Am I Evil (2007) – By Baron Craze

This is not a documentary about Metallica, rather a story of the slaughtering of women, from just an average red-bloodied American Man, named Andrew Lakewood, from director, producer, and writer Richard Terrasi. Richard digs deep into the mind of a serial killer, although not like The Silence of the Lambs, rather this killer plaguing the nearby town and city of Jamestown, with a praising glorious bloody worship all in black and white footage. The film gives a solid return to the classic slashers and the independent direct-to-video (DVD) culture of the 1980s, an era that younger horror audience long to crave for, trying to understand the impact of one decade. This generation, seeking further discovery of the 1980s horror scene, filled with good memories of a legendary testament to the craft of horror exploitation and mass murdering fantasy delights. The horror youth, hears the stories of double feature horror films drive-ins in the 1970s to the theaters cramming more low-budget horror into midnight showings and then the explosion of VCR/ DVD players realizing they missed this entire explosion of terror. Hence, the film seeking to capture the advantage of the resurgence of the 80s horror and the slasher sub-genre nostalgia, but rather falling in-line with a another Freddy, Jason, Michael, or Pinhead, Richard strives for real life villain for what exist in the daylight much more frightening than the darkness, especially for a hardened more shocked proof audience.

The screenplay takes a variation on the normal serial killer path, and delves more into the mind of the killer, who has taken from just thinking and preparing for killing to acting out his most incredible desires of murderous sexual fantasies and fulfillment with very unlucky women that cross his path. While other films cross over the path of this design, such as Mike O’Mahony’s A Dark Place Inside (2014) and lesser-known Thomas Caruso’s Zombie (2010), however these films dealt more with the deflated killer’s mindset when reality failed to match fantasy. Serial killers, for the most part constantly seeks the gratification and thrill of the first victim, and want the victim to mirror their fantasies with then realities shattering their desire to feed on the energy of the kill.

Mark Vazquez’s portray of Andrew, presents himself, as an average person, raised in a loving household with a wholesome family complete with and close friendship with his older brother Michael (Kevin Pinassi), no sibling rivalry. In addition, filling his life, his loving girlfriend Lisa, (Deanna Sidoti) and her accepting parents the Bakers, a charmed life surrounds Andrew from the outside of his body, though in that mind, a turmoil of hatred and darkness, with a cork ready to pop allowing the pressure to unleash violently. If he sounds like Ted Bundy, he is, and also similar to Jeffrey Dahmer, to real life serial killers, Ted as many in both true crime lore and horror fans, he always had the friendly persuasion to his victims, a man once groomed for high political office, while Jeffrey, a tad more disgusting, but Andrew, aspires himself after them. The kills include a menu of treats, such as cutting a woman in half with a chainsaw (and not as part of a magic trick), further torturous dismemberment, brutal sexual assaults , strangulation, necrophilia, while creating a mixture of Murder-Set-Pieces (2004) throughout his kill zone. While some viewers complain of the pacing as a tad slow, rather seen as character building especially carefully when molding the story around the serial killer, as oppose to a straight-up slasher killer and to the lack of pursuit of law enforcement. Richard focused the attention onto Andrew, and not recreating a Law & Order 40-minute episode, the women killing prostitutes the uncared for masses on the street, used by many, ignore by all, it questions why the police would even think of the good mannered man like Andrew.

Richard’s only drawback, the lightning, too much and all the wrong times, this element is on the learning curve for independent movies, especially in the horror genre. Nevertheless, an excellent aspect in the film comes from the special effects, with the concepts achieving success, mixed with exciting camerawork, surprising change, often laziness sets on indie shoot with a stationary camera affixed to a tripod filming the scene. The directness of the scenes enhances a gory and entertaining true horror package to the audience.

As for a feature film, on serial killers, this film pays homage legendary NC-17 horror film, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) from director John McNaughton appeals to those with a love affair for the demented and horrific cinema. Andrew’s character has layers and layers of disgusting behaviors for fans to enjoy and live vicariously through strong story structure and screen charisma all bookend by dark and gloomy situations.

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