Twilight Zone Suicides

Dead Dicks is a clever indie thriller from Canada with a badly misleading title. Co-directors Chris Bavota and Lee Paula Springer make their debut as filmmakers with a dark blend of sci-fi and horror. Constructed around a co-dependent sibling relationship, Dead Dicks digs into the psyche of a suicidal man with its bizarre premise. A man repeatedly kills himself, only to find he keeps coming back as the leftover bodies pile up in his apartment.

Richie (Heston Horwin) is a depressed, suicidal man who leans heavily on his younger sister Becca (Jillian Harris). What Richie doesn’t know is that Becca wants to move on with her life, having been accepted to an advanced nursing program. The more responsible Becca worries about her flaky brother. Their disastrous sibling relationship has devastating effects on the both of them.

Dead Dicks surprises with genuine understanding for its characters

The darkly twisted Twilight Zone premise in Dead Dicks is that Richie is instantly “reborn” each time he commits suicide, littering his apartment with dead versions of himself. A mysterious opening on his bedroom wall that looks suspiciously like a vagina may be connected to Richie’s predicament. Becca and eventually a neighbor get wrapped up in the fantastical drama that plays out inside Richie’s apartment.

Dead Dicks is a disturbing but honest examination of the toll Richie’s suicidal behavior has on his beloved sister. The movie works exceedingly well on multiple levels dissecting its suicidal themes, from the gross to the metaphorical. The cast meet the demands of their roles, especially leads Heston Horwin and Jillian Harris. Their characters take a dark and harrowing journey together which fully explores the potential implications of Richie’s tortured existence.

The multi-genre effort does have issues. For pure entertainment value, a lot of the personal psychodrama and emotional melodrama drag down the core premise with unnecessary weight. The indie production probably should have cut out the amateurish FX scenes, feeling out of place in the otherwise smooth production. The screenplay could have used another couple drafts, tightening up and polishing overwrought dialogue.

A unique premise and competent execution give Dead Dicks interesting vitality for a genre flick filled with some laughs and pathos in equal measures. Touching and raw when it comes to the topic of suicide, Dead Dicks surprises with genuine understanding for its characters. While technically sci-fi with some horror elements, Dead Dicks is about the loving but painful relationship between two adult siblings.

Video

Competently shot with Arri Alexa cameras, Dead Dicks possesses crisp video quality well-suited for Blu-ray. The 2.39:1 presentation at 1080P resolution is sharp with outstanding clarity, possibly too much when Richie shows up completely naked. The main feature runs only 83 minutes, comfortably encoded in AVC on a BD25. Artsploitation offers a technically sound transfer that perfectly replicates the source material.

Dead Dicks offers pedestrian visuals with a straightforward contrast and ordinary saturation levels. The clean video has decent detail without overwhelming definition and depth. Lighting is largely flat with adequate black levels that aren’t heavily tested.

Audio

Dead Dicks comes with a fairly lackluster 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack. Poor localization and questionable dialogue placement leaves an indistinct front soundstage. The aggressive music score has decent dynamics. Channel separation is haphazard and diffuse. Indie movies often skimp on sound design and audio mixing, which is the case for Dead Dicks.

Optional English SDH subtitles play in a yellow font outside the 2.39:1 scope presentation. A secondary 2.0 Dolby Digital option is included.

Extras

The Canadian indie feature receives several bonus features on this release from Artsploitation.

Directors’ Commentary – Co-writers & Co-directors Chris Bavota & Lee Paula Springer team up for this insightful discussion of their film.

Four Video Diaries with directors Chris Bavota & Lee Paula Springer – Taken at various stages during the movie’s production, the pair discuss storyboards and other issues as first-time filmmakers:

Video Diary #1 (05:37 in HD)

Video Diary #2 (05:55 in HD)

Video Diary #3 (03:28 in HD)

Video Diary #4 (02:31 in HD)

FX Featurette (02:00 in HD) – A time-elapsed capsule of the extensive prosthetics applied for make-up on one actor.

Bloody Knuckles Trailer (01:32 in HD)

The Dead Ones Trailer (01:19 in HD)

Snowflake Trailer (02:34 in HD)

Welcome To The Circle Trailer (01:52 in HD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Dead Dicks
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
3

Movie

Compelling and engaging at times, the dark Canadian indie offers a unique premise ripped from the Twilight Zone.

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4 (1 vote)

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