Well, boys and girls, Uncork’d Entertainment has another horror flick out called Johnny Gruesome (2018). Now, when I was reading the info packet that can with the screener I was a little leery about the movie. It had tags like “Running tire marks around Ghost Rider” and “More vengeful than The Crow”. Now, those are some strong words to be throwing around. Not the Ghost Rider bit. As much as I like Nicolas Cage, Ghost Rider (2007) wasn’t a great flick. I was talking about The Crow part, because come on it’s… The Crow! So, let’s see how Johnny Gruesome measures up.
Johnny Gruesome is a ninety-minute horror that was written and directed by Gregory Lamberson. It’s rated NR (not rated) but has language, violence, and nudity. The movie is based on the award-winning horror novel Johnny Gruesome (2007) by Gregory Lamberson. Here’s what you’re getting into with Gruesome tale. One night, while out with his friends, Johnny is murdered. Freshly back from the grave, Johnny seeks revenge on those that covered up his death.
Now the story was about vengeance, so I guess it did have some Crow/Ghost Rider-ish traits. For the most part, the story was good and it made me curious to check out the book. However, there were a few spots in the story where I couldn’t figure out why Johnny was going after certain people. I know why he went after the people that killed him, but a couple of folks it seemed like it was more for fun. So, that threw things off for me a bit. I did like that the story was about a revenant, which is a ghost or animated corpse that is believed to have revived from death. So as Johnny is getting his revenge, he’s slowly rotting before our eyes.
The playthrough was ok and the pace was pretty good. I was never bored watching it. I’m not sure what I was expecting when watching the movie, but it never really hooked me. You know who killed Johnny right off, so there’s no mystery to the story. Unfortunately, there’s also not enough action scenes to really spice things up either. So, everything just kind of plays out, as you would expect.
Some of the cast is Anthony De La Torre (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales), Byron Brown II (Johnny Gruesome), Aprilann (Jonny Gruesome), Chris Modrzynski (Johnny Gruesome), Kim Piazza (Dry Bones), Richard Lounello (Accidental Switch) and Michael DeLorenzo (Alive). Everyone did a pretty good job, but I thought De La Torre and Modrzynski really stood out with their performances. De La Torre was a great choice for the lead. Modrzynski really killed it with his character and brought a bit of comedy to his role.
The special effects were kind of a hit and miss. There are times where the CGI looked really good and times it looked really bad, especially towards the end of the movie. Good or bad, I liked what they did or tried to do because it fits the scenes. I really dug the make-up effects and thought they looked great.
Sidenote, if you wanna check out Johnny Gruesome for yourself, it comes out on VOD (Video on Demand) October 16th, 2018 and hits DVD January 1st, 2019.
Summary : Overall, it's a decent low budget Crow with some good actors, but I won't be adding Johnny Gruesome to my movie collection any time soon.
It's rated NR (not rated) but has language, violence, and nudity.