Night of the Something Strange (2016) [FrightFest 2016]

night-of-the-something-strangeA group of friends hell-bent on going to the beach for spring break embark on a road trip during which they stop at a small town cheap motel.  As they arrive, an STD-like disease is ripping through town. Directed by Jonathan Straiton who wrote the story it’s based on and co-wrote the script with Ron Bonk and Mean Gene.  The story they create is completely dependent on gross out sex jokes and monster rape.  The film still manages to keep things fairly lighthearted as things are approached in a way that works for its subject matter.

Of course, rape is one of the most distasteful subject to joke about and exploit for a laugh but they do it by way of monster which doesn’t fix things but is at least not human on human (for most cases).  They create a truly weird, outrageous story that is not for everyone.  They put so much effort in being as offensive as can be that the actual humor, which is not bad, suffers.  Some of the jokes do work while others are more groan-inducing.  The ration of these varies based on each viewer’s sense of humor and tolerance levels.

The cast of Night of the Something Strange does decently considering the material.  The best “monster” actor here is Wayne W. Johnson as Cornelius.  He throws all his being into the part and gives a performance that adds a good physicality to his monster.  He makes him imposing and threatening.  Playing the lead girl, Rebecca C. Kasek plays Christine and does well being fairly innocent and inoffensive in all the mayhem.  As the “hero,” Dirk, Trey Harrison starts off as a dislikable character and through the film becomes a better person.  His arc is the most interesting and Harrison gives a good performance with the material given.

Lastly, but definitely not least in a way, Michael Merchant plays his sex obsessed character of Freddy in such a despicable way, he manages to make the skin crawl more than the monsters. Creating what could be considered a good part of the characters are the special effects for the monsters and the other effects all by Colby Flinchum.  These are well made and look appropriately gross.  The monsterized people look still somewhat human but their skin grows boils and pustules adding even more ick factor to the whole thing.  The monster design is complete with huge tentacles/tongues/dick things that attack and look a bit, or a lot, ridiculous which works for the film.

Night of the Something Strange is a fairly dumb movie with juvenile humor, gross out elements, decent effect work, and is completely over the top.  It’s definitely a midnight movie type of film; it’s bizarre, low-brow, and entertaining against all odds. Even with its issues, all should find something entertaining in its run time even if it’s just the effects or the hilarious song on the end credits.  The humor with its rape jokes and a few homophobic ones will work for some but this reviewer found very little of this film funny besides the aforementioned song.