“Mr. Bricks: A Heavy Metal Murder Musical”
Movie #21: 31-Days of Horror Challenge 2017
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Mr. Bricks wakes in an empty warehouse with a bullet in his head, all he can remember is his love, Scarlet, and all he can think about is finding her again. Officer Scarlet Morretti, rescued by her not entirely stable partner, Dukes, is struggling to deal with not only the rape and abuses during her imprisonment by Mr. Bricks, but the consequences.
This Troma film is so not for everyone. Despite the weaknesses of this film, and there were many, I thought it was quite effective and original. Co-written by Lauren Miller and Travis Campbell, and directed by Campbell, this movie deeply reflects upon rape, obsession, and murder, through heavy metal music. Both the twisted, obsessive perspective rapist and the horrified, helpless frustration of the victim are explored in such a way that isn’t softened for the viewer, nor does it take away from the strength of the character, Scarlet, even though she is the victim of the piece. The tone is set quickly with a song questioning “What is a victim?” As the story unfolds, much is revealed about Scarlet’s relationships with the other men in her life, her father and her partner, Dukes.
The male lead, Tim Dax, not only has a large physical presence, but a believable intensity, and does a solid job of carrying the vocals, as Mr. Bricks. The female lead, Nicola Fiore, as Scarlet, gives an even more intense performance which is consistently suspenseful throughout the film. Unfortunately, her vocals are not quite what the viewer would hope for in a musical, which doesn’t really bother me, because you don’t necessarily need to be a good singer in order to make your point through song. At least not until the end, during the duet with Dax, where it was glaring. Then there is Officer Carmine Dukes, Vito Trigo, Scarlet’s morally ambiguous partner, who crosses both personal and professional boundaries.
This movie offers a lot, if the viewer can overcome its weaknesses. The most obvious being that the film could desperately have used a steadicam, the hand held camera was constantly shaking in a way that motion sickness, if not a freaking seizure, is a real possibility.