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Fim Review - The Orphan Killer

The Orphan Killer poster

This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting some members of the Horror Family in person and it was divine. These days, it seems nearly impossible for horror lovers to not end up having a discussion about The Orphan Killer...


 Or rather, Matt Farnsworth and Diane Foster; the team behind the film. Farnsworth and Foster have managed to achieve a peculiar level of fame and infamy within the horror community; they have a legion of fans who fill your Twitter feed with #Matt Monday, #MurderMonday, #TOK, #babysister and more. These tweets are often accompanied by photos of Farnsworth and Foster. Initially, it started out innocent enough, but has grown into a daily onslaught of "nudie" pictures. These two, clearly, spend a lot of time working on their fitness and they take great pride in it. I've said it before and I will say it again: Diane Foster's bootie is ridiculously amazing. I hope she has it insured. When these two retweet positive things said about them, it is read as being ego centric, but their fans see it as them being interactive and real. I managed to view The Orphan Killer on iTunes long before they became a social media force to be reckoned with and  I enjoyed it; it's a little bit Grindhouse, a little bit 80's slasher and a lot of gore. So, as someone who had a fun time watching it, having lovely interactions with Farnsworth, Foster and The Orphan Killer himself, Marcus Miller in the past, I was fascinated to watch the love turn to hate. As their fame seemed to grow, they rolled with it and put out more and more photos. This gained them admiration and hatred in equal measure and  I have observed this with great amusement and curiosity. I am not exempt from being negative from time to time over, specifically, Diane's photos. As much as I truly believe that women should do whatever makes them feel good about themselves, I found it harder and harder to take her seriously the more I saw of her chachi. Don't get me wrong, I'm no prude but I also have a hard time remembering that my first introduction to her was as an actress and not just a pretty face and amazing bootie. After wanting to take a closer look at my lack of vitriol towards the TOK family, I decided to watch the film again and try to keep everything in mind, but also push it all out of memory at the same time. Make sense?

The film does that little trick of opening with the last few minutes of the movie and then cuts away to the title and heavy metal music. This sets up some nice anticipation, especially, seeing as how this movie prides itself on being banned in Germany. After Audrey Miller (Foster) is dropped off at St. Michael's Catholic school where she works and is the only one allowed to dress in fishnets, cha cha heels and a mini skirt, we are treated to the Orphan Killer's backstory. Marcus Miller and his sister were orphans; his sister was adopted, but he wasn't. This made little Marcus so mad that he decided killing people would soothe his rejected heart. Most of the children at the school believe this is nothing more than a local urban legend, but some believe that Marcus is Audrey's brother. As a child, Marcus commits a brutal murder on a fellow student. The nuns locked Marcus up in the attic and tortured him because he refused to repent for his sin and this is why Marcus has a real problem with religion. A seriously negative problem. At this point it might be a good idea to bring up the fact that this movie is not kind to the Christian religion. If this is something that you find offensive, it may be in your best interest to skip the movie all together.

Dressed like a regular ol' handyman in some blue Dickie's and a tie, Marcus walks around the church grounds killing people randomly to a heavy metal soundtrack.The tie kills me; it must be the Catholic school upbringing. Just like Michael Myers, he is compelled to wear a mask at all times; in fact, now that I just said that, his workman's clothes could just as easily be the blue coveralls that Michael wears. But with a tie.  Marcus begins locking the church down so no one, especially his sister, can escape. With an obvious penchant for barbed wire, this is what he uses to lock all of the doors, kill people, tie them up and adorn their heads. Truly, he has many uses for barbed wire.

As Marcus chases his sister around, she proves to be a formidable opponent and continually manages to escape. Of course, where would be the fun if he didn't eventually capture her? While Audrey is passed out, Marcus strips her to her skivvies and gives her a crown of thorns (barbed wire) and starts spouting a bunch of blasphemous malarky. Audrey's torture scene goes on a wee bit long, but Foster does a good job of looking and sounding, believably, in pain. Her very special moment wile escaping some barbed wire is pretty gross and cringe worthy. Towards the very end of the movie, it seems that Foster's physique is really being showcased, but I'm mostly O.K. with that because at least she exercises. On the other hand, perhaps more time could have been devoted to story rather than gym membership. Aah, but story isn't really the strong suit in this movie. The backstory is basic and what we have here is a cut and dry killer chases girl down story, but the same can be said for most slasher movies. So, why all of the negativity towards this one?

Overall, The Orphan Killer is a decent movie. The acting could be better, but the gore is well done and this is, unfortunately, a normal trade off in a lot of horror films. I appreciate that they had a clear idea, direction and specific aesthetic for their movie. It's not the best movie I've ever seen, but it's far from the worst as well. This is the kind of movie that I classify as "fun". Much like The Transporter franchise or, well, most Jason Statham movies, it's not going to win an Oscar, but if you check your cool at the door, it's a good time. As they say on reality television, "it is what it is". I can't help but wonder if there would be more love and less ill will towards the movie if we simply heard a lot less from the team behind it.

Lisa Fremont @lcfremont

Poster from IMDB

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