by Angel Mattheson
“Rottentail” is based on the graphic novel by Kurt Belcher and adapted for the screen by David Hayes and Brian Skiba. It is a horror comedy about a boy who exacts revenge years later on his childhood schoolmate who killed his pet rabbit.
I am not a horror buﬀ but I thoroughly enjoyed this ﬁlm. Having two adult male children I have come to appreciate ﬁlms of all genres for what they are. This one however had me chuckling throughout and it was easy to enjoy the subtle and also not so subtle in your face comedy. There were many references to ﬁlms of the past, including, Hitchcock classics. There was a dark and creepy feel to the ﬁlm while simultaneously it had an air of folly.
The playfulness of the main character was artistically played by the divine acting of Corin Nemec. I might have missed some things because I was so fascinated by him that I spent too much time in reverie. Nemec’s portrayal of Rottentail was reminiscent of Jim Carrey in “The Grinch.” He was both ornery and charming in a very unsettling way. Somehow you ﬁnd him lovable under his very unpleasant appearance.
Brian Skiba masterfully directed this ﬁlm from the scene creation to the depth of his characters. What brings you back to see a ﬁlm a second and third time is well developed, three dimensional characters. Characters you love, love to hate, are creeped out by, ﬁnd exasperating .… This ﬁlm is so silly that you might miss that these characters all have depth and you ﬁnd yourself relating to them in some way. From the guy you love to hate, Jake, played skillfully by Willian McNamara; to the delightful Vincent De Paul playing a sappy principal. Oh my! and we cannot forget Tank Jones as the fun-to-laugh at General Phelps. He will have you rolling on the ﬂoor. Skiba brought so much creative insight to this ﬁlm that it’s easy to see how much fun the cast and crew had making this delightfully creepy ﬁlm.
The cinematography was wonderful. The imagery takes you on a journey unlike any other ﬁlm. The angles were interesting and dynamic. At times you almost felt the city of LA was a backdrop and not the real thing. It looked like a scene created with paint and cardboard for whimsy and color. The rooms created bold emotion that drew you further in to this fantasy world. The nuances were inspiring for a fellow ﬁlmmaker. The scenery was an additional colorful character to love and enjoy.
And if you weren’t having enough fun, the musical compositions took you on an additional journey that was lovely and exciting. The music had me smiling and dancing in my seat. The score was a story in itself, written by several artists, David Findlay, Randy Lynch, Allen Lynch, The Robert Louis Band, Phoenix Uncaged and Twiztid.
There was so much to enjoy in this ﬁlm. Go in with an open mind because it is silly and gruesome and fun. If you love horror this is for you. If you love creativity this is for you. Rottentail is sure to be a cult classic. Well done!
That’s as much as I will say. You will have to see this ﬁlm to learn more, “Rottentail” will be in select theaters April 12, 2019.
Rottentail will screen at the
Howell historic theater
Friday, April 12.
For more on “Rottentail”, check out its IMDB page.