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Chad Ferrin's Unspeakable - An In-Depth Review of the Film & Its Maker
I was turned on to Chad Ferrin’s films after Amazon suggested I might like The Ghouls. Amazon was right and, after watching it three times, I quickly set about devouring anything I could find about Ferrin on the age-old, always reliable IntraWeb…Or Internet, if you prefer. A couple interviews and movie updates told me of the trials and tribulations he had gone through for financing (selling his house and vintage muscle car for budget monies) and Fangoria filled me in with coverage of his new cult hit Someone’s Knocking at the Door until, finally, thanks to the wonders of modern social networking, I was able to talk Chad up and get my hands on the rest of his canon of work. And what a fucking canon it is!
Working backwards from SKATD--and having great fun doing so--I have now arrived at his debut feature, Unspeakable. Be forewarned. With its assault on Catholicism and its weapon of choice I was already predisposed to this rosary-whipping razor-wielding wacked out blood orgy of rudeness. But like all good vomitoriums, there’s chunks and morsels of rich texture and tastiness in here that nobody can expect and few will ever forget. If a movie could sting the nostrils or make your dick bleed it would be a Chad Ferrin flick.
Fecalphilia has never been this funny or frightening, and all the credit is due to Timothy Muskatell who takes a role that would dissolve into slapstick in the hands of a lesser actor and molds a multi-faceted madman (as is his penchant) who bounces back and forth across a blurry spectrum of sweet joviality, genuine sorrow and menacing determination.
Unspeakable is filled with dreamy touches of poetic weirdness that recall Park Chan-Wook’s Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance or Tom DiCillo’s Johnny Suede, but Ferrin cakes on a jangled layer of surreality and bizarre expressionism that is patently his own. The movie’s first murder is a good example. And while some flashbacks of the deceased’s love for her Daddy protagonist (Roger Cline) seem slightly unbelievable or over-the-top, one gets the impression that this was intentional, a successful attempt by the writer/director at conveying the deranged Dad’s idealized memories of his daughter.
I’m gonna recount something here that’s appeared elsewhere at the risk of it overshadowing the film in question. Because I think it’s important for people to be aware of. And, also, because to suggest that Unspeakable could be overshadowed by anything would be as blind as the unfortunate recipient of Luis Bunuel’s ocular incision in Un Chien Andalou.
Ferrin goes the distance on this DVD, putting up with insufferable idiocy like being interviewed by some puny asshole in a Sgt Kabukiman costume who passive-aggressively mocks his vegan lifestyle. Ferrin grins and bears it and turns in chuckle-inducing remarks like, "Sit back, get a bucket of shit and enjoy the film," while fairly and enthusiastically representing Unspeakable and his artistic desires. He gives us a filler-free features menu with a solid short film (“Bloodbath”) which shows us the early evolution of his inimitable vision and even puts up with an inappropriate amount of groping on the kabuki dude’s part before turning in a priceless acting bit wherein he beats a meat lover with a severed arm in what should be an ad for PETA.
Unbreakable is the story of James Fhelleps and his straight-razor reveries, running the gamut from revenge to romance to familial redemption as he rather misguidedly “avenges” his daughter’s death in downtown L.A. Ferrin’s Unspeakable is a movie about loss, love and laceration that could only be nearly as interesting as it is in the capable hands of the guy behind Someone’s Knocking at the Door. Indeed if you gave a story of a grieving father to someone in the mainstream the resulting movie would be the kind of watery diarrhea that Muskatell’s corrupt caretaker here would collect in a pillow case and nestle with in between advances toward Fhelleps’ crippled wife.
What a wonderful, crappy world.
For More On Chad Ferrin's Work & How To Get Your Hands on Easter Bunny Kill! Kill! & Someone's Knocking At The Door Visit These Great Links: