M.L. Miller here and welcome to my tenth anniversary Best in Horror Countdown! I have also compiled a list of horror films that worth noting to tack on to my Best of Countdown. Some of these films just barely missed the main Best of list and some are just films released through the year I thought stood out in one way or another. Do not forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. And please chime in down in the comments and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or you can counter with your own darn list! Enjoy this Best of Horror Extra!
Released on August 7, 2020. Available on digital download and On Demand from Dread Central and Epic Pictures Group!
UNCLE PECKERHEAD (2020)
Directed by Matthew John Lawrence
Written by Matthew John Lawrence
Starring Chet Siegel, Ruby McCollister, Jeff Riddle, David H. Littleton, Greg Maness, David Bluvband, Ryan Conrath, Lucy McMichael, Shannon O’Neill, Ruth Lolla, Chloe Roe, David Weinheimer
Find out more about this film here!!
Mixing rock and roll with horror isn’t always a good thing. For every TRICK OR TREAT and GREEN ROOM, there’s a ROCK N ROLL NIGHTMARE and TERROR ON TOUR. Let’s see what camp UNCLE PECKERHEAD falls into.
UNCLE PECKERHEAD is a story about a three-man punk band called DUH! has dreams of rock and roll superstardom. After quitting her job, front-woman/bassist Judy (Chet Siegel), her drummer Mel (Ruby McCollister), and frontman/lead guitarist Max (Jeff Riddle) plan to go on their first road tour. When their van is repossessed, they find themselves in dire straits, desperate to find anyone to loan them a van for the tour. That’s where the man known as Peckerhead (David H. Littleton) comes in. Living in his van behind the mall, Peckerhead is eager and excited to loan them the van, the catch is that he has to come along as their driver and roadie. Though they are hesitant to have this older end of middle aged man accompany them on the trip, they need the wheels, so they agree, not knowing that every night at midnight, Peckerhead turns into a monster and must feed on blood and flesh for 13 minutes. Once they find out, though, they are deep into their tour and must decide whether to press on with the mild inconvenience of having a ghoul as a driver or leave Peckerhead behind.
Playing like a mix of FIDO and SATISFACTION, UNCLE PECKERHEAD features a downright lovable cast of losers you can’t help but root for to make it big in the cutthroat world of music. The film plays out in a fairy tale sort of way with the members of DUH! risk it all in order to chase their dreams. Even before Peckerhead shows up, the age-old underdog premise had me as the three members of the band are likable and unique enough. The real heart of the film shows up when Peckerhead hits the scene, though. Littleton plays the character as wholesome as can be, despite the fact that he becomes a monster every night. While the predicament intensifies with every night the band is on tour, I was cheering for the band and Peckerhead to somehow make it to that Battle of the Bands and get discovered by the big promoter.
But while the story provides us with a whole bunch of likable characters. It does not shy away from the reality of the situation. The film could have easily gone the cartoonish route with the band and Peckerhead going on a world tour, leaving victims in their wake and continuing to live that rock n’ roll dream. Instead, the film plays things more responsibly. It lulls the viewer in by letting them think this is a safe and kooky film but ends on a note that is desperately serious and downright horrifying. I think some will be put off by this tonal shift at the end, but I think the cautious attitude Judy has towards Peckerhead all the way through is a consistent throughway leading to a much more haunting ending than the boppy and quirky film that preceded suggested.
UNCLE PECKERHEAD has a lot of fun with the blood and gore. The over the top attacks perpetrated by Peckerhead are right out of Peter Jackson’s DEAD ALIVE handbook with limbs being ripped off, head and spines pulled apart, and blood spurting in every direction. Gorehounds are going to have a lot to gorge on here. Not that I know for sure, the film really does feel like an indie and grungy diamond in the rough. The songs by DUH! are catchy and fun, reminiscent of SCOTT PILGRIM’s stage performances. Mixed with the gore, it makes for a treat for the ears and the eyes of horror/metal fans.
While the film is relatively low budget, the strong performances by most of the cast and the exemplary gore really makes UNCLE PECKERHEAD a crowd-pleaser. If theaters were not shut down as they were, I could see it playing to a raucous midnight crowd. While the ending is bittersweet, I found the rest of UNCLE PECKERHEAD to be downright adorable full of likable characters doing wild and quirky things amidst all of the carnage.
THE 2019-2020 EXTRA!
#14 – UNCLE PECKERHEAD
#15 – Z
#16 – THE LAST OF THE MANSON GIRLS
#17 – RENT-A-PAL
#18 – WARNING: DO NOT PLAY
#19 – JESUS SHOWS ME THE WAY TO THE HIGHWAY
#20 – THE BABYSITTER 2: KILLER QUEEN
#21 – UNCAGED
#22 – WOUNDS
#23 – VFW
#24 – #ALIVE
#25 – AFTER MIDNIGHT
#26 – MONSTROUS
#27 – AQUASLASH
#28 – SWEETHEART
#29 – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE
#30 – WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS
#31 – THE SHED
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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