It is once in a cinematic generation that a film comes along that manages to do what Jug Face has done. Shot on a shoe string budget, Jug Face manages to not only feel like a big budget movie, but puts them to shame in every conceivable category in filmmaking. The fact that this comes from a first time feature filmmaker, Chad Crawford Kinkle, makes this achievement nothing short of miraculous.
First off, Jug Face gives us a very fresh cast of characters. You will not find a single fresh faced, under dressed beauty nor is there any over muscled, well quaffed Taylor Lautner types. The characters that we are given are simple hill folk, inbred backwoods yokels in a small backwoods village. They are dirty, mostly disgusting and yet manage to be infinitely interesting and sincerely genuine. They are not played up for laughs nor are we encouraged to laugh at their lifestyle. It is simply a perfect backdrop for the story that is about to unfold yet in this backdrop, Kinkle pulls of an amazing Lovecraftian setting and story. Think Lovecraft, pulled from the New England style setting and dropped square in the middle of the Deep South.
Normally in a story like this, where there are huge, unusual things happening, we get a character that has no idea of the situation in which they are being thrust. It is called “An In”. They are our way of being eased into the situation and an easy way of delivering back story and explaining the events as they unfold. Jug Face has no such character. We are dropped into the story, expected to hit the ground running and try to keep up with the best of our ability. And keep up you better, because the story will twist itself in a hundred different ways before you have picked up on the first dozen. Normally, this would be a problem, but Kinkle manages to keep everything so tightly paced, that while you may be scratching your head asking yourself what the hell is going on, you never feel lost and know that answers are on their way.
It seems that Dawai is what they call The Potter, a member of this backwards community that The Pit gives visions to who, in a comatose state, makes clay pots on a potters wheel with that bear faces of the next sacrifice that the pit wants. The Pit Wants What It Wants (as the tag line says). Young Ada is the next victim chosen, but she is pregnant by her brother. In an effort to save herself and her unborn child, she steals her Jug before it can be presented to the community and hides it, angering the pit and all hell breaks loose.
That is but a very vague description of a film that is so finely nuanced and tightly plotted that to go any further would spoil the film.
Make no mistake, this is an indie film and yet manages to pull of what big Hollywood has been trying to do for decades. In fact, if Hollywood were to look at this film, they should hang their head in shame, proving that you do not need multi-million dollar budgets to craft a piece of art. What you need is talent. Talent in front and behind the camera, and Jug Face has this in spades. My only hope is that Kinkle stays where he is proving himself to be a miracle worker… on the indie scene. The lure of big Hollywood, I am sure, will be a huge draw, and dollars tend to ruin talented filmmakers, but for the sake of horror, please, Kinkle, please stay Indie. Kinkle is what this genre needs right now, talented vision, talented storytelling and proof that Horror can be a thinking man’s genre again. And please, Hollywood, take note that this is the kind of film that hard core horror fans want to see.