Director – George A. Romero
Cast – Jason Flemyng, Peter Stormare, Leslie Hope, Nina Garbidas, Andrew Tarbet, Tom Atkins, Jonathan Higgins, Jeff Monahan, The Misfits
Release Year – 2000
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Finally, FINALLY, I got my hands on a copy of this flick after reading about it many years ago. Some feel that Romero lost “it” after “Day of the Dead”, and I cannot say that I truly believe that. Sure his films have lessened in overall quality, but from the period of “Day of the Dead” and on…this is definitely one of his better films.
“Bruiser” stars Jason Flemyng as Henry Creedlow, a publicity agent with a boring life, a wife who cheats on him with his boss, friends who steal from him, and many repressed thoughts of the vengeance he would love to exact against them. One morning Henry wakes up simply…without a face, and a new outlook on his piss poor life. Henry is no longer going to “eat everyone’s shit”, and is going to use his new face(or, non-face) to his advantage. The ensuing events lead Henry down a blood-soaked destructive path that leaves him on the run from the police…for murder, while he is enjoying the happiest days of his life.
I really loved this film’s storyline. It is great to see George A. Romero give us something that is nothing like his usual zombie films(which I still do enjoy) and shows us he can make things “happen” in other horror sub-genres. For the most part, George A. Romero himself does not fully consider this film to be a “horror” film, and i can see why. This does somewhat come off as more of an action film disguised with horror. Nonetheless, this film is awesome and thanks to some creepy scenes and nice gore…this gets an inclusion to the horror realm in my eyes. The first act of the film was iffy for me, but once the second act got into “action”(heh), this was a fun ride the rest of the way through. You should know by now that I am a huge fan of vengeance in all forms so naturally I was highly amused when we were shown the bloody vengeance enacted by Henry against those who have wronged him.
Direction-wise George A. Romero supplemented his writing with a very positive directing job. He continues to use his classic editing scheme and awesome camera angles that set up so many awesome zombie kills and sequences in his earlier years. While we do get a somewhat OK amount of gore, we do not get the usual classic Romero gorefest many of us are used to and I was happy about that because this is simply not that kind of film. His pacing is positive and he keeps the viewer’s attention with how well shot this flick is. PLUS, fans of the Misfits should be enamored to know that the full band makes an appearance towards the end of the film, and an awesome appearance at that. George A. Romero directed their music video for “Scream”, so it was only fitting that they return such an awesome favor from a horror legend.
Overall, this is a cool watch that I recommend to those who would like to see an unusual horror film that still delivers the goods, from one of horror’s greatest directors. George A. Romero breaks any unfair judgment against him that he cannot direct outside of the zombie genre, so check this one out.