Movie Review - Septic Man
Septic Man, the latest work from Tony Burgess, the writer of the highly overlooked 2008 outbreak film, Pontypool, and director Jesse Thomas Cook is an absolutely inventive concept that never really goes anywhere. There are a lot of great things to say about the film and about the people who made it, but ultimately this feels like a short film that was stretched to feature length and ends up being fairly repetitive. The film certainly starts off with a bang, featuring an opening scene that can only be described as stomach-turning. But as the movie plods along at a lackluster pace, it becomes apparent that this isn't going to turn into the all out Troma-Fest that you're probably expecting. And sadly, it doesn't really turn into anything at all.
When a water contamination crisis devastates a small town, they call on a local sewage worker named Jack (Jason David Brown). While the entire town, including Jack's pregnant wife, are being evacuated, Phil Prosser (Julian Richings) makes Jack a lucrative offer to stay behind and find the source of the contamination. Feeling pressure to provide for his family, Jack agrees despite protests from his wife Shelley (Molly Dunsworth). While trying to track the source he finds himself trapped in a septic tank. While in the tank he discovers the source of the contamination, and slowly begins to undergo a gruesome transformation.
Let's give credit where credit is due here, as Jason David Brown (who not only starred in the movie, but also served as the art and production designer) is fantastic. His performance makes the character work, and he adds a ton of charm to the film. In addition, his design of the room where most of the movie takes place will make your skin crawl. But it isn't just him, everyone in the art and visual effects department puts in outstanding work and deserves to share in the credit, especially the costume design by Melissa Shouldice and Alex Rotundo's makeup and practical effects that make Jack's transformation utterly revolting.
My apprehension about recommending this film is based solely on the fact that the concept, however original, is insufficient to carry the movie for it's eighty-three minute running time. I would have loved to see them do more with the character, and explore what happens after the final frame of the movie, which is when things seem like they could get really interesting. I guess they're saving that for Septic Man 2. I would wait for that one. Cheers.