Director: Suri Krishnamma
Screenplay: Frank John Hughes
Starring: Michael Cudlitz, Melanie Griffith, Pruitt Taylor Vince
Producer: Suzanne Delaurentiis
Country: United States
Running Time: 83 min
BBFC Certificate: 18
Dark Tourist follows grief hunter Jim (Michael Cudlitz) on a sick and twisted journey accompanied by his troubled imaginary nut job friend Carl Marznap (Pruitt Taylor Vince) meeting long suffering waitress Betsy (Melanie Griffith) on the way. Jim decides to go on holiday but not a normal holiday to Ibiza, he likes weird stuff and enjoys “Grief Tourism”, he likes to visit places filled with great sadness and misery, so actually, yes, a bit like a holiday in Ibiza.
Jim sets off on his road trip to oblivion and books in a motel room with a hooker next door, great choice, he goes on to visit the crimes reformatory where his subject of investigation, Carl was incarcerated. Jim reads up on Carl’s past, discovering on arrival at the reformatory the older boys knocked Carl’s teeth out so he couldn’t bite when he’s forced to blow them. Jim next visit Carl’s house where Carl burnt and hammered his parents to death. Carl took revenge on his parents as his father, a man of god, tortured him, tied him to his bed, beat him viciously with a razor strap and burnt his genitals with cigars and candles. Jim heads over to visit the local church where he finds out Carl burnt the congregation alive, because his father was an elder in the church. Carl is racked off with the jolly church goers because they knew what his father did to him and no one helped him, so they must die. He meets waitress Betsy and develops a relationship, but it doesn’t work out, so he goes to check out the hooker next door, can this get any more depraved, I do hope so.
Cancel that wish, it does, and I’m left scarred. Jim’s decline into a depravity escalates as he discovers the hooker next door is packing more than he bargained for in her panties, with eye watering consequences. Intermingled with flashbacks to a brutal childhood rape and Jim’s supermarket meltdown we are well on the way over the vertiginous abyss, Jim turns on the one person who wants to help, Betsy. Jim has totally melted down and returns to wreak revenge on the trans-prosy; he goes mad bursting in and pummelling the prostitutes face to a liquid squelching pulp. Jim dumps her in his car and takes her to Marznap’s house, finishing her off, strangling her to death, whispering “this is what it’s like to be a victim”. His imaginary friend Carl travels with Jim on his final journey before Jim cuts his own throat.
The film ends with a young man collecting the door sign from Jim’s room and taking pictures of his apartment, another grief tourist is now following Jim’s trail of butchery, on the wall is the message “From this void, no one returns!”
Dark Tourist is filmed in New Orleans, Louisiana; Los Angeles, California, it is unpleasant and brutal but a welcome non-nonsense hard hitting movie without pretentious mastication. Acted to a high standard with well shot camerawork this is a film for the dark connoisseur, there are not many laughs here, in fact there aren’t any from start to finish, it’s a tour de violence of sickening proportions and I loved it.
Review by Billious De-Ath
Dark Tourist is released on 27th October in the UK on dual format Blu-Ray & DVD, released by Monster Pictures in the UK. I watched the DVD version and it looks and sounds excellent. The DVD includes the trailer for Dark Tourist plus six more trailers for Monster Pictures flicks of equally deranged subject matter and quality.