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DERELICTS (2017)

Directed by Brett Glassberg
Written by Andre Evrenos, Brett Glassberg, Clay Shirley
Starring Steve Uzzell, Dalton Allen, Emily Ammon, Les Best, Kelly Dealyn, Lana Dieterich, Andre Evrenos, David Lee Hess, Kara Mellyn, Marcela Pineda, Sam Pleasant, Clay Shirley, Pat Turner
Find out more about this film here!!

It’s Thanksgiving and the family is preparing to gather for a turkey dinner with all the fixin’s. Though each of the family have their own issues, they still plan to sit around the table and enjoy the day. Meanwhile, as another member of the family make their way to the event, a group of deranged maniacs murder the travelers and show up to the dinner instead, taking the family hostage, and making this dinner the worst Thanksgiving ever!

Boiled down to basics, DERELICTS is the TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE dinner scene extended to the feature length. Brett Glassberg has taken the blueprint laid out by Tobe Hooper and the same kind of lowbrow grunge of Rob Zombie’s Firefly Trilogy (HOUSE OF A THOUSAND CORPSES, THE DEVIL’S REJECTS, and THREE FROM HELL) and delivered an hour and change-long descent straight into hell. There’s assault, there’s torture, there’s rape, there’s all kinds of heinous and perverted horrors to endure in DERELICTS. This is a film that focuses on the horror and relishes it. It’s not a film for the squeamish or the occasional horror fan. This is one for the die-hards and it does deliver quite a bit of terrifying moments, shocking scenes, and truly monstrous characters.

There are quite a few standout cast members of DERELICTS. Steve Uzzell delivers a strong performance as the leader of the monstrous crew. He’s part Otis Firefly and part Cook from TCM with a little bit of Charlie Manson tossed in. I also really liked David Lee Hess who plays the father of the terrorized family. He is able to play wholesome and abusive all at once and gives some real subtlety to the role. Kelly Dealyn is great as the mother of the family who attempts to keep her cool during all of the mayhem since everyone else is falling apart. I also thought Emily Ammon, the actor playing the spiteful and drug addicted younger daughter, delivers a strong presence here, especially when the family fights back against their captors. Finally, Andre Evrenos delivers a truly twisted and iconic villain in the childlike, but monstrous Turk, who wears a dirty Teddy Bear as a facemask.

While this type of exploitative and horrifying grindhouser is not relatively original (it resembles a lot of early home invasion films like LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, STRAW DOGS, BLOOD SUCKING FREAKS, THE HILLS HAVE EYES), it does feel rather refreshing to watch given the homogenized version of horror we often get from blockbuster films today. I was definitely put off by the actions going on in DERELICTS, but that’s the point of the film. It’s supposed to wear you down and make you feel icky. And it’s successful in doing that.

That said, director Brett Glassberg really offers up a sense of style in much of the scenes. There are scenes that feel almost out of place in this grungy movie, that shows creative angles, interesting takes on cliches, and odd camera angles that make things feel like, despite the low budget aspects of the film, the filmmaker does have an eye for unique and complex imagery. I can’t say I loved every minute of DERELICTS, but I definitely was disgusted by the event that went on and that seems to be the point of this demented little film.

Click here for the trailer!!