The Whistler

Dir: Kenyon Grey
Star: John Dobradenka, Cathy Rankin, Vladimir Wallace, Derek LaKeith Martin

After dying, along with his girlfriend, at the hands of visiting drug-dealer Jermon Walker (Wallace) and his gang, a rural lumberjack (Martin) apparently rises from the grave as The Whistler, seeking vengeance on those responsible. This causes no end of problems for Detective Rico (Dobradenka), who has to cope with the mess, an ongoing divorce - his wife (Rankin) is also the forensic examiner in the case - and his relationship to Walker, which is too close for comfort. It's an interesting concept, though the story doesn't use all of the potential inherent in the idea [initially, I thought Rico might be the vengeful killer, but that idea is removed early enough that it doesn't count as much of a spoiler]. On the other hand, Rico has a nice line in sardonic dialogue, that makes him a more sympathetic character than you'd expect, and Martin's lumberjack is a sizeable presence, alive or dead.

Technically, it's low-budget, but solid enough, though some of the gore is pretty basic - the severed heads are notably bad, and the stump left from a lopped-off hand, similarly, will fool no-one. Points are also deducted for phenomenally-long end credits, running 13 minutes: they must have been inspired by Full Moon, since the actual film is barely an hour long. And it would perhaps have been better to make the final confrontation between The Whistler and Walker, though this would have sidelined Rico, who is the main character. However, it's cool to recognise local locations and, while this does not exactly push any boundaries in script or execution, it kept us entertained. Two more films are planned; despite an ending that doesn't seem quite to fit the rest of the film. I'm curious to see how thus would pan out, given the events here.

July 2006

Whistle a (Not-so)Happy Tune
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