Dear God No! (2011) – By Josh Samford

In the time following the release of the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez double feature film Grindhouse, independent cinema has seen a surge of modern exploitation films that look to duplicate the look and vibe of the classic eras of traditional American genre cinema. Namely the seventies and eighties are the main points of focus for such filmmakers, which makes sense because it was probably the most productive and original that horror and exploitation cinema has ever been. Unfortunately, in an attempt to inspire nostalgia, these filmmakers often forget to bring the one element to the table that made films such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre so special: the originality. In duplicating films of the past, these filmmakers forget to bring their own original twists to the table. While Dear God No! is certainly guilty of doing this as much as anyone, it does manage to find a hint of originality in terms of where it draws its influences. Drawing upon the world of biker cinema, bigfoot-sploitation, and some of the most extreme examples of Italian horror, Dear God No! is a odd feature that may very well catch on with a bloodthirsty audience that is looking for something peculiar.

Dear God No! is a title that follows an insane motorcycle gang known as “The Impalers” who are currently on a rampage of theft, rape, and murder. While searching for any new form of damage that they can commit, the group find a family in the woods who seem like they will be perfect victims. However, this family is not everything that it appears to be from the outside. Something evil is lurking within their cabin, and the woods surrounding their home may feature another form of darkness that this biker gang could never expect.

Dear God No! features an introduction that perfectly welcomes its audience to the exploitation madness that will be delivered throughout the course of its running time. When the biker gang, who are introduced as our lead characters, are first shown, we meet them as they push aside several dead/butchered/raped nuns. Apparently this gang stumbled upon a group of nuns and decided to have their worst with them, and the scene isn’t concluded until one of our bikers makes sure to split one of the ladies open with the wheel of his bike. Dear God No! intends to establish its sense of exploitation very quick in the movie. Although films of this sort rarely seem to encapsulate the look or feel of exploitation titles from the past, this introduction is certainly a very inspired mix of old and new aesthetics. Pushing the boundaries of bad taste much further than the likes of the original Last House on the Left, the audience watching this film should immediately know that this won’t be a complete reinterpretation of genre cinema from the past. Instead, this will be a potentially disturbing visit into the underbelly of independent cinema. The movie is a mix of classic American exploitation tropes and visual pastiche, but it also brings forth some of the shenanigans that are better known from the works of Italian gore-maestros like Lucio Fulci and Joe D’Amato. The levels of debauchery found in Dear God No! are likely to scare away any prudish viewers, because it generally goes for the jugular and refuses to let go.

Being offensive, however, does not necessarily make your movie “good.” Fulci and D’Amato both had films that were incredibly disturbing, but featured very little merit outside of their excessive sex and violence. It can be argued that Dear God No! falls into many of the same traps that Fulci’s very own Cat in the Brain or D’Amato’s Antropophagus did. For the most part, Dear God No! is far from being a very smart movie. It compiles numerous genre motifs into a hodgepodge of exploitation. This is interesting because it gives it a slight sense of originality, but for the most part audiences can still inevitably guess where everything is going. The characters are all essentially disposable, and very few moments are allowed where they can dare seem likable. Ultimately, the cast are all cannon fodder. For many, this will be a detriment. For others, par for the course. Ultimately, the only real reason to track this title down is the sheer outlandishness of it, and if that is what you seek – you shall not be disappointed. Audiences can expect boobs, blood, guts, and at least one scene that will leave audiences reaching for the barf bag. It isn’t the most disgusting piece of exploitation that you will find, but it certainly does its best to push buttons.

With references to Cannibal Holocaust and Tombs of the Blind Dead cleverly hidden in the movie, this is certainly a movie made for genre-film fans. Mileage will certainly vary from viewer to viewer, but there’s certainly an audience for a movie such as this one. If you liked Gutterballs, but you’re looking for something a bit more serious, give Dear God No! a spin and you may find what you’ve been looking for. For more information, visit the official website at: http://deargodnomovie.com