At first glance, "Plasterhead" looks like an utterly ridiculous horror film. A scarred man with plaster on his face isn't exactly the stuff nightmares are made of. After watching the film, however, "Plasterhead" turns out to be better than it has any right to be.
The plot: 4 college students taking a road trip to Miami become sidetracked when they find a purse. Maggie, wanting to return to the purse to the owner, convinces the other 3 to do so, so they venture to a backwoods town. The simple trip of returning a purse becomes a disaster when a local legend of a mangled truck driver named Ray Williams (AKA Plasterhead) begins to seek revenge on anyone and everyone he comes into contact with. Will the students make it out of the town alive?
As you can tell, "Plasterhead" is a rather typical paper-thin horror revenge story with cliched characters (the skank) who arrive at the wrong place at the wrong time. Also like many horror films, the script is littered with lousy dialogue like "By God, I'll bet he's pissed off!" The only truly original part of the script is the odd and somewhat cruel ending. Without giving away too much, one of the "good-hearted" characters leaves everyone behind making her appear more of a monster than "Plasterhead." Usually in horror films, the main characters/victims turn out to be the hero of the story, but that is not the case here. An interesting plot choice to say the least.
What really makes "Plasterhead" stand out amongst the crowded indie horror film scene is the stylish cinematography. The cinematography not only perfectly captures the woodsy small town country, but it creates a great sense of foreboding in every scene. It was also refreshing to see a horror film not shot on fuzzy steadycam/handheld digital video.
Normally I don't mention film scores, but the score here is noticeably distracting. Sounds of bells ringing, water going down a drain, and screeching ruin the atmosphere and suspense. I had the urge to grab a pair of earplugs in certain spots of the film.
As I mentioned above, the cinematography is stunning which makes the widescreen picture quality mostly crystal clear aside from some color glare and grain.
Too bad the film doesn't sound as good as it looks. The audio level is constantly fluctuating between high and low pitches that sometimes sound clear or tinny. The exact audio specifications were not listed on the box or on the disk.
* A trailer for "Chalk."
* 2 theatrical trailers for "Plasterhead."
* A useless 45 second alternate ending titled "Basement Showdown" between Maggie and Plasterhead.
* 2 deleted scenes titled "Body Dragging" and "Maggie And Steve Flirting." "Body Dragging" is an 18 second scene of Plasterhead dragging Steve. The 1 minute 46 second "Flirting" scene is an extended scene of Maggie and Steve in the Dixon house.
* Spanish subtitles.
"Plasterhead" is a beautifully shot, but generally uninspired horror revenge tale. Worth a rent as the film is better than 90% of the indie horror flicks out there.
Film and television enthusiast Nick Lyons recently had his first book published titled "Attack of the Sci-Fi Trivia." It is available on Amazon.com.