Father’s Day (2011)
Lock Up Your Fathers
Father’s Day, the Astron-6 directed, Troma produced film found its way in several headlines in November 2012 when it was pulled out of Monster Pictures’ ‘Monster Fest’ line-up after the Australian Classification Board refused the film classification just two days before it was scheduled to play at the festival. The Australian Board of Classification stated that the film belongs to a category that ‘depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified.’
Luckily, I was still able to catch the uncut version of the film and two very distinct thoughts were running through my mind as the final credits rolled; One: ‘that was pretty awesome,’ and Two: ‘why on earth was that film ban?’ Father’s Day has had a long history before making its way into theaters; it was originally conceived after Troma president Lloyd Kaufman caught a fictional trailer that five-man group Astron-6 had put together in their spare time. Kaufman was so impressed by what he saw that he decided to give Astron-6 a measly budget to turn their trailer into a feature length film. A year and a half later, Father’s Day was born.
Father’s Day revolves around a group of three men, Ahab, a one eyed vigilante (played by Astron-6’s Adam Brooks), Twink, a gay street prostitute (played by Astron-6’s Conor Sweeney) and Father John Sullivan (also played by Astron-6’s Matthew Kennedy) and their pursuit to catch the infamous father rapist, Chris Fuchman (Mackenzie Murdock). Things get more complicated when Fuchman kidnaps Ahab’s sister Chelsea (played by the stunning Amy Greoning) and the men discover that Fuchman is actually a demon who is worshiped by an evil cult of followers. Sounds crazy? It is, but in the best ways possible.
Shot in a grindhouse style of filmmaking, Father’s Day succeeds where a lot of others have failed; Father’s Day plays as it’s part of a fictional eighties channel, Astar-6 TV’s late night movie line up, the film is even interrupted at the halfway point, with a brilliantly hilarious trailer to the upcoming late movie Star Raiders. It’s clear that Astron-6 knows their eighties and nineties b-grade stuff and grew up watching dozens of cheap VHS titles as Father’s Day brilliantly plays homage to the VHS films of that era. Almost everything works for Father’s Day, the actors hit most of the right notes with the portrayal of their characters, while the picture’s lighting, cinematography, awesome soundtrack and cheaper looking effects add to the movie’s overall aesthetic. Some might say that Father’s Day loses its focus in the last act when the protagonists are forced to enter the underworld to battle it out with the Fuchman demon, but I believe it is here that Astron-6 truly showcase what they do best in a surreal extravaganza of gore, stop motion and insanity.
In terms of Father’s Day being ‘banned’ temporarily and later cut down in Australia, I can’t really understand why such a decision was made, as the movie clearly doesn’t take itself too seriously and I truly doubt anything in the film will offend to the point of banning or cutting the title. Really, I’ve seen much, much worse in that department. While Father’s Day is definitely not for the squeamish or anyone easily offended, I believe that anyone who grew up watching countless b-grade VHS titles will find a lot to admire about Astron-6 and Father’s Day and I would recommend this film to everyone who is actually reading my review! Bring on Astron-6’s next feature Manborg I say!
4.5 / 5 – Highly Recommended
Reviewed by Mr. Movie
Father’s Day is released through Monster Pictures Australia