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Dear God No! Review

Ash E

Dear God No! is a 2011 exploitation revival movie. Written and directed by James Bickert and starring Jett Bryant and Paul McComiskey. The film includes many exploitation sub-genres such as: bikersploitation, nazisploitation, nunsploitation and psychedelic.

Dear God No! follows a gang of bikers known as “The Impalers” as they indulge in their favourite hobby, raping and murdering the locals. After butchering rival biker gang “Satan’s own,” the gang chase after a pregnant couple who’ve had the misfortune of bearing witness to the slaughter. This leads them to a secluded cabin in the woods occupied by anthropologist Dr Marco (McComiskey), who lives with his strange daughter, Edna, and had invited the couple to see the results of his questionable experiments. The gang storms the cabin and proceeds to do all sorts of reprehensible things to the women, eventually leading to the discovery that Dr Marco’s wife has been locked in the basement due to some sort of mutation experiment he had performed. This leads to the revelation that Dr Marco is a mad Nazi scientist and, through his twisted experiments on the local wildlife, has managed to create a vicious sasquatch! This spells bad news for the bikers as they receive their comeupance from the abomination, all with plenty of blood, fire and psychedelic music.

I think the exploitation revival movement is a great idea. With better technology and budgets, film makers are now able to recreate vintage trash but in the form of a more watchable movie. My favourite movie of the revival so far has been 2011’s Hobo with a Shotgun, and this film very much follows in those footsteps in terms of both tone and ambition. The sheer range of exploitation sub-genres crammed in is mind-boggling. Not content with making a straight-forward bikersploitation movie (which this mostly is) the film makers throw in nuns, strippers, Nazis and somehow, Bigfoot! All set to a soundtrack of psychedelic rock and a backdrop of multi-coloured collages bleeding into the picture at times which certainly creates an empathy between the viewer and the acid dropping bikers.

The budget on Dear God No! is dangerously low, with the effects and production values just passable, but this is the beauty of exploitation revival. You can render a faithful homage to grindhouse on a shoestring budget because those films never aspired to be anything more than outrageous trash. Even wiser that they stuck with practical effects instead of being tempted into shoddy CGI and ending up like a sy-fy channel movie. The characters are two-dimensional and certainly the biker gang all bleed into one entity, also some of the dialogue did stick out as being poorly written (even for an exploitation film) and didn’t quite fit with the rest of the film.

Like most exploitation films, Dear God No! is an acquired taste and will probably only appeal to genre fans. After the mainstream success of the Grindhouse double feature (2007) and cult success of Hobo, we are likely to see more ambitious tributes to vintage exploitation in the future. This film certainly won’t achieve anything close to the success of those films but it does make quite an absurd attempt to cover all possible exploitation sub-genres in less than 90 minutes, and for me that made it a rather enjoyable watch.

4 Stars ****

 



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