Directed by Archibald Flancranstin
What is a header?
Oh that's the big question that everybody asks and no one wants to give the answer to.
And you're not going to get anything out of me in this review.
Because if you are going to watch this movie, you need to see it for yourself, through virgin eyes. Because after seeing Header, I can honestly say I felt like I was covered in filth and vomit. And that's actually a good thing.
I call myself the jaded viewer because I believe I've seen everything and am too jaded for anything that could shock the shit out of me. Well, Header shocked the shit out of me. And that's saying something.
With the remake system churning out grindhouse homages left and right and Saw and Hostel still assembly line producing torture porn, it's the indie horror scene that goes back to the basics. They bring to life an infamous Edward Lee novella, complete with Edward Lee and Jack Ketchum cameos, supply the most grotesque, sick, most fucked up hillbilly revenge scenario and have the main character, ironically an ATF agent be the pro or anti tagonist depending on the scene.
It equals to one of the best modern day grindhouse movies I've ever seen.
HEADER portrays the grueling psychological journey taken by ATF Agent Stewart Cummings. On the surface, Stewart struggles to solve a string of bizarre murders, but in secret, his life falls into a world of corruption that's impossible to escape. Deceit, rape, and murder spiral out of control triggering a hellish conclusion that defies description.
Before watching this movie, I read some reviews from other horror sites. The one thing everybody made sure of was NOT to divulge what a header is. And I won't either. It's to be discovered over the course of the movie, but I will say you find out early on.
The thing about Header is that it's as repulsive as advertised. I'm not advocating everybody see this atrocity come to life but I have to put it in the echelon of the most disturbing movies ever made (this list has some good ones in it). Like Nekromantik or Henry or Cannibal Holocaust, these are movies that live in infamy due to their content. Header, given a few years and a Synapse Films release will soon be joining that infamy.
The funny part is the movie as a whole is actually very interesting and when you get past the header, it's actually funny in that 'sploitation sorta way. It's the other stuff that makes it all super duper 70s 42nd Street awesomerific.
So what's the other stuff? Well we get to follow corrupt ATF agent Cummings. He's patrolling the backwoods of West Virginia (advice: never ever visit West Virginia) and he's got some serious problems. His GF is sick as a dog and he's up shit's creek in medical bills. To make up for it, he using his federal powers to help some drug runners.
Set on a parallel timeline is the story of Travis Clyde Tuckton. A recently released prisoner, he's the redneck hillbilly we all believe live in West Virginia. He joins his "grand pappy" who's got a little Hatfields and McCoys in him. Soon these feuds end up with dead girl bodies and both our main antagonists meet in a most fucked up scenario (and yes it involves a header).
Header is filled with redneck hillbillies, corrupt cops, cracker whores and every sort of backwards mentality you can think of. It has that "Fight for Your Life" feel to it in a sense of that southern twang. Add some top notch gore and splatter, some tolerable acting and a landscape of the backwoods of redneckville and you got yourself a self made moonshine of grindhouse glory.
Flancranstin does a great job of blending all this together and from the production took a hell of a long time to finish. The actors are all pretty descent in this, from Jake Suffian as Agent Cummings to Elliot Kotek as Tuckton. Though the performance of Dick Mullaney as Grandpap Jack was scary as a minority at a KKK bonfire. Don't mess with this old man.
Header is the best underground horror movie of the 21st century. Back in the day, you would have to go to a horror convention and buy a dubbed 3rd generation VHS tape of these pinnacle underground horror flicks. These days, you can torrent it and I just found out it's going to be on Netflix. In any case, Synapse has put it on DVD.
If you decide to cowboy up and watch Header, you are a fuckin sicko. A disturbed, fucked up individual. And in doing so, you will be initiated into the elite club of having seen one of the most fucked up films ever made. Welcome to the club.
Headers (like lots of em)
Gunshot leg trauma
Shot to the head (x2)
Duh. When I found out what a header was.
The ending (it was twisty and fuckin fitting)
The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis
Header is available now on DVD via Synapse Films. Order it if your man enough. For more teaser and full trailers head to the official site and the MySpace site.
Header is the most brutal, atrocious, f*** up movie I've seen in a while. It brings the glory days of grindhouse back from the dead and does it with a vengeance. They say revenge is a dish best served cold.
Well not in Header it isn't.
Check out a couple of teaser trailers.
Teaser Trailer #1
Teaser Trailer #2
Teaser Trailer #3
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