MARCH 26 » 9:15p
MARCH 29 » 7:30p
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE with TRENT HAAGA
2010, USA, 85 min.
Director: Trent Haaga
Cast: Billy Bakshi, Ricardo Gray, Max Haaga
Every dirty deed you’ve perpetrated in the past is going to come back and bite you in the ass. Whether it’s that person you cheated on back in high school, that side-view mirror you remorselessly took out this Winter, or the time you thought it would be cool to sacrifice that virgin in the name of Satan; what goes around comes around. All we can do is pray that Karma isn’t carrying an axe when it finally finds us.
It really sucks for Lance Reed (Billy Bakshi), that the skeleton in his closet just so happens to be holding a really big fucking axe and a gun. What’s worse, is that Lance is handed the more classic horror weapon by this stranger from his past, who then orders him to slam the blade into his own brother’s head. If Lance refuses, the mystery assailant tells him that there is a man waiting at his house, who will murder his wife (only after he does all types of unspeakable shit to her). Fucked up, right!? This is just how this flick starts! Everything that happens after this mind-blowing opening sequence will push you further and further toward the edge of your seat, and deeper into a dizzying state of disbelief. Who is this madman!? What could Lance have done to bring such violence into his seemingly quiet life!? Get ready to be “shhh’ed” while you’re screaming for answers!
CHOP is reminiscent of newer revenge cinema, like Park Chan Wook’s SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE and OLDBOY. Here, you have a fairly intricate series of bloody events put in place by someone wronged trying to make their victim pay for some secret transgression from earlier in their lives. Yet, a sense of humor remains prominent in the face of some genuinely unsettling brutality. The cast really pulls off this double-barreled tone. In particular, Billy Bakshi’s performance in the role of the condemned and amputated Lance Reed is as hilarious as it is horrifying. During the arc of the story, the roles of protagonist and antagonist are switched as potential motives are revealed, eventually enabling you to enjoy Lance’s suffering as much as the Stranger does.
Director Trent Haaga (CITIZEN TOXIE), is no stranger to horror. The Troma veteran has acted in 40 films, and has received critical acclaim for penning the creepy 2009 BUFF selection, DEAD GIRL. With CHOP, his directorial debut, Haaga is masterful in the way he escalates the tension in his film. He has crafted an incredibly gory revenge flick that has a sense of humor blacker than Hell. It’s nothing short of a new cult classic.
— Mark Anastasio
A charming black comedy dealing with quick-to-judgement ignorance, innocence, and vigilante justice.