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The Last Horror Movie (18)



Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: One

ABOUT halfway into the low-budget British slasher flick, The Last Horror Movie, the movie's protagonist, Max (played by Kevin Howarth), tells the camera that he is 'trying to make an intelligent film about murder' and 'do something that hasn't been seen before'.

With that in mind, it would seem that the film's director, Julian Richards, has clearly forgotten about the likes of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and Man Bites Dog, while closing his eyes completely to American Psycho.

The Last Horror Movie contains fairly blatant nods to all three, yet is far inferior, emerging as a sordid and frequently hideous affair that seems to take a perverse delight in depicting the unsavoury actions of its central character.

The central gimmick also feels lost on cinema audiences, given that it is clearly aimed at home viewers who may have rented the film from their local Blockbuster.

As such, it lulls viewers into thinking they're watching a bog-standard slasher video before suddenly being presented with the video diary of Max, which is designed to look as though it's been recorded over the film you thought you were watching.

Max is a smug, articulate psychopath who gets his kicks from randomly slaying men, women and children safe in the knowledge that no one - not even his friends or family - know what he is doing.

Enlisting the help of a shy assistant (played by Mark Stevenson), he breaks into the homes of unsuspecting victims and films their demise, before analysing his actions and supposedly asking questions of those who are watching.

Hence, viewers are meant to ponder whether Max is really mad, or whether some small, remote part of their own psychology 'enjoys' watching what Max is doing.

Yet the only really unsettling aspect of the fim is just how voyeuristic the whole thing feels.

The blood-letting is all too frequent and downright nasty, with Max more often than not choosing helpless women as victims.

While Howarth's self-satisfied performance is clearly borrowed from the likes of Patrick Bateman and Hannibal Lecter (especially when resorting to cannibalism to dispose of a corpse).

A belated attempt to make viewers feel as though they may genuinely have stumbled upon a planted home video also feels hammy and preposterous, especially if you've bothered seeking it out in the cinema.

While the debate it is supposed to provoke about the nature of violence and killing has certainly been covered before with far greater authority.

All of which renders The Last Horror Movie a wretched experience that leaves a nasty taste in the mouth without having anything remotely intelligent to redeem it.

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