The Devil Dared Me to (2007)

I only made it along to catch this one on the second day of general release, the theatre was nearly empty. Doesn’t bode well for box office earnings, or a long season in theatres. (Though I’m sure that even if theatre takings don’t pay back their measly budget, DVD and international earnings should push them well into the black – if they aren’t already there.)

Hugely enjoyable, riddled with in-jokes that no-one outside NZ will even notice (All the Te Puke gags, the Bruno Lawrence Studios, and so on) to make us feel special, and awesomely retarded from beginning to end.

It’s a lock to join the hallowed halls of cult classic Kiwi cinema. I guarantee it.

I can’t help but think that actor/director/writer team Stapp & Heath could benefit from a bit of mentoring from a more experienced filmmaker/writer. They need to focus their ideas just a little more. They’re already reasonably successful, considering their obvious disabilities (gigantic balls, fantastic retardation), sharpening things up a bit more – without giving up their charm – should be able to make them a bit more accessible and evenly enjoyable.

If you were a fan of Back of the Y, you’ll love the hell out of this. If you have testicles, you will squirm and wince. If you’re a woman, you’ll wonder just what the hell is going on – and indeed, even as a non-woman, I do have some questions about the treatment of women in this film. You see, every woman ends up horribly burnt and dismembered. Sure, some of the guys suffer some nasty injuries, even a few good rapings – but all of the women end up dead. I think someone might need some therapy.

I have a lot of respect for these guys – even if I am perhaps a little critical – they’ve managed to make TV and movies just the way they wanted, they just do it. And it impresses the hell out of me – they also seem to be good guys, though I don’t know Stapp, I worked with Matt Heath at ihug, always very friendly, with an easy smile. So there you go.

If you haven’t seen it, do. We need to support New Zealand film making, even dodgy-as-hell, violent-as-fuck, crazy asploding New Zealand filmmaking. You’d better get your toddle on though, as I can’t imagine it’s going to be in theatres very long.

You’ll hate it or you’ll love it, and either way I’m sure you’ll get at least a few good hearty laughs out of it.

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