The Orange Man
Stephen Folker, Steven M. Campbell (executive), Janie Williamson (executive) for Stephen Folker Films
directed by Stephen Folker
starring Ben Rollins, Dave Juehring, Jim Plovanich, Thomas Ely Sage, Glenn Harston, Trena Penson, Robert Kemp, Susan Wynne Lunning, Michael Banks, Sue Cook, Jim Brockhohn, Jim Nieciecki, Elle Winchester, Steve Couch
written by Stephen Folker, special effects by Kathi King, McKennah Scott
In the 1980s, Peter Walkins (Ben Rollins) sold self-grown oranges
door-to-door ... but then he got muscled out of business, something he was
(understandably) less than happy about, so he traded his hand for a hook
and went around slaughtering his former customers in orange-related ways -
and then he downright disappeared ...
But that of course was long ago,
this day and age knows other worries, like banker Gerald (Dave Juehring)
getting handed the divorce papers from his greedy wife Deborah (Trena
Penson) - which finally make his worst fears official, that he's cheated
on him numerous times with every handiman in town. So naturally, a trip to
the country with his best mates (Jim Plovanich, Thomas Ely Sage, Glenn
Harston) comes in as a welcome distraction, especially since all of them
are single and act as if they've never left puberty behind - but now
they're allowed to drink ...
The weekend is somewhat marred when Gerald
and company find out Deborah and her new lover (Robert Kemp) are camping
nearby - but they come up with numerous schemes to feel them unwelcome -
first and foremost a literal piss-bomb.
Thing is, Peter Walkins, the
orange man from yesteryear, is still around, and he has just recently come
out of retirement to kill people - and mind you, he doesn't mind which
camp his victims come from, the pro-Gerald or pro-Deborah one ... he kills
them all with equal glee ...
Now I won't denie, the synopsis of
this movie might sound just like your typical slasher, and I readily
admit, the key elements are all in place ... but The Orange Man just
refuses to play like one (despite great suspense moments, scares and
creative killings) but spends much more time on its characters, who are
all in or past their midlife crisis (quite in contrast to the typical
slasher personnel), and who have some colourful backstories of their own.
And to be sure, while this is not an all-out comedy, there are about as
many pissing-jokes as there are bloodlettings. None of this grants a good
movie by itself of course, but the screenplay that ties everything
together most certainly does, it's really lively, character-driven, and
while it knows its plotpoints and when to check them, it also knows how to
play with them. And a competent cast and subtle directorial effort make up
for a pretty decent genre movie!