New Release Round Up: Creature Feature (2015), Deviant Behavior (2017), & First Man on Mars (2016)

Here are three new indie films I recently watched. I didn’t feel as though there was enough to write about each one, so instead of adding the review full of nonsensical observations, I decided to include all three of these films into one review. Let’s get started.

Deviant Behavior (2017) is a dark little film full of … you guessed it … deviant behavior. In the press release I received about this one, I though the film was going to be about a psychotic transexual who was murdering good looking girls in order to collect the best pieces of them for his transformation. Nope. The film turned out to be about a guy who uses a tranny killer to live out his own sick and twisted snuff fantasies. The film is directed by Jacob Grim and written by Sal Hernander, and frankly I wished I got the former film I described above. The pacing starts off good but quickly comes to a grinding halt as a pattern emerges. People looking for a missing girl, we see the killers, we see another girl murdered. The acting is uneven, there is decent gore, and the ending, when the masked tranny killer is revealed, had absolutely no punch whatsoever. If you come across this one for free, maybe give it a shot. (** out of *****)

The next film I watched was First Man on Mars (2016). In this one’s press release, the viewer is promised a send up of old sci-fi flicks from the 60s and 70s as well as an homage to Troma Films and the like. Well, the homage to Lloyd Kaufman’s Troma Films is definitely fitting, but I didn’t get much of a “60s-70s sci-fi vibe” from this one. In it, astronaut Eli Cologne (Benjamin Wood) is the first man sent to Mars, and he immediately gets infected with a Marian parasite. He crash-lands back on Earth in the “Black Bayou” in Louisiana and goes on a killing rampage. The over the top gore, silly dialogue, and ridiculous plot will definitely remind you of Troma’s best films. Thrown in some sure girls, and writer-director Mike Lyddon has the formula for a successful exploitation film down. Worth seeing if you are nostalgic for the heyday of Troma Films. (** out of *****)

The last recent film I watched is the Halloween anthology, Creature Feature (2015). This is an anthology of five interconnected stories all featuring (you guessed it) a different creature. We get a killer clown, a werewolf, a zombie, Jack the Ripper, and a killer scarecrow. The stories aren’t bad, but seriously … how many more horror films are we going to get about creepy, psychotic clowns? I believe Billy Pon’s Circus of the Dead was the pinnacle of that sub-genre (sorry, Rob Zombie). Overall, the stories aren’t bad, but many times the acting killed the mood on the screen. There were some good performances, but in general, this one has amateur acting all over it. One of the bog pluses here is that writer-director Chase Smith managed to convince a lot of hot girls to strip down and get covered with blood (is there a dating service the specializes in that?). Creature Feature is a good effort and I’m curious to see what future offerings Smith will present us. There are glimmers of fun here, and I can’t wait to see what Smith gives us next. (** out of *****)

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

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