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Published by Film Fanaddict on 2009/1/18 (1853 reads)
Released by Unearthed Pictures
Running Time: 85 minutes
Color format: B&W
Audio/Subtitles: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Region Code: 1
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (1.85:1)
16:9 Enhanced: Yes
Special Features: Making of MERCY; Movie Comic Book; Trailers (including MERCY and FRANKENHOOKER)
Trailer Online: No
An experimental expose on one man’s psychosis and the troubles that brought him there, Patrick Roddy’s MERCY is a cerebral horror tale filmed in stark black & white, heavy on jutting, baroque angles, and Lynchian symbolic signposts. According to the director’s website, legendary producer/director Roger Corman called it: “Visually stark and severe – a very good film” -- a simple quote that I’ll have to take issue with.
John Mercy (Gary Shannon) is a shoddily eye-patched ex-convict freshly released from prison, dealing with a less-than-caring landlord and a life that’s hard to reconcile back to an ordinary existence. Pushed to the brink over and over, Mercy’s calm unraveling soon turns deadly, and all hopes of a comfortable return to normalcy are revoked.
Roddy’s stylistic approach is similar to that of a lot of obsessed aspiring Lynchians, and he stands on the masterful director’s shoulders in an attempt to exert similar encroaching symbolism in just about every shot of the picture; here, it simply deadens the pace and any momentum and/or suspense we may have for Mercy (see, even the title tries to be symbolic!)
An abstract character study without much of a heart, MERCY is adequate art-house-horror fare, though I’m sure several will read far more into it than what’s there.
Extras include a straightforward making-of with the requisite behind-the-scenes footage (the admittedly inventive sets and production design seen here in color).
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