Uncle Peckerhead ended up being one of the best indie horror-comedy flicks I’ve watched. You will find yourself rooting for the leads as they try to adapt to a dangerous paranormal being.
I was provided with a free screener of Uncle Peckerhead to review. The opinions I have shared my own. This review has minor spoilers.
We all know that indie horror titles aren’t always the most well-made movies. However, you can usually find a gem or two if you look in the right places. Uncle Peckerhead is one of them. Featuring a likable cast of characters, jokes, and a lot of gore, I enjoyed this horror-comedy from writer/director Matthew John Lawrence.
The premise involved the three members of a small band named ‘Duh’ in need of a van to go on a short tour. Our main lead is Judy (Chet Siegal). She’s all about giving her all to ‘Duh’. The film had Judy quit her job to be ready for the upcoming tour. Judy’s dream involved being signed to a record label and she’s ready to make that dream come true (somehow).
Then there’s Max (Jeff Riddle), who knew how to sing and put on a great show, but immediately fumbled when asked to talk to the audience while on stage. He’s also not the brightest of the bunch. And remember when I said I got queer vibes while watching the trailer? Turns out, Max is the queer character in Uncle Peckerhead.
The third member’s the drummer, Mel (Ruby McCollister). The actress reminded me of a young Natasha Lyonne. Mel’s uninterested in everything going on around her. She’s also the kind of woman you don’t mess with.
I have to say that I liked the chemistry between all three leads. They’re clearly family to each other. You will want them to stay safe.
The paranormal element came courtesy of Peckerhead (David Littleton). For some weird reason, he turned into a weird-looking demonic creature every midnight, but only for 13 minutes. He’s been living in his van and ended up agreeing to drive ‘Duh’ to their performance venues.
I appreciated how the script allowed Peckerhead to be (somewhat of) a likable character. Peckerhead’s condition is something he can’t control. You will feel sorry for him even though he’s into brutally killing and eating people.
From what I could tell, the main narrative of Uncle Peckerhead was quite familiar to the ‘deal-with-the-devil’ classic. Such deals always come when a person’s desperate. ‘Duh’ needed a van to tour and so they said yes to Peckerhead’s help. Even when the band found out what Peckerhead actually was, all three still went along with everything because they wanted to succeed as a band. I knew their deal wasn’t going to end well. However, seeing Judy and the rest growing to trust Peckerhead added to this movie’s charm (helped greatly by how Littleton played Peckerhead).
The bulk of this film had me follow ‘Duh’ around as they performed at different venues and interacted with a variety of characters (including other band members). Kudos to Lawrence for taking the time to share the experiences of a struggling band. ‘Duh’ had to go through a lot of hardship to share their music with others.
Even though this is a horror-comedy with paranormal elements, the supernatural doesn’t completely take over. A lot of focus was given to the human characters and their struggles as artists. And I think that’s why this movie worked so well. Even if you took out the supernatural element (but kept Peckerhead’s volatile personality), you would still be left with an engrossing narrative.
So, if you’re in the mood for a fun and gore-filled flick, I recommend you watch Uncle Peckerhead. It’s showing in select theaters. It will be available for you to enjoy on VOD/Digital on August 11, 2020. The approximate running time is 96 minutes.
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Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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