Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Dementia Part II Review: Midnight Movie Perfection

Suzanne Voss	...	Suzanne Goldblum Matt Mercer	Matt Mercer	...	Wendell Najarra Townsend	Najarra Townsend	...	Sheila Graham Skipper	Graham Skipper	...	Reggie Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Stacy Snyder	Stacy Snyder	...	Stacy (voice) Cathy Tuttle	Cathy Tuttle	...	Squirrel (voice) Teya Wolvington	Teya Wolvington

Release date: May 21, 2021
Running time: 66 minutes
Written and Directed By: Matt Mercer and Mike Testin 
Starring: Matt Mercer (Contracted, Bliss, Beyond the Gates), Graham Skipper (Almost Human, Sequence Break, VFW), Najarra Townsend (Contracted, The Stylist), and Suzanne Voss (The Lords of Salem, Dementia).

Wendell (Matt Mercer) receives a threatening phone call from his parole officer Reggie (Graham Skipper)… if he doesn’t find a job immediately, he will face serious legal repercussions.  Wendell wrangles some home maintenance work for a seemingly benign older woman, Suzanne (Suzanne Voss), who persists in giving him increasingly absurd tasks to complete around the house.  As the workday progresses, Wendell is thrown into an ever-escalating nightmare, and comes face to face with an unexpected evil.  Suzanne hides a dark secret.  And it’s up to Wendell and Suzanne’s daughter, Sheila (Najarra Townsend) to put an end to her madness.

J.D. Lifshitz	...	executive producer Raphael Margules	...	executive producer Matt Mercer	...	producer Eric Slee	...	associate producer Mike Testin	...	producer Cathy Tuttle	...	co-producer Rob R. Yoo	...	associate producer
Dementia Part II is the little movie that should not exist but I am so glad that it does.  This film was conceived of, shot, and finalized in 5 weeks as part of a competition for the 2017 Cinepocalypse Film Festival.  And for a film made in this short time period, the movie is surprisingly good.  You can see some of the rough edges that were the result of the short timeline, but the film has fun characters, good special effects, and a story that keeps you guessing.  The main story revolves around Suzanne (Voss) whose house is being worked on by Wendell (Mercer).  As more and more work is accomplished, Suzanne has stranger and stranger episodes.  These episodes allow Voss to play a variety of characters, and it really lets you see her acting ability.  She is timid, deranged, scared, surprised, and all levels in between in this short testament to her prowess.  That is not to say that any of the other acting is bad; but it just pales in comparison to Voss.

Dementia Part II has a classic, midnight movie style that is really fun to see as well.  The movie has a definite camp to it, from the cheesy opening marquee to the black and white film and exaggerated characters.  And just like those classic films, Dementia Part II is full of gratuitous gore.  The effects are very good and let you see all the gruesome details of this strange house call.  And they are accompanied by some disgusting sounds that will have you cringing as you smile.  To go along with the camp in the film, it also has some very funny writing.  You can tell that the actors and crew enjoyed making this movie, which shines through in the film's humor.  You can be smiling one second and disgusted the next, but you'll be enjoying every minute.

However, Dementia Part II has a relatively short run time, which makes sense because of the strange circumstances that brought it into existence, but it is just something to note.  Those looking for a more meaty film might need to look further.  The film also has plenty of randomness, which is part of its charm, but don't expect a completely coherent story.  Dementia Part II makes due with what it has and this means that some of the concepts and effects are there for shock value rather than story coherence. But overall, Dementia Part II is just a strange, fun midnight movie throwback

Dementia Part II's strange story, gory effects, midnight movie camp, and unpredictable characters make this a house call that will leave you smiling and disgusted.

Watch it.

Directed by  Matt Mercer	...	(co-director) Mike Testin	...	(co-director)Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Matt Mercer	...	(writer) Mike Testin	...	(writer)
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Dementia Part II is available in theaters on May 21, 2021, and on VOD, Digital HD and DVD on June 1, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

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