I attended the world premiere screening of the newest film from exploitation master Ryan Nicholson (Hanger, Gutterballs) entitled Star Vehicle. The movie follows movie-star driver Don Cardini (Dan Ellis) as he works on the set of a movie starring is favorite screamqueen Riversa Red (Sindy Feraguna). From the get-go we see Cardini as an obsessive fan with an incredible knowledge of horror movies and especially of his favorite actress Riversa Red. The movie plays the way you'd expect from a cheesy slasher flick, with Cardini attempting to hunt down the supposed stalker that Riversa Red has been dealing with, but the movie throws some fun curveballs that keeps the audience involved with the film and interested. Ellis gives a very fun and wacky performance as the lovable and psychotic Cardini, and he delivered plenty of incredible one-liners and puns that had everyone in the theater laughing their asses off. The rest of the cast plays there roles to the appropriate amount of camp that comes with a low-budget film like this, but overall I found that it greatly enhanced the film and made for some great comedy.
The movie because an incredible piece of meta-fiction when you have the cast of the film playing actors making an homage to campy horror films when the film itself is an homage to campy horror films. The movie's great in this way when you consider the stupendous scenes created by the in-movie director, with the actors delivering laughable performances and trying to make a serious film out of ridiculous situations; such as a hand nailed to a tree and the lead actor saying, "This must be a sign we aren't wanted in these woods". The movie succeeds at being a great homage to the ultra low-budget films of Tim Ritter or Troma, with some wacky special effects and a clear level of comedy. The special effects are entirely practical and to see a movie without ridiculous CG blood is a sign of relief. Its great to see a director like Ryan Nicholson working with his low budget and producing some really fun effects,including a delightful scene in which an insane would-be-rapist gets his pecker ripped off. Its moments like this that the audience goes into an uproar of repulsion and laughter, mixed emotions making a terrific combination of enjoyment.
Star Vehicle is a great film and I'm definitely happy that I'm one of the first twenty people to see it in the entire world. Ryan Nicholson is a great guy and an awesome director and I definitely recommend trying out some of his other work like Hanger if you can stomach it. This was definitely a great film and you should definitely check it out if you get the chance.
Overall Quality: 8/10