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There's a new cult hero in town and he's covered in the unspeakable foulness that lurks in the sewage system. A Fantastic Fest award-winner from the creators of MONSTER BRAWL, EXIT HUMANITY, and PONTYPOOL, SEPTIC MAN follows Jack, a sewage worker who s determined to uncover the cause of the town's water contamination crisis. But when he becomes trapped underground in a septic tank without food or water he undergoes a hideous and repulsive transformation. He may have been Jack when he entered the tank, but he'll become Septic Man before he leaves, assuming he leaves at all. Hailed as a stunning, funny, and visceral story that will leave you shaken and desperate for a shower, SEPTIC MAN is an odyssey into the darkest depths of utter horror.
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I don't even know how to begin to describe this. Uh, "disturbing" would be one way. Watch it drunk, or if your in a state where such a thing is legal watch it while smoking the skunk weed. Seriously - Im at a loss.
Basically we have a septic tank repairman, trying to stop some type of an outbreak of something. It opens up with a bathroom scene that makes the hunter in the bathroom of Dreamcatcher bathroom scene look like a royal wedding. As for the woman in the bathroom scene - no words. You couldn't get THAT effect in a truck stop bathroom, at a Tijuana dog and pony show, after eating at a Taco truck in South Houston after drinking Lone Star beer. I mean this was worse than the video of the homeless heroin addict who dropped a clinker in the starbucks...
From here we learn that there is a disease outbreak in town, and that the town is being evacuated. Some of the footage - specifically soldiers shooting bloody stumbling infected - leads me to think the outbreak my be a zombie apocalypse. The town is being evacuated and a shadowy figure representing a mysterious "consortium" offers the local septic tank guy $200K to go in the sewers and find the source of the outbreak. Since he has a pregnant wife at home, he accepts. From here things just turn to crap. Literally. Our hero takes a stumble into a fetid sewer filled with rotting corpses and other nastiness, and he is being held by two crazy homicidal maniac brothers who make the Texas Chainsaw massacre folks seem like the Brady Bunch. Think "The Hills Have Eyes" with feces.... Our hero is trapped in the sewer, right at the point of origin of the infection, and undergoes a metamorphosis into something not quite human. Think the rock guy from the Fantastic Four, but with pus and necrosis and feces.,,,
Overall - this is a ridiculous movie. Its COMPLETELY absurd in all respects. It relies entirely on gross out factor and campiness. Its a crap movie - both literally and figuratively. But strangely - it works. Mostly due to the "oh no, they wont. They wouldn't go THERE" factor Bet yes, they would and they do. This movie has more excrement in it than the Congress, and it makes about as much sense. But unlike that - this is actually entertaining if you want to see grossness for grossness sake. I got my $5 worth and I can safely say this is the weirdest thing now in my video library. Its definitely not Oscar material, but if you have a warped sense of humor and are in the right mood, its entertaining enough..
The fact that this was created by the team that made Pontypool meant that I came in with very high expectations, and they were mostly met. Unlike Ponty Pool, a movie dense with dialogue, this is a film that is much more driven by powerful images and an almost mythic story with long spans of silence. It takes the same basic concept behind Toxic Avenger, of a man who gains superhuman abilities after an exposure to hazardous waste, but there is already something of the hero in Jason David Brown's Jack—he's a humble man, but apparently something of a wizard when it comes to sewage systems, and he's already single handedly bailed his unnamed Canadian city out of a jam once before. This time he is contacted by a mysterious government agent named Phil Prosser (a very fitting reference to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, played here chillingly by Julian Richings) who offers Jack a LOT of money to defy a quarantine order and go down to find out what's really wrong with the sewer. Jack immediately thinks about what the money can do for his wife, Shelley (Molly Dunsworth doing some excellent work here) and the child she is expecting, and agrees to go down.
What Jack finds is that the system is being clogged by corpses, deposited there by a giant (Robert Maillet looking eerily like Andre the Giant) who kills at the whims of a sociopathic troglodyte named Lord Auch (Time Burd). There's something quite Lynchian in these two villainous characters. Up until their appearance, this seemed to be a story about man vs a society represented by a corrupt city government, but now it seems to be man vs some sort of pure evil located deep inside the self.
The song playing under the end credits caps the movie off perfectly—it's a folk anthem celebrating the Septic Man in the style of the great North American folk heroes such as Paul Bunyan, John Henry & Pecos Bill.
Don't go into this expecting any typical slasher style creature feature about a mutated man monster going berserk. It's a much more subtle and controlled plot, but I found it a very well realized piece.