One might hope upon watching The Last Horror Movie that if it is not indeed the last of its genre, that perhaps it might be the last found footage horror movie. Alas, it came out in 2003, and that hopeful prophecy has most definitely not come to pass. The once-fresh subgenre has since been beaten into the dust by an overabundance of films that are low on budget as well as creativity, using found footage as a crutch upon which to lean a weak story. This one in particular, which has recently been re-released on DVD via Fangoria's Gorezone, focuses on Max (Kevin Howarth), a wedding videographer and serial killer living in London. Max has enlisted an unnamed assistant (Mark Stevenson) off the streets to help him document his killings, as well as random scenes of his regular life, on video, in order to show the world that the face of evil can often be one that you would barely even glance at when walking by on the street. Throughout, Max breaks the fourth wall to lecture his audience about life, death and humanity, and accuses the viewer of being complicit in his crimes by continuing to watch them. After all, if you take pleasure in watching bad things happen to people, are you really any better than the person actually doing the bad things that you’re watching?
Who is the audience for Max’s video supposed to be? Well, the film is constructed as though all of Max’s footage has been taped over a random horror movie from the video store and then returned so that it could be found and rented by unsuspecting victims looking for a few good thrills through a scary--albeit fictional--story. Instead, viewers are treated to a snuff film and a promise from Max that because they have watched the film, they are now a danger to him, and very likely to be his next victim. Considering the cold-blooded way that Max repeatedly stabs, strangles and bashes in the brains of random people that he just seems to pick off the street, one would do well to take his threats awfully seriously.
The problem with The Last Horror Movie is that it has a gigantic ego; it is trying way too hard to say something edgy or important through its pompous and pretentious antihero. Howarth does a decent job in the role, making Max one of those smarmy and weirdly creepy guys who you generally feel as though something is off about, though you cannot put a finger on it. The scenes in which he dispatches his victims are indeed disturbing, especially considering the cold, dispassionate way in which they are documented by Max’s assistant. However, as soon as Max opens his mouth, one becomes willing to risk death in order to punch him in the face--as long as it gets him to stop rambling on about his life of death. When it comes down to it, Max is actually more irritating than he is frightening--and so is The Last Horror Movie.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
The single-disc release of The Last Horror Movie includes a making-of documentary, deleted scenes and commentary by director Julian Richards.
"The Last Horror Movie" is on sale August 26, 2014 and is rated R. Horror. Directed by Julian Richards. Written by James Handel. Starring Antonia Beamish, Kevin Howarth, Mark Stevenson.