The Orphan Killer, an appraisal by C. William Giles
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Well, my dear Grue heads, may I say what an honour and privilege it is for me to be here and I’m especially grateful to the Keeper of The Quill and his team for inviting me into their dark fold. I will endeavor to live up to their high standards; otherwise if I fail I may end up in the dank dungeons below Quill Tower! A fate no-one would relish apart from maybe Tortured Soul and Silent Shadow themselves!!
Allow me to introduce myself, I am C. William Giles author of “……..Of Tortured Faustian Slumbers” which can be viewed on my website www.cwilliamgiles.com plus you can get a flavour of my work on this very site thanks to Lord Quill himself appraising my novel recently followed by him doing an interview with me.
Anyway, enough of this, I’m here to appraise the movie The Orphan Killer. Now, all the Grue soaked masses out there will know all about this creation due no doubt in a large part to this excellent site at the very least, it seems to be everywhere (with good reason, but I’ll get to that in good time).
First of all I must point out that my love for horror films is every bit as strong as that of Team Grue, however my taste in said movies is different to that of the mighty Quill. By that I mean that my flavours lean towards the supernatural by way of such dark delights as The Exorcist, The Omen, Poltergeist and my all time favourite movie Hellraiser (most of them actually!). Added to that, I was practically raised on Hammer which helped me develop a deep love for vampire movies such as Near Dark, The Hunger & Razor Blade Smile plus all the usual suspects from the Hammer stable as well as a penchant for werewolves and the like!
I do have a passion for other horror movies that are more up Rivers of Grue’s dark alley (so to speak) such as the Hostel movies, The Fog, Evil Dead, The Thing, Halloween, The Devil’s Rejects (well, all Rob Zombie’s stuff) etc but maybe this all just means that I will see things through different eyes, let’s see. Anyway, without further ado……..
Mattfarnsworth’s The Orphan Killer, what more can I say about this movie that hasn’t already been scribed, well to be honest, it blew me away, simple! Initially I admit, I was expecting yet another stalk and slash romp with a dude in a mask, I wasn’t sure why everyone was getting so frothy about it. However, what I got was different, very different! As I alluded to earlier, my tastes are different to that of the Master Quill, to me stalk and slash films can get very boring and become a bit of a yawn. They invariably just end up trying to out-do the last kill!!
This beast is a whole lot more sinister plus a whole lot more creative too!! One of the first things I noticed, and this may seem irrelevant or even odd to some people (but it’s my appraisal so fuck it) was the sound! The first real presence of Marcus Miller as he stalks around the school playground at night is awesome. The sound of his heavy footsteps, echoing around as he moves, it doesn’t seem in any way forced but it’s so eerie, giving a sense of power and aggression before he’s even done anything yet!! Every single movement warning you that he is someone to be feared and avoided at all costs.
The next sounds that seemed to convey so much were those from Marcus’ lips, without even speaking, he sounded like a bear, not a growling scary monster kind of growl but the unsettling grunting of the beast looking for something (which he was), this seemed to also sound a little like a child or lost animal mewling for its’ mother (again as an orphan he kind of was). Now I’m not one to go on about hidden meanings and the psychology behind someone’s work but if that was intentional, my hat’s off to ya Mr Farnsworth, really well done, it worked a treat. Even more so this worked with the echo from inside the mask, slight but brilliantly well done. You see, there and then there was so much more than your typical axe murderer!
You feel when he’s an adult, the pain he went through as a child, particularly the scene as he watches from inside a mask and behind a fence as his beloved baby sister is taken off for adoption, leaving little Marcus behind. I thought it was incredibly sad, I don’t know if that was what Mr Farnsworth was going for (presumably) but it works really well, almost giving you empathy for the awesomely brilliant monster that Marcus becomes.
More stuff to love and set this creation apart from the usual slice & dice brigade? Well, to my mind the religious imagery and iconography works really well. It wasn’t over done, despite the partial church/catholic school setting, which gave it more weight; it was slipped in effortlessly and to great effect.
Also making this a cut (or hack or chop, you choose) above the rest was Marcus himself, NOT your average axe murderer by any means. Gone was the usual boiler suit or coveralls, in was a black shirt and tie and sure he was a big unit but he was agile and intimidating without being lumbering. What I liked most about Marcus though was his voice, by that I mean that he had a voice, a real one!!
My love for Hellraiser stems much from the dark regal eloquence of his Majesty Pinhead, the King of all horror icons for me, bar none. Then at the other end of the scale we have the silent stalkers, Jason Voorhees & Michael Myers in particular, the rest pale by comparison even if they’re done well. Somewhere in the middle there would be Freddy Krueger and the frankly fucking awful Chucky, Freddy started off dark and sinister but then as the franchise wore on and on, becoming thinner and thinner in quality, so do Fred’s quips. Now to me, if you have to start throwing in one-liners to entertain or keep the kids or grandparents amused like Schwarzenegger, you’re on thin ice with me buddy (I fuckin’ hate them!!)
Now Matt Farnsworth got it just right with Marcus Miller in my eyes, he’s mean (very mean), broody (very broody) but when he speaks he has something to say and he says it with anguish, he says it with resentment yet love for his lost baby sister and his lost family. Loss of his own soul perhaps, but when he says things of a religious nature it gives them a twist of the knife (or screwdriver) that again adds more weight to his voice. He isn’t just another Neanderthal looking to hack & slash his way through yet another camp full of annoying teens, the guy has a purpose, he has a path, like it or not he’s on a long, crooked and bloody path.
Now I couldn’t go any further without mentioning baby sister Audrey herself, the delectable and delicious Diane Foster.To quote a hundred Hollywood movies and TV shows “Oh……..My………God!!” Now I know that the Keeper of The Quill has done many pieces on TOK and he has lavished much ink (ahem, so to speak) over Ms Foster so I’ll try not to out-do the Master, how could I regarding one of his favourite subjects!! Suffice it to say that I can totally see why she is considered to be one of the rising stars in the industry today.
She is definitely one to watch (in more ways than one). On top of everything, I think she is a great actress, she more than convincingly conveys all the emotion, terror, fear, anger, frustration and pain that her character is going through without resorting to over the top hysterics. By the way, on the subject of pain, I’ve got to say how painfully realistic it was when Audrey was bound with barbed wire, fuck, I was gritting my teeth through the whole section as she tried to get free!!
Anyway, in closing I have to say that I was shocked and delighted at how good The Orphan Killer was, it stood up to all the scrutiny, the hype and the competition and kicked all their pasty white butts, and then some. If you haven’t got a copy, buy one, a proper copy, support the film makers. Part of me would love to see what Matt Farnsworth & Diane Foster could do with a big budget and some serious backing but part of me also wants them to keep doing what they so clearly and obviously do best, better than anyone and everyone.
Purchase The Orphan Killer on http://www.theorphankillerstore.com/
Official website. http://www.theorphankiller.com
Orphan Killer movie on iTunes in 1080p
Orphan Killer Facebook Page
Orphan Killer Twitter
iPhone Decapitation App
Orphan Killer Official Mask
Orphan Killer on Youtube
Orphan Killer on Flickr
Orphan Killer on Instagram
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Matt Farnsworth on Facebook
Matt Farnsworth on Twitter
Matt Farnsworth Instagram
Matt Farnsworth of Tumblr
Diane Foster on Facebook
Diane Foster on Twitter