Then there is Hank Boyd Is Dead, a movie that truly stands on its own pedestal… Or dead bodies. Take your pick.
Written and directed by Sean Melia, the premise appears to start off in a rather simple manner. A young caterer has been hired to work for a funeral reception for the Boyd family. That’s where the simplicity of the premise ends, for as the caterer performs the tasks that she’s been hired to do, one simple little mistake starts what can only be described as an avalanche of mishaps, and what was originally meant to be just a simple little reception turns into quite the bloody nightmare for pretty much everyone involved.
This film was put together on the most minimal of budgets, but despite that potential obstacle, Melia has managed to craft something that artistically stands out in a way like no other film has done. While other horror films have used the “found footage” gimmick as part of the story narrative, Melia has taken a different approach by utilizing old home movies cleverly interspersed throughout the 73 minutes of the film. At first it may seem unclear as to what the viewer is seeing, and that mystery is what helps to start raise the tension level. By cutting in very quick shots in between, and sometimes over, lines of dialogue, I found my mind racing in trying to comprehend the sudden turns this movie was taking me on. As the movie unfolds it becomes clear as to what I’m seeing, and what started off as somewhat creepy ends up becoming almost sad (in a good way).
The other elements in this film are almost like a mash-up of horror tropes, but not necessarily the ones you might expect. Melia has thought very much “out of the box” on this and crafted a film that takes two very separate and unique ideas only to put them together for what arguably has to be the very first time in cinematic history. Think, “The Dahmer Family meets Deliverance.”
This film has been touted as a “dark comedy of (t)errors,” but there may be some who will see this as less of a comedy, and more of a pure horror film with the a few chuckles here and there. What is certain is that I walked away from seeing this film with a “What the hell did I just watch?” reaction. This is unlike any other horror film I have ever viewed, and that is why this movie succeeds. It may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but people who do watch it will definitely remember it.
The cast for this entire film is quite strong, most of whom are veterans of NYC theater as well as TV actors that had collaborated with on several of Melia’s past projects, but one that must be mentioned is the standout performance by Carole Monferdini as the grieving, and somewhat incoherent mother, Beverly Boyd. With everything that goes on in the movie she always holds on to that matriarch role of this terribly dysfunctional family making her presence in the film a truly memorable one.
The trailer for Hank Boyd Is Dead can be seen below.
Hank Boyd Is Dead is represented by Patricia Chica of ChicArt PR
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