Hamtragic review by The Grim Ringler

Hamtragic Aaron Trudgeon

Having grown up loving movies it was natural that my friends and I made a few of our own. I think most movie nerds tend to if they ever have the wherewithal. So, having made movies for a few years myself, I can appreciate and admire anyone who can even finish a film. Ours were no budget, no script, improve bastard-pieces that were more mess than anything else but we had fun and loved them. I admire Mr. Trudgeon and his friends for putting together and completing a film that, good or ill, is a feat in and of itself. Any time you are relying on friends, family, favors, and your own cash to put a film together, you are taking on the world in trying to get the film down and out there for people to see, so, before I review this film, CHEERS to Mr. Trudgeon and everyone involved in the making of his film. It takes a lot of heart to make movies, and when you are making them with your own friends and cash, it shows how dedicated you are.

An obscure and hidden South American tribe has been discovered by greedy drug-runners who have found that a certain rare plant the tribe worships has the ability to create a powerful high and has begun exporting this plant to the states. The tribe, angry that its old customs and ways have been discovered, curse the plant and call upon one of their demon gods to condemn whomever tries the drug to become addicted and lose sense of their own self and body. Flash to Hamtramck, Michigan, a small town that is about to become the focus of this demon curse. A local professor, having been a thorn in two ex-con students, is slipped some of the drug made from the plant and becomes instantly addicted. The addiction is the least of his worries as his psyche splinters and gives life to an evil alter ego, his own Hyde. This Hyde is a fiend for the drug and, at the behest of the demon, takes to the streets to find all of the drug in order to sate its unending hunger for it, and, if things are done correctly, to become a new being eventually. To get this drug the alter ego will stop at nothing, even murder, its addiction stronger than reason or morality. Fear spreads throughout the town as the curse and the alter egos terror spreads far and wide across it. But when a stranger that serves god becomes aware of this curse he makes it his mission to stop things before it is too late, unless it already is too late, and the demon, and his new servant have gotten the materials necessary to make the demonic transformation complete in the alter ego.

A fun, oft-times silly film, this is very well made for such a small production. Well directed, scored, and shot, this is one of those movies that has so much spirit and heart that you are willing to forgive the many bumps that private productions suffer. Some of the editing is sloppy, the acting goes from decent to Wha?, and there are a few scenes that could have been edited the musical number by the Polish Muslims doesnt really fit but nothing really kills the film. An intriguing story and game cast make this fun to watch and I applaud them for using stop motion for the finale, as not many bigger productions with large budgets will even attempt that. At fifty minutes it might be a tad long for the story, but it could easily be tightened up and made into a much more solid film.

This film shows a lot of heart, and a lot of promise, and as far as private films go, is pretty damned fun. Having made this sort of film and seen more than my fair share, they can be pretty bad. Hell, they can be very bad. And that this film succeeds in the main goal in being fun is what its all about. A decent movie that reminded me a lot say an early Peter Jackson sans the gore, this might be one to check out if you are interested in small, regional horror films.

Nice work Mr. Trudgeon.

(click the directors name to email him about this film)




5 out of 10 Jackasses
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