STRAWBERRY FLAVORED PLASTIC *** USA 2018 Dir: Colin Bemis 107 mins
Documentary film makers Ellis and Errol are making a movie about the life of a killer. Their subject is Noel Rose, a well spoken, intelligent, charismatic man who happily divulges everything about his ‘unscratchable itch’ as he calls it. Initially believing that Noel had done time in prison for a crime of passion the film makers discover, early on, that Noel has never been caught and is still murdering people on a regular basis whilst still maintaining a ‘normal’ exterior, even holding down a job.
This could change things drastically for Errol and Ellis as they could now be made accessories to Noels crimes in the process, this does not seem to phase them at first though as they provide Noel with cameras to record all of his activities which he gladly sends them. As his story unfolds Noel discovers he has a daughter that his ex had not told him about and now wants him to be a part of her life, this puts the documentary in jeopardy as Noel decides to reevaluate his life. All that and the seriousness of their situation begs the question will this film ever see the light of day??!! With a running time of nearly 2 hours this is a very dialogue heavy, slow burn, horror/crime feature, not to say it is a slog to get through but it is short on action. The acting is really great and the use of Skype, body cams, video diaries, mobile phone footage plus behind the scenes editing and the all important interviews of Noel were very effective and keep your attention focused through out. Character wise the cast is small but proficient. Our serial killer Noel Rose played by Aidan Bristow (Bones/Criminal Minds) is superb in the role of a complex and emotional individual, though I found him a lot more sinister when he was being ‘ normal’. He did have some great lines; from calm observations on what he is “I am a product. I am a result. I am change” to “stifle your screaming sugar tits” and (possibly the greatest line I’ve heard this year) “she smells like squirrels fucking” during one particularly uncomfortable outburst in a restaurant. Errol (Nicholas Urda) and Ellis (Andres Montejo) are also interesting characters but do make some very questionable decisions between them. Although some scenes are pretty creepy and threatening, for a serial killer you don’t really see him do much killing and it gets less bloody as the movie goes on which did leave me with mixed emotions by the end. On one hand I enjoyed the intensity in the acting and the way it was shot but felt let down by lack of action and graphic detail which could’ve been rectified easily if they had cut down on some of the dialogue. It was a great concept but at times was also a bit confusing and I did find myself loosing enthusiasm for it. It was not something I would normally watch but I did quite like it and thought it was a good effort.
Review by Sarah Budd