Movie Reviews 85 – Quad Pack: Bruiser (2000)

Continuing the review of the horror quad pack

Bruiser (2000)

BruiserGeorge Romero is king when it comes to zombies (and deservedly so) but his non zombie fare has always been a bit more lackluster. Bruiser falls into this category easily. It’s one of those head scratchers where I get the sense he was trying to pack in a lot of subtle and not so subtle messages to the viewing audience, but for the life of my I can’t quite figure out what. Case in point: the protagonist of the movie has a permanent ‘mask’ stuck on his face for most of the movie.

Weirdness aside, its a story about a man whose wife, boss, hired help and friend are all screwing him over in one way or another until the shit hits the fan and his life crumbles around him. After wearing a real solid white mask for a few minutes at a party he wakes up the next day to find a facsimile of that mask stuck on his face and now a permanent a part of him. He then takes charge of things and with determination not only sets out to correct the wrong in his own life but that of the woman he really loves, his boss’ wife. This is easier than it sounds since his boss is sleeping with his wife and the boss’ wife knows all this, but she too lacks the conviction to put up a fuss or walk out.

I think the biggest problem I had with the film was the silly mask itself and I think it could have been played out much better as a ‘straight up’ story without this one mystical or magical entity. And just to be clear, I don’t think that this was all in his mind or anything, as other parts of the movie would not make sense if that was the case.

The acting is top notch with the exception of one actress (lets just call her #9) who is terrible and sticks out like a sore thumb. Some people may like seeing Tom Atkins as a cop in this movie, although I confess I am not a fan of his and his small part here did nothing to change my opinion.

Certainly above most B movie fare but this is not really a B movie and certainly not something I would expect from Romero. But if you want to try something really different and are in the right mood, this may work for you.

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