Film Review: FANGBONER (2015)

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 3.05.54 PMNathan Rumler brings the comedy to the underground horror and gore scene with his film Fangboner, a movie about sex, sucking, and banana smoothies.

Fangboner, which stars Brian Papandrea and Emily Hilborn as Dick and Suzy, is about a couple of 20-somethings who find themselves infected with an odd, unknown virus that causes them to crave blood – specifically the kind that they find has to be sucked directly from their victim’s nether-regions. Despite constantly feeding on their murdered victims, the pair find themselves become dumber and dumber as time wears on, to the point that they can barely function or even remember their own names.

Both leads are great, specifically Papandrea who is fantastic in his role as (the aptly named) Dick. Some of the faces he makes, especially the look he has as his brain seems to shut down, are some of the best laugh-out-loud moments in the film. Hilborn’s Suzy plays the perfect counter-part to Dick, and the two have a great on-screen chemistry. Michael Soave as the narcoleptic, Jewish drug dealer and Sadie Tate (who is Papandrea’s real-life fiancé) as the religious hooker are also two stand-out performances in small roles that are both equal parts offensive and hilarious.

What’s great about Fangboner is that in a sea of underground horror films that are trying to shock, awe, sicken, or otherwise disturb its viewers in a sea of practical FX, Rumler takes an entire premise that seems absurd, and makes it works better than almost any film being squeezed out of the independent scene today. It’s hard to make a comedy, even with horror elements, that can appeal to a mass of gore-hounds, but Rumler seems to have done precisely that. With some great prosthetics and blood-gags by James Bell (director of Dog Dick, Tantrum) and Marcus Koch (We Are Still Here, American Guinea Pig: BloodshockFangboner‘s use of dick jokes is made disturbing (ouch!), but a perfect amount of comedy gold.

With so many “disturbing” body horror and gore films coming out of the underground, it’s refreshing to see a different take with Fangboner, a movie that has no problem fitting in elements of gore, sci-fi, softcore porn(!!) and, of course, comedy. This is not Nathan Rumler’s first time working on a feature film, but it is his first time as a director and writer. I’m anxious to see what he comes out with next.