YES! BD Selects has done it again. As many of you already know, I am a huge supporter of the BD Selects (Bloody Disgusting) series. I do not care about the site itself, but I do care about the film division and what they have been doing for horror; without them, we would not have The Woman (so stop yelling). I have seen just about every film BD Selects has put out and I am constantly waiting to see what they will release next. Chop was slated for their project and I met the news with lukewarm feelings. The apathetic status came from hearing that it was going to be a horror-comedy, and even though it is directed by the writer of Deadgirl, I was still a bit uneasy. Horror comedies have a way with going south, more often than not, hence my reservations. Deadgirl ranks high in recent horror films that I adore, and even though Trent Haaga did not write Chop, I still had high hopes in him as a director. Chop proves that it is able to handle itself and makes a great addition to the BD Selects library.
Chop focuses on a man named Lance Reed (Will Keenan) whose car breaks down on the highway one bright afternoon. Unable to get cell phone reception, Lance tries to wave down people passing by. After being unable to grab anyone’s attention, a man pulls up and offers to help. The stranger (Timothy Muskatell) begins driving Lance and asking strange and cryptic questions. All at once, while Lance is questioning the stranger’s motives, the man shoots Lance with a tranquilizer. He wakes up in a room where his brother-in-law is tied to a chair. The stranger tells him he needs to kill his brother-in-law or he will kill Lance’s wife. The stranger turns out to be part of Lance’s past, yet he has no idea who this lunatic is.
The first five to ten minutes was off-putting for me. I really did not think the humor was well done and the acting left too much to be desired. I thought I stepped into a Troma film, which is not that off base, considering Haaga is quite the veteran over there. After the initial set up and the first act of violence, the film takes off into a vortex of absurdity. The only thing I can tell you right away is that you need to stick it out for a few minutes before the film becomes its own.
The strengths of Chop lie in the director’s ability to portray absurd, nonsensical humor with extreme violence. The added ridiculous nature on both ends allows for Chop to be entertaining in ways that most horror-comedies fail at. The story is amusing as well, where the viewer is expected to believe one thing and is thrown off by information given throughout the narrative. I did not expect the latter half of the film and it even goes as far as to include a tale of drug abuse. Lance actual smokes crack in some scenes, and that is something we are not use to seeing in horror films.
Lance is met by several individuals throughout the film and he knows them due to events that I will not ruin for you. One such person is a child-fucking biker who wants to cut off Lance’s leg so that he can “fuck” the stump; this person is also obsessed with the show, Different Strokes. The humor is fantastic, even if I could only meet halfway with some of it. The ending is different too, providing a nice “fuck you” to the audience.
The weaknesses of the film are in the acting. Don’t get me wrong, the acting is not atrocious, but the actors felt too Troma-ish at times, that is was a little hard to swallow. The Stranger is my least favorite character and he felt too enthused about his role, which added some cheese to the overall performance. Like I said earlier, the beginning feels weak, and I don’t think that Chop makes a great, first impression. You just have to stick with it for at least a half hour before making any judgment calls.
Chop is not an amazing horror-comedy, but it’s a very competent one and it makes a great addition to the BD Selects library. I feel this film is worth a buy, and the absurd humor should keep any horror fan tickled. Haaga has directed something that’s truly original and deserves nods for being interesting. You should not miss out on catching this unique, little film.