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Heckle Main

Heckle Movie Review

Written by Joanna K. Neilson

Released by Voodoo Media Group


Directed by Martyn Pick
Written by Airell Anthony Hayles
2020, 81 minutes, Not Yet Rated
Frightfest World Premiere on 22nd October 2020

Clark Gable III as Heckler
Steve Guttenberg as Ray Kelly
Guy Combes as Joe Johnson
Madison Clare as Evelyn


So, a rather hateable British comedian with no redeeming qualities whatsoever is heckled at the very end of his latest gig. The heckle unnerves him enough that the rest of his night is somewhat ruined. But he has big dreams of starring in a biopic about one of his now dead comedy heroes, and no one - not even an increasingly murderous stalker - is going to stop him from getting that role. And also he has a kid (perhaps to make him sympathetic, somehow) and a bunch of one-note media ‘friends’, who invite him to a conveniently mobile-phone free 1980s party on Halloween. Of course, the party won’t end well. Luckily, every single one of his friends is a vapid waste of space.

Naturally, the killings can’t start fast enough.

heckle 01

I think Heckle is trying to be ironic. I REALLY think that was the intention here. It’s kind of reaching for that low-budget (and it definitely has that) badly-lit shocker vibe from old VHS video-nasties. The real irony being, almost any of those schlockers has more integrity and ambition than this sorry mess. This is lacking even Garth Marenghi levels of self-awareness. There’s no point in hiding behind supposed irony and ‘they’re meant to be hateable’ characters if the whole thing is an eye-piercing bore to watch. What is the point? What is Steve Guttenberg even doing in this?

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Its ambition doesn’t even reach as far as The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue or the murky nihilism of The Driller Killer. There’s no energy here, no style or panache; every character is utterly charmless, which is another trope that only works if handled with some intelligence. Instead, yes, please kill them all even faster.

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I suppose if the comedian had been more likeable - certainly not a perfect human being, but perhaps someone actually worth watching who could carry this mess - then some of it could have been really fun. But, no, just - no. This is such a bitter little film, so joyless, so without style or charm, that how it even made it past an initial script is a complete mystery.

Half-arsed dreck attempting to pass itself off as a ‘proper’ movie, with painful delusions of self-awareness.


Movie: 1 Star Rating Cover
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