Dear God No’s tagline is ‘When the blood begins to flow, who will be left to SCREAM’. Perhaps more accurate would be: ‘When the film begins to play, who will watch it that won’t want to scream out: “How SHIT is this?”’
Outlaw motorcycle gang The Impalers’ tri state rape and murder spree ends with a bloody massacre with rival club, Satan’s Own. The surviving members seek refuge at a secluded cabin in the woods where they think they’re in for some rest and recuperation, tormenting an eccentric professor who lives there, raping his shy daughter and drinking the prof’s beer. However, things don’t go according to plan when they find a crazy witch in the basement and a local yeti comes a calling.
Now on paper this sounds like a really cool idea for an exploitation film, the sort independent filmmakers from across the States and Canada used to do so well in the seventies and early eighties and, I have to admit, I was looking forward to checking it out, being a fan of that kind of film myself.
Obviously the guys behind Dear God No! intended to pay tribute to these regional lost films from yesteryear where the filmmakers had little money so had to stand out from the crowd by putting things in their movies that punters couldn’t see anywhere else such as gratuitous sex and violence and way-out-there characters.
To be fair on James Bickert and his crew they obviously have lots of enthusiasm for this style of filmmaking and have stuck to their guns and shot their film on 16mm film, avoided CGI, wherever possible, and tried to perform all their effects work in-camera, the old fashioned way, and this does lend the film a bit more grit than most low budget horrors and exploitationers around today. But they failed their intended audience, if my reaction is anything to go by, and created a dud that doesn’t really work on any level, and I say that with no malice, only as a would-be fan coming to terms with his disappointment.
The first critical thing that’s wrong with this film is the sound – it’s bloody awful. Most of the time you can hardly hear what characters say and when you do hear, the second major thing that’s wrong with the film – namely the script – makes you wish you hadn’t heard it! The script is all over the place and provides us with no one we can really empathise with, as the script doesn’t really let us get to know the professor, his daughter and their two guests much at all before the bikers show up. And none of the bikers have any redeeming features so we don’t really give a monkey’s uncle about any of them either.
One of the film’s problems is that it tries too hard to shock its audience to the point where this viewer, at least, just wasn’t amused any more. For example, at the cabin two of the bikers decide to rape one of the professor’s guests, who happens to be pregnant and then, when they’re done, they stab her in the chest, rip her open and pull the foetus out. Admittedly, this is all done rather badly, but it’s still pretty disturbing and I do wonder if this can ever be termed as entertainment. In fact rape seems to be a major theme in this movie, which itself starts off with the aftermath of a biker party where they’ve been raping and killing some nuns – mainly for shock value me thinks. In fact one of the most shocking scenes in the film has the professor’s daughter being forced, by her own mother, to go down on her, before our heroine turns the tables on her crazy semi-possessed mum and stabs her mother with a broken bottle. Lovely!
Dear God No! is probably at it’s best when it’s being unintentionally funny. Early on at a titty bar there are shots that go on and on and on of women wearing masks shaking their half–naked booties, which I think were meant to be titillating, but just turned out to be boring in an amusing sort of way. There are also some gratuitous slow motion shots later in the film, which were rather amusing too as they were totally out of context.
On the plus side there are some amusing lines in the script, a decent rock soundtrack, some good shots of bikers on the road (although generally speaking the camera work is poor), quite a bit of female nudity (always a plus) and a pretty decent yeti monster, which adds a bit of much needed fun to the flick. I also liked the fact that the production company behind the film is called ‘Itchy Beaver Productions’, there’s a porno magazine on display called ‘Gash’ and a line producer in the credits is called Vincent Dawn – I bet that’s not his real name!
The latter point reminds me that there are also a lot of references to other exploitation films and video nasties throughout the film’s running time, in particular to Cannibal Apocalypse, Cannibal Holocaust, Night of the Demon and The Anthropophagous Beast, which indicates that the makers of the film are fans of the genre, but sadly just being a fan isn’t always enough and in Dear God No’s case I think it should be ‘Dear God, enough already’!
Monster Pictures have just released Dear God No! on DVD. The DVD set has quite a lot of extras including a full colour booklet and an audio commentary. On disc two there’s the Grindhouse cut of the film, which I couldn’t be bothered to watch although, from what I did see, it seemed to have more scratches in the print this time round. There’s a trailer, which is very H.G. Lewis in tone and also has bad sound quality, a ‘making of gag reel’, which is more fun to watch than the film itself, a poster and slideshow, which makes you realise how much better the poster is than the film, a ‘zombie parody’ trailer, which is made redundant by the poor quality sound, a ‘torture porn parody’ trailer, which is actually quite clever and some footage from the world premiere where, rather surprisingly the film received a standing ovation – no accounting for taste then! And there’s also an animated short called Blarrg, which culminates in a guy dressed as a yeti being raped by two ‘real’ yetis – just don’t ask! Oh, and finally there’s a teaser trailer for the sequel to Dear God No! called Frankenstein Created Bikers – Oh God, No!
Reviewer: Justin Richards