A sewage worker gets trapped inside a septic tank during a water contamination crisis and undergoes a hideous transformation. To escape, he must team up with a docile Giant and confront the murdering madman known as Lord Auch.
I think like most serious horror fans, I went into Septic Man thinking this was going to be a silly, Troma-inspired film. It might be to some degree, but the camp is non-existent, and I can’t recall one joke or quip; an extreme for a film about a guy who transforms into a shit monster. Director, Jesse Thomas Cook, and writer, Tony Burgess, are responsible for crapping out this horror piece, levity notwithstanding, and I place the blame on them. I frowned when I read the film’s tagline: “Shit just got surreal”. Yeah, shit just got lame.
Jack, (David Jason Brown – an apt last name for the role), is your standard downtrodden horror movie protagonist. You know the type, he has a baby on the way, has trouble making ends meet; and he’s suddenly offered a life-changing $200k to ferret out the source of a deadly sewer contamination affecting his entire city. I’ll tell you on the front end, I didn’t care for this film. Not even with Supernatural’s Angel of Death, the creepy Julian Richings, and I love the guy. In my opinion, Richings was the only enjoyable part of the film.
I’d never heard of David Jason Brown before Septic Man, but was curious to see the film after his Best Actor Award for horror at the 2013 Fantastic Fest. Upon viewing the film, I was surprised he won this catergory. Most of his film is spent yelling things like “Let me the fuck out of here!” or “THERE’S NO WAY OUT!” I feel like the cast of NBC’s Hannibal is safe from having their acting chops eclipsed. Still, Brown isn’t bad once the terribly disgusting transformation is complete.
To further confuse me, the sub-plot of the film involves a sewer-dwelling lunatic known as Lord Auch (Tim Burd) and his simple, gigantic brother (Robert Maillet, Pacific Rim). Giant befriends our hero and things get grosser and weirder from there. I’m sure a lot of horror fans will enjoy this dry, fecal-fecal fest, I just wasn’t one of them. Septic Man never grabbed my attention. The lack of exposition and characterization are two of the films many problems; a hard sell for a flick about a living turd. Think the shit golem from Kevin Smith’s Dogma, but with none of the laughs, and certainly none of the charm.
You can catch Septic Man via VOD August 12, and in theaters August 15. The film is presented by Starz Digital Media.