. The film was recently picked up by 8 Films to Die for 2015 and I finally got the chance to check it out. And sum up to say this might be the most flawless retro slasher ever!

The plot is as follows:

Five strangers – newlywed serial killers, a suicidal cop, and two runaways – become suspect and victim when a masked murderer makes its presence known in an isolated mountain town.

In the interview, I asked Patrick and Powell if they were to name a 5 year period that this movie felt like, what would it be? They replied “78-83”. And they captured that exact period perfectly! The atmosphere was perfect, the music was nostalgic to films like Halloween, and the characters were rich, varied, and, I might add, well acted. Very well developed. Patrick and Powell told me they tried to make each of the groups of characters strong enough that they could support their own, separate film. This is a feat that I feel was achieved and then some.

In a genre where shallow characters have become a cliche and are satirized to the point that even the satire become a cliche in and of itself, Bastard plays completely straight-faced. There is no little wink-wink, breaking down the archetypes of a decades old genre. The film legitimately feels like it predates the cliches being cliches, back in the dawn of an era that would give us slashers like Micheal Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Krueger.

If Bastard had been made during the period it emulates, it would be raved about today in the same way we laud Texas Chainsaw Massacre! This is a film that feels like it would have helped to define a genre in its infancy.

 

2 Comments on this post.

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  • ZH
    31 January 2016 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Did we see the same movie? This just screamed modern horror film out the wazoo!
    The dialogue was so obnoxious. Nobody in their right mind would have hailed this along with Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
    Murder In The Dark had a better retro feel than this other than its music score.

  • Michael Baldwin
    3 May 2016 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Johnny- I’d like to ask you about your qualifications as a movie critic, also cover some questions about you slandering an Indie movie maker from San Antonio.

    Contact me when your free.

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