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CRY HAVOC (2020)

Directed by Rene Perez
Written by Rene Perez
Starring Robert Bronzi, Emily Sweet, Richard Tyson, J.D. Angstadt
Find out more about this film here!

I’ve seen bits and pieces of the PLAYING WITH DOLLS series which basically has a Jason Voorhees like monster named Havoc stalking and massacring young women, but I don’t think I’ve seen an entire film. I believe there are three of them, now four with CRY HAVOC being a sort of team-up film with Rene Perez’s discovery Robert Bronzi, who, if you look at him from the right angle, is the spitting image of Charles Bronson. It makes for a mildly amusing mix of gore, cheesy super heroism, and action movie tropes.

In CRY HAVOC, an intrepid reporter named Ellen (Emily Sweet, who looks sort of like Mena Suvari) crosses paths with a psychotic killer (JD Angstadt, aka Havoc who looks sort of like Jason Voorhees wearing a Leatherface facemask) and a gnarly cop on a personal mission (Robert Bronzi, who looks sort of like Charles Bronson). Turns out a criminal (who sort of looks like Richar—of wait, that is Richard Tyson from THREE O’CLOCK HIGH) is the mastermind behind gathering them all together for his own sick pleasure after convincing a group of people that they are to be contestants on a reality show. Instead, the baddie has trapped Bronzi, the reporter, and the rest in a wasteland patrolled by armed guards and used as Havoc’s personal hunting ground. With Bronzi looking for his missing daughter, Ellen looking for a big story, Havoc out for blood, and Tyson calling his agent asking why the hell he is in this film, sparks fly sky high and blood spatters everywhere.

This is one cheesy movie. Filmmaker Rene Perez uses characterization like a kid clanging a bunch of action figures together in a sand box. And just as it’s kind of fun to see that kid have such a good time, it’s kind of fun to see Perez do it in CRY HAVOC. This isn’t really a film to be taken seriously. It’s just a threadbare plot putting actors who look like other actors together in the same space. Still, I can’t say I had a bad time with it. I even laughed out loud a few times at how ludicrous things got like when Ellen and Bronzi go for a motorcycle ride for no other reason but to simply looks cool. They ride on the bike for a bit, then ditch it and ride in a car for a bit more. No real reason to change their mode of transport. It just allowed for a scene with Bronzi looking stoic and Ellen to look hot with her torn dress and axe in hand.

The gore is over the top and gnarly all the way through. It’s the type of stuff you’d see in HATCHET with Havoc ripping apart people’s faces and body parts. There’s also gratuitous nudity in a very Italian horror sort of way as every damsel gets her shirt ripped open at least once and sometimes multiple times in this film. This isn’t the type of film you look for deep meaning in. It’s just eye candy and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Bronzi isn’t the best actor, but he does what he does well, which is standing around looking emotionlessly tough and baring a resemblance to Charles Bronson in his latter films. For my money, I think STAKE LAND’s Nick Damici has earned the right to be called the next Charles Bronson, but Bronzi does it well. The final punch-out with Bronzi and Havoc is over the top and full of cheddar, but I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face while watching it.

Give your intellectual side a rest and enjoy the sleazy goodness of CRY HAVOC. It’s no hokier than when Chuck Norris fought a serial killer in SILENT RAGE or when Bronson himself tracked down the slasher in 10 TIL MIDNIGHT. The brain needs a break every now and then and this film will do the trick.