Monday, 4 November 2013

Review - Jug Face (2013 - Dir. Chad Crawford Kinkle)

I was hoping that Jug Face would be about someone who has clay-like skin, a handle sticking out the back of their head and their mouth filled with gravy. It's not.

Ada (Lauren Ashley Carter) lives in a small community of shine drinking hillbillies. They worship a pit and regularly give it sacrifices. To find out who the next sacrifice is, the village potter receives a message from the pit and knocks up a jug (and here comes the reason for the title) with the face of the person to be next for the chop. I'd just slip him a tenner and a couple of raccoon hides to keep my face off any jugs. Ada isn't too keen on all of this malarkey, for numerous reasons, so tries to escape.

Despite it being about hillbillies it doesn't have many of the things you'd expect: no cannibalism, no deformed faces, and no making unwary travellers squeal like pigs. You do get moonshine drinking and incest for the entrance fee though. 

The best thing about Jug Face is the touching relationship between Ada and the potter Dawai (Sean Bridgers). It feels incredibly natural due to some cracking performances. I also liked how the killings were slightly surreal and suggested, rather than filmed in a more conventional way. They were still brutal yet different from standard fare.

On the downside, the ending should have been emotionally powerful. It wasn't. There was nothing wrong with the script or the acting, all the ingredients were there for a great finish. Except one. The music. The soundtrack did nothing to enhance the feelings created by the visuals. It just knocked about in the background shiftily trying to look (sound?) unobtrusive. Imagine the end of The Beyond without the music. It would be pretty average. Same with this.

If you fancy something original and a change from zombies, vampires and flesh eating rapist mountain men etc, this could well be up your street.

If you like this you could also try:
The Wicker Man, Big Jugs Jubilee 10.

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