Jan 13, 2017

IMDb: American Scumbags (2016)
Director: Dakota Bailey
Stars: Dakota Bailey, Larry Bay, Vince Bee

Yet again ( like with My Master Satan) we are introduced to an interesting collective of characters, who each have their own story to tell within the intertwining plot. This time our focus is on the stories of Johnny (Dakota Bailey), Billy (Darien Fawkes), Chester (Fred Epstein),Wheelin’ Deals (L.B.), Lucifer (Nick Benning), Angel (Bianca Valentino), The Ex (Katy Katzar), The Boyfriend (Bill Chafer), Teddy (V.B.) and Chester’s victim(Laura Ray).

This time round Dakota Bailey showcases some awesome punk songs from the Welsh Punk band Pizzatramp. Using their songs Ciggy Butt Brain, Scumbag Boogie and Taxi Cunts Fuck Off, Bailey uses them to help gel the scenes of American Scumbags together. I checked out a few more tidbits about Pizzatramp and will say their style, spirit, and attitude is indicative of the punk world and its legion of fans.

The stories within American Scumbags that jump out at the viewer are the dynamic drug dealings of Chester (a lowly dealer with axes to grind allover his patch), Johnny (an addict and Chester’s hired gun for drugs in payment) and Lucifer (a jovial prankster, determined not to pay what he owes); the exploits of Billy (a violent man who is hellbent on punishing his ex), his Ex and her new Boyfriend; and lastly the tale of homeless veteran Wheelin’ Deals and his strange interactions with pedophile Teddy.

The standout performance for me was Darien Fawkes as Billy. He was such a natural on screen that I despised and was repulsed by some of his aggression and actions. This is a great indication of Fawkes natural prowess on screen and an ability to be immersed in his character.

Bailey as Johnny omits his usual deep voiced, fearful rogue as he does what he must to satisfy his lust for heroin. Chester was a fun character and you will either love or hate Epstein’s ability to switch from playful to ill tempered with such ease. Lucifer had me chuckling with one rather fecal scene, but well done to Nick Benning for bringing that air of jovial disruption to the scumbags demises.

Each character was grounded in their believable portrayals and we feel like we are watching a story of love gone sour, drug fueled mayhem and perversion at its prime.

Congratulations on improving the sound quality this time round , the majority of the film was so fluid and easy to hear. The shots again (yes even those involving urination) were all well thought out and yet again the less is best approach was well used to produce some of the best violence on screen.

I will say if Cannibal Holocaust’s infamous turtle scene leaves one squeamish , perhaps avoid the scene involving the road kill bunny – I was extremely relieved to read “No animals or people were harmed in the making of this film” as I was taken off guard by that scene myself.

Congratulations Dakota Bailey and your team, on a well developed film. I am still going to be watching what comes next .