ModernHorrors.com tends to focus on just that – modern horror movies. That’s what makes this review of Headless so interesting. It’s a film based on a fictitious VHS tape seen by two young boys in another horror movie titled “found.“. The tape is dated 1978, and the filmmakers do a stunning job of making Headless feel like it was filmed then. If you haven’t seen the aforementioned “found.”, now would be a good time to do so. This is by no means a sequel, but that is where the Headless tape makes it’s debut. Since there is no news of an official release date for Headless – that may be your best bet at getting a taste of what this film has to offer. So what does it have to offer?
Nothing is off limits with these guys. You are reminded of that very early on…. In the opening credit sequence for Christ’s sake. I’m not complaining, but I have a feeling many people will be. This is the type of film that would never have been made 10 years ago. There is no fucking way a distribution house or reputable producer would sign off on such a project. Luckily, it’s 2015 and you no longer need those things to have your movie seen by millions. The violence portrayed on screen is the closest thing to “offensive” that I have seen in quite some time. It’s primitive, and as the name implies, decapitations are abundant. Decapitations…along with several scenes of removing (and then eating) eyeballs. In case you are wondering, yes – it does get worse. If that sounds like a good time to you (HOW COULD IT NOT?!) , then Headless is the film for you. Best of all, I don’t believe I spotted a single CG effect. It’s all practical here folks. That alone is worth a tremendous round of applause.
This is where things get interesting for me as a reviewer. As the film is intended to look as if it was produced in 1978 – we sort of have to adjust what we normally factor into our “presentation” category. Headless does in fact look like a 1970’s grindhouse flick. So that’s obviously a success, but it’s more than that. While there is little dialogue – the bit that is there feels authentic to a film of that time period. Even the actors deliver performances that just SCREAM 70’s horror. That may be a coincidence, but either way – it works.
Headless initially felt like a highlight reel for some extremely talented effects artists, and I would have been okay with that. After all….it’s kind of what I was expecting. To my surprise though, there is an actual story at play here. Unfortunately, it’s not a very good one. Historically speaking, I’m usually not a fan of the whole “back story” subplot whenever it’s attempted. It always consists of the same things. A kid was mistreated and abused as a child and grows up to become a maniac. That’s pretty much what you can expect here as well. Except with the insanity cranked far past the maximum. The main plot of Jess and her freeloading boyfriend is far more interesting and relatable. It’s too bad that it comes so late in the film. There is no mistaking that the focus is on the violence and shock value….as it should be.
Most of Headless is exactly what I expected. Disgusting and shocking moments that make even the most seasoned genre fan squirm and yell at the TV. That said, I can almost promise you have never seen anything like this. I viewed it alone, and I instantly want to get a crew of my closest friends together and do it all over again. Just to see and hear the reactions. That’s the type of movie Headless is, and it may very well secure its place in horror history as a new cult classic.
Headless is gritty, it’s shocking, it’s disgusting, and it has the potential to be an instant cult classic among gorehounds across the world. This is not a movie for everyone – I can’t stress that enough. For me though, it’s everything I was hoping it would be and more. It is a love letter to the genre in every sense of the phrase.