First time directors and writers Dustin Drover and Justin Propp delivered their lowbrow comedy horror film finally to the masses of horror fans with style and true gusto by having it released on Wild Eye Releasing, of this year 2015. Their movie combines multiple elements with most presented in a crib-sheet format, rather than the larger extent of bigger budget films and more experience casting.
The plot, and yes one does exist as others have mention the lack thereof, it finds itself basking in the glory of Norse and Native American stories, legends and rumors of a battle occurring between the two warring factions, and severing Knight Robert Gross head with an ancient relic knife. The battle occurs because, while he was away fighting for the Viking Gods, the Indians slaughtered his family, hence a revenge back story. Next, a diver retrieves the knife, and that awakens the zombie-head of Robert causing gross and extremely blood shedding to cover the screen with vast delights to the gore hounds. Although, archaeological records reveal very little about the two cultures, it never stops the most ambitious director from making the leaps in storytelling, and in the realm of horror genre, many invite a tad of embellishment to a plot. Meanwhile, add in a group of mindless teens, heading for the wilderness to partake in a weekend of pillaging and indulging in ancient rituals of hapless carnal fun while having the most offensive non- political correct humor shouting across the screen. Do not fret, the body count adds up, and a Crazy Ralph homage character pops for a bit of ominous forewarning.
All filmmakers, especially those with littlest of budget, personnel and time, have the hardest time proving their worth to other more professional and experience filmmakers, however the guts and initiative to strive forward, still counts greatly especially in the horror genre. Therefore, with Drover and Propp, they face many issues aside from taking four years to reach distribution; the duo had a shot of video project that while unable to take seriously has some enjoyment and yet suffers from an abundance of inconsistent acting. The main characters, friends of the directors, try their best to perform, the challenges of the setting and marking the scenes have commonplace errors of the modern day motto “Anyone can become the next big filmmaker” and while true the opposite also exists, “anyone can become a big joke”. The humor, for some viewers might be the biggest turnoff, as comedy-horror films have a tough sell, nearly a double edge sword too much either way can destroy the horror one presents, and the comedy, needs a appropriate tone, too many bodily fluid or odor jokes can find themselves vastly unwelcoming. This area became a sad downfall of the lack of dialogue, and bashing the characters, shattering the veil between believability and complete digest.
Swamphead reminds many when they were teenagers, for a fondness of the 1980s of countless VHS tapes from the SOV (shot-on-video) sloppy and driest dialogue filled with questioning manhood to sexuality choices and diving headfirst to a mud pit of immoral behaviors, and recalling the series called Something Weird Video, the hidden film in the bargain bins. Nevertheless, this movie actually falls more into the category of the grimy tape passed around in local neighborhood horror group, well before the emailing of link to an obscure movie. This movie has no over polished scenes, and the acting comes across as wooden, and perhaps even more unstable, many times in the film the location and characters find themselves masked in darkness to hide the imperfections of the moment.
This film fits the mode of an audience teens seek either mindless fun or those wanting to have friends over and enjoy a horror filled with crass, rude and unappealing jokes in mixed company, complete with a gnawing bloodbath of cheesy and often looking fake violence for the horror crowd. Nonetheless, this production fits the b-movie setup perfectly, many refer to it as a bad movie, but in a good and refreshing manner, with respect to lowest absurd standards and the DVD comes with four bonus features: director’s commentary; 10 deleted scenes; short films; and last a art gallery.