One of the many great things about being able to call Wade Radford a friend is the privilege of getting to see his work ahead of time and whetting people’s appetites for its release. Though he’s been a guest on The Supernaughts, The Imaginarium, as well as a co-host on Bitches of Oz and Jailbait, I’m not afraid to say if I don’t like something. Fortunately, I’ve only had to say that about one film, as everything else I’ve more or less enjoyed.
Necrophiliac: The Lustful Dead is no exception. Here, Radford-under the nom de plume Dylan Jake-Price eschews the prison drama he’s become known for and dips his toe into the horror genre. Well, more like makes a huge splash than a toe dip, as Dead is unlike anything he’s done before. In fact, it’s unlike anything most have done.
Dead starts off in a wooded area with director Jason Impey playing the part of the filmmaker meeting up with Haydn Reef, a necrophiliac that he’s met online. Right away we see that Haydn isn’t a man you want to mess with. He’s arrogant, vain, and fairly unlikeable, though there’s a rakish charm to it all, and you wonder if perhaps he’s putting on an act. Once they reach Haydn’s car, we’re taken on a little ride to his house, and we get to learn a bit more about him on the way there.
Once the duo arrive, we realize that his bravado and arrogance isn’t an act, this is his true self, and we get to see a wtf did I get myself into look from the filmmaker. The next 25 minutes or so is spent in Haydn’s living room, with shots switching between a camera and a go pro to break things up a bit.
In lesser hands such a long scene of two men talking could spell a dead spot of boredom, but the dialogue (improvised once again) is so witty, and at times laugh out loud funny, that it goes by very quickly. Perhaps two of my favorite bits is when Haydn talks about the different types of necrophiliacs, the various levels of composition of a body and which ones are worth fucking. There’s a great bit about bestiality and Haydn’s reaction to it is priceless.
Haydn bored with all the talk, tells the filmmaker to go upstairs, and when he does, he finds a corpse laid out in Haydn’s bed. Thus begins the second half of the 63 minute film, and really to say anything about it would be giving away way too much. Suffice it to say, that Radford goes places even I never thought he would. You’ll grimace, groan, perhaps look away, but you certainly won’t be bored.
Necrophiliac: The Lustful Dead isn’t perfect. The bedroom scene is just a bit too dark, and the parts filmed with the go pro give the film an almost fish eye look. The rest of the film is so strong however, that these can easily be overlooked. Dead is, if you haven’t guessed, filmed in a mockumentary style much like their previous film Twink. While it tries to hit the benchmark that Twink achieved, it falls just short, though to be fair, there’s very few indie movies that would hit that high watermark.
Radford once again displays the boyish charm that seems to infuse all of his characters, whether it’s Darrell from the Boys Behind Bars series, Kayden from Twink (and there is a reference to Twink in the movie!), or even Ethan from Sex, Lies, and Depravity. This serves him well as Haydn is easily Radford’s most unlikeable role to date, and the fact he still manages to keep us watching is a testament to his acting and improvisational skills.
Jason Impey as the filmmaker is not only sharp behind the camera, he shows off his own acting chops here, and some of his reactions are absolutely brilliant. It’s time we see more of him in front of the camera as well.
The Lustful Dead isn’t for everyone. There’s an abundance of profanity, pervasive talk of necrophilia, and nudity, but for its intended audience, Lustful Dead is well worth not only getting, but it will also stick in your mind long after it’s over.