Director: Steve Cuden
Year: 2002
TRT: 1:23

Reviewed: 8/22/04

What starts out as an innocuous-enough kind of drunken philosophizing gets disturbed pretty quick. I don't mean that in a general, "bark at the moon" kinda disturbed (which he actually does, in a way, later on), but in a sexually depraved serial-killer kind of way. It's a last resort in a weird overlapping of reality and fantasy that brings Mudd to this particular point in time.

Millard Mudd (Michael Emanuel) is doomed, not just because of his name, but because of his writer's block and raging alcoholism. Don't kid yourself, writing cartoons is a full-time job, and pretty tough to boot. Mudd is mired (sorry) in his own slowly sinking misery. The only motivation he finds is through tending to a wounded dog he accidentally hits on the way home from the beer store. But then he discovers Lucky's uncanny ability to communicate with him telepathically. Unfortunately for Mudd, the little bastard is a bigger nightmare than the worst mother-in-law, driving Mudd to not only write, but write better. Soon he's actually successful, and even gets a girlfriend he thought absolutely unobtainable; but Lucky is always there, putting him through the shit. And making him do things he really doesn't want to do.

Shot on the cheap (on DV in like 9 days), it's still pretty well photographed and lit in most cases. The writing isn't bad, either, though a pretty constant flow of voice-over (and dog-over?) can get a bit too much at times. But this is definitely not a movie for the casual viewer. Any movie that contains an evil, slave-driving telepathic dog and necrophelia ain't exactly your standard fare. Damn, I can't believe I just wrote that. If you're looking for some subversive horror not produced by Troma or somewhere in Japan, this is it. Pretty disturbed and disturbingly funny, it's decent independent horror, actually, with Michael Emanuel doing a good job as Mudd.

Great Scene: There's some pretty fucked up shit goin on here, but the whole nonchalant conversation between Mudd and Misty on how he's going to treat her is, well, fucked up. In a charming kind of way.

Media Notes: Nicely produced DVD by MTI, the highlight being a commentary by director Steve Cuden to explain the insanity after the fact. He kind of sounds like Martin Scorcese on crack with the way he whips through the technical details of this low budget film. Also included is a somewhat sketchy cast & crew bio, the trailer, and trailers for some fine b-grade flicks put out by MTI.


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