It’s a difficult task to make a dark comedy, let alone a horror-comedy movie, because there are so many different factors that are suddenly on the table then if it were simply a “comedy” movie or simply a “horror” movie.
Chop handles some of these things well, but I can’t help but feel like it doesn’t fully reach the potential that it could get to. I don’t think I would call Chop an entirely original movie either. It utilizes various tropes and genre gags that we’re all familiar with in terms of these types of stories and some of them are actually done quite well, some not so much. But it’s not a satire or parody of these types of movies either, while it does work well within it’s own story, it still depends on ideas that came long before it.
Chop is what you would get if you took a person that was half asleep and made them watch Saw, let them fall asleep, and then woke them up in the middle of the night and asked them to recite it. Well, not exactly, but kind of. It’s about a guy Lance who did something wrong to this stranger in the past, and for that he’s slowly losing his appendages.
This flick starts slow. It took me about 20 minutes to get interested in what was happening, and by that time there was only an hour left in the movie. The pacing after that is quite stellar though. The movie doesn’t feel short at any time and is very engaging once we get into the second act.
Billy Bakshi does a pretty great job as Lance. The twitchy and bumbling nature that he brings to the character works great. Timothy Muskatell delivers an equally as interesting performance as “the stranger.” He’s pretty empathetic for a character with questionable motives, and I think a lot of that has to do with the way he carries himself in these truly bizarre situations. Every character in the movie, save maybe two, are all pretty great. All of them are unique and act in different ways that truly accent them as a “cast” and not a line up of similar thinking/acting people that we see all too often in low budget movies.
The major flaw with this movie though is how it can’t decide if it’s a serious movie or a comedy. Sure, good comedies can have serious moments in them, but when entire sections of the film jump from genre to genre with seemingly no point of connection between them, things get a little confusing. Having said that some of the dramatic sequences were done really well, and the funny parts were very funny, but the lack of cohesion between the two made them stand out as the polar opposites that they are.
The special effects in this flick don’t ever get to the level that gorehounds want it at. There’s a few good gags that will get you cheering but enough of them happen off screen that it’ll make you groan. The main draw back to the effects were the kind of sloppiness applied to one of them in particular, it kind of ruins the effect of the main character having his fingers cut off if we can see the indentions of his fingers under the bandages on his hands.
I liked Chop, which may come as a surprise. It had an interesting idea that it executed well enough, it had a handful of jokes that were pretty funny, and the special effects gags were cool. It’s plagued with a few problems though, like being unable to decide what kind of a movie it is, what kind of humor it wants to do, and by having one of the least satisfying endings I’ve seen in a while. Not a bad flick really, just not great either.
Rating: 7 out of 10