Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Mark Pavia's Fender Bender

of 9 viewers "Liked" "Fender Bender" (2016, USA)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

Speed Demon - "Slow start but when the @#$%! hits the fan it's full throttle. A retro style slasher that's extremely entertaining. Likable characters, great soundtrack, and awesome cinematography. Definitely worth a watch and recommended to the old school slasher fans." - 4 Stars

Lord Battle - "Cool premise with a slasher that is both fully developed in concept and fleshed out as a character. The plot is run of the mill horror story, that fans of the genre will love but may prove lacking for others. My only real complaint is with the lead actress. I didn't buy Makenzie Vega as a final girl for one second, let alone enjoy her acting at all." - 3.5 Stars

The Great Hornito - "Fender Bender is a cautionary tale about the dangers of giving out personal information to just anybody. I've always been very surprised by how easy it is to get someone's address and personal info out of them. Anyways, the movie has a very original story that made me say to my self "why didn't I think of that". I liked the pacing and characters, and the villain had a Nazi from Hell Boy look to him that made the movie even better." - 4 Stars

Huntress - "It didn't take me long to get into Fender Bender and I stayed invested until the end. This is a great modern slasher, with a unique take on an everyday premise. Mark Pavia set a very natural yet ominous tone throughout the film and it got progressively darker. There was great visual storytelling, so we got to know the main character without any painful exposition; the slasher looked great and had an original weapon; and everything was tied together by an awesome synth soundtrack!" - 4 Stars

KillDozer - "The return of writer/director Mark Pavia is a welcome one, especially if you have seen his other films The Night Flier and Drag. This is a self-aware throwback to the golden age of slasher films complete with a solid and memorable killer and fun interesting kills. Slasher fans will be in familiar territory but in a way that is nostalgic and somehow new. I loved the story and not unlike Jaws anyone who sees the film will think twice when finding themselves in a similar situation (you'll know after you see it). I appreciate when talented people take on genre that others quickly dismiss, and prove that there is still value in a good old slasher film. The acting, writing, editing, and practical effects were all extremely well done and even more impressive when you realize this film was made for the Chiller network. I was lucky enough to win a signed copy of the film at Monsterpalooza weeks before its official release and I'm glad I did because this is collection worthy. To sum it up, waiting for Pavia to make another film was well worth it and I can't wait to see what he brings us next. (I wouldn't mind a Fender Bender 2)" -  4 stars (collection worthy and a fun watch with friends)

Dabbles - "I honestly was dozing off in the beginning due to sleepiness, but after a jump scare I was fully alert. The slasher looks so good and well designed. The plot is something to pay attention to, because this is the perfect example of how real world situations can turn into a slasher." - 4 Stars

Math Mage - "A true modern slasher, populated with modern characters answering important questions (why don't they call 911? Because they'll get in more trouble). I especially like that you can see exactly when she gets the final girl buff and when the slasher levels up (He picks "Blocks cellphones" as his new slasher power)." - 3 Stars

Book Wyrm - "The soundtrack was so good. The slasher's costume was so eerie, he scared me every time he popped up. I cared about most of the characters and was very into the movie. I definitely recommend this to my friends and would re-watch it again." - 5 Stars

The Creature of the ComiCombs - "I really enjoyed this movie, everything from the music down to the killer's design and weapon is pretty epic. One thing a lot of movies like this have trouble with is getting you behind the characters and this one had pretty good character development. It did however get a bit slow during those parts but when it got going it was awesome. There are some pretty brutal kills and the ending was good. This was a great idea for a movie." - 4 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

When I first learned of the film Fender Bender, I instantly assumed the title was a play on the phrase "gender bender". Mainly because the featured slasher was covered from head to toe in leather. After watching the film I was slightly confused with the lack of evidence to support my theory. I mean our slasher definitely had some identity issues going on but they only begin with a confused sexuality. To really find out what's going on with this killer, we'll have to look at the evidence the film gives us to work with, starting with his murder attire.
Wes Craven used to stress how masks were more than a cheap gimmick in slasher films and how several ancient civilizations revered the power they held over people. This power is thought to stem from the ability to disassociate with oneself while wearing a mask. It's kinda like how incredibly hard it is to identify an internet troll offline, since they just don't act the same when they can be held accountable. This is shockingly displayed in Behind The Mask as Leslie Vernon changes from a lovable host, to a cold and distant killer. Another example of a cold disconnected killer is Michael Myers. His mask is a stripped down, nondescript face, even though we all know it's a William Shatner mask. John Carpenter made an effort to alter its appearance and lovingly credited the man who played adult Michael Myers, Nick Castle, as "The Shape". All of this was in an effort the remove the human aspect of Mr. Myers and support Dr. Lumis' "pure evil" tirades.
Wes Craven chose the Ghost Face mask not because it's modeled after "The Scream" painting and makes a great in-joke (although I'm sure that didn't hurt) but because he wanted something accessible to everyone. The actual mask used in the film had been on sale in stores for 5 years prior to the release of Scream. I actually remember owning the mask in middle school. It's kinda hard to forget when everyone makes fun of your costume only to purchase it themselves a couple years later...
So, what does any of this have to do with Fender Bender? Well after looking back at what slashers wore in the past and how it related to whatever was left of their humanity, we should be able to make an educated analysis of the murderer. In this case we have a few major things to work with: he lightly rear-ends cars in order to get their personal information. He then contacts the women via text with similar messages before suiting up in his leather killing suit. He then takes their license as a trophy for his car.
With this information I'd love to see what people come up with. So comment below or fail the TLDR test...

This past Son of Monsterpalooza, Mark Pavia show a special sneak preview and shared a little insight on his slasher. I personally didn't make it to the panel as I had to start driving home, but KillDozer not only attended but won an early copy of the film on BluRay. Due to the insight he gained on this panel I'd like to throw this out as a topic of discussion.

- Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a screening on 9/27/2016
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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