I am of two minds on Deadly End (which IMDB is still listing under its original title Neighborhood Watch), just recently released by Full Moon Direct. On the one hand we have a well produced indie flick with strong acting and a story that pulls you in, at least at first. On the other hand, we've got a movie whose sole reason for existing is to test the viewers gag reflex, and yes mine got quite a workout here. The latter ultimately wins out, making for a singularly unenjoyable viewing experience. We're not talking about your standard horror movie gross-outs, of which I've seen nearly every variety, but something else entirely.

Bob and Wendi Peterson are a young couple who have just moved into their new house on Wormwood Drive. If the name of the street wasn't enough to warn them away, the neighborhood should have done the trick since their new home is smack dab in the middle of what appears to be a suburban ghost town. The houses nearby appear to be long abandoned, with toppled trees and collapsing structures everywhere and someone at work explains to Bob that his company was responsible for a toxic spill that has left the area unlivable. The area Bob and Wendi's new house is in is only slightly better, with burned out lawns littered with trash, and Christmas lights that look like they've been up for years. The neighbors themselves aren't much better. Our heroes meet an elderly deaf couple from across the street when the wife plows into Bob and Wendi's mailbox with her car. They're nothing, though, compared to Adrien. This crazy loner lives in a house that goes so far beyond squalid I would call it septic. We are first introduced to the character as he lies with coins over his eyes, sores covering his face, listening to talk radio and eating scabs from an infected surgical scar on his stomach. Not only is this a thoroughly disgusting sight, but writer/director Graeme Wifler lingers on the scene so long I felt like he was daring me to keep watching.

Adrien takes an unusual interest in his new neighbors. He anonymously leaves a bouquet of poison oak on their doorstep which causes Wendi to break out horribly. Next he brings a box of chocolates laced with horse laxative as a housewarming gift yielding, shall we say, explosive results. Eventually Adrien is sneaking over on a regular basis to pump poison into the couple's well, killing them by inches. Adrien further endears himself to the audience by jabbing himself repeatedly in the groin with a hypodermic needle, performing exploratory surgery on himself and a hapless victim, and performing what appears to be a sexual act upon himself using the aforementioned infected wound.

Wifler makes it even harder to like the film by having the characters do some unbelievable things just to move the story along. I don't believe for a second that Bob would have eaten the tainted chocolates left by Adrien, but the story requires that he do so. The plot would have come crashing to a halt early on if the police had gotten involved, but this is explained away quickly and unbelievably. Several plot elements just never go anywhere. A creepy gas and electric employee urinates on the outer wall of Bob and Wendi's house, seemingly marking his territory, but nothing ever comes of it. The same goes for Evelyn, Bob's bitchy co-worker. She has a fair amount of screen time, but she ultimately serves no purpose.

I know just the fact that I'm saying this film disgusts me is going to drive some people to watch it. Please don't interpret this as a challenge. I think the film obviously does what it sets out to do, so in that respect I guess you can call it a success. I for one found Deadly End completely unpleasant. I'm sure the disk's audio commentary is quite interesting, but frankly I couldn't stomach the thought of sitting through the film a second time.
categories Dvds, Cinematical