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The first great date movie of the year screened at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival this Sunday with the Canadian Premiere of Septic Man. Directed by Jesse T. Cook (Monster’s Brawl) and penned by Tony Burgess (Pontypool), Septic Man goes for the throat in hopes of initiating the gag reflex.
It all takes place in Collingwood where we quickly learn that something in the water is killing the local townsfolk. Luckily – for us, not him – a sewage worker by the name of Jack (Jason David Brown) is on the job! Willing to take his job to places where even Andy Dufresne wouldn’t dare to go, Jack enters the sewage septic tank go get the bottom of the town’s problems. But while Jack is down murking in the human excrement and other bodily waste fluids that has filled the tank he becomes trapped in the grossest of gross places and must travel through the darkened tunnels that turn John into a hideous being (human waste + toxic waste = Jack Waste) that makes the Toxic Avenger look like Brad Pitt in comparison.
Throwing your lead character down a tunnel of shit and vomit is a sure way to get an audience’s attention. And director Jesse T. Cook lays it on thicker than pot roast and laxative orgy party. Verbal “Ewws” and even a few gags could be heard in the audience as our hero Jack survey’s his domain and fights hallucinations brought on by the septic environment. Septic Man was not meant or made for the weak stomached. Jack’s venture into the underground world where body parts flow along rivers of feces doesn’t make for easy viewing. But that is also part of the film’s charm. From the opening scene of a woman experiencing difficulties with her bodily functions from both ends to the film’s climax, audiences will likely be looking for the nearest shower at the conclusion of their screening.
On a whole, we were impressed with the effort of the cast and crew (a cast that included Pontypool’s Stephen McHattie) on this Canadian feature. For a subject matter and setting that is, well…unsettling, the movie rises above the potty jokes and is actually a grotesque fun watch that is worth of our recommendation.
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