Expanding their niche of irreverent and madcap throwbacks to the low-budget classics of their childhood, Canadian production company Astron-6 descended on Nottingham with their gore-soaked giallo homage, The Editor.
In a loving pastiche of a genre most fondly remembered for its sheer crapness, Astron-6 have gone to great lengths to replicate the shoddiness that makes the originals such fun. All dialogue was added in post to give that unconvincing dubbing effect and the practical effects have a glorious homemade quality, that, while inventive, would fail to convince a small child.
In fact, little about The Editor is convincing, but that’s the whole point. Set during the heyday of the giallo movement in 70’s Italy, a film editor (Astron-6 founding member, Adam Brooks) becomes the prime suspect in a string of brutal murders at the studio.
But like most low budget schlock of the era, plot is irrelevant, the gore and nudity is what matters. The former is frequent and magnificent, including multiple incidents of fingers lopped off with straight razors, numerous axes to the face and a more than one person is set on fire. It’s not for the squeamish, but its all in good fun.
In addition to the blood, there’s nakedness throughout, and not even when the plot warrants it. Sure, there’s the multiple long-to-the-point-of-awkwardness sex scenes to enjoy (a staple of the genre), but there’s just a baffling amount of nude extras wandering around at all times. It’s exploitation at its most exploitative, and I love it.
Surprising for a such a low budget production, the team managed to snag legendary actor, Udo Kier, best known for starring in countless genre pics with such lurid titles as Mark of the Devil, Flesh for Frankenstein and Blood for Dracula. Gore fans will also recognise the super creepy Laurence R. Harvey from Human Centipede II as the Priest (or “wizard” as he’s more frequently referred to) that inevitably appeared in all films of this ilk whether the plot warranted it or not.
But it’s the Astron-6 guys that steal the show (despite what they told us in the post-screening Q&A). Co-director Matthew Kennedy plays the ludicrous detective trying to track the case with the bumbling ineptitude of Frank Drebin, and Conor Sweeney as the ambitious supporting actor in the film within the film trying to make a name for himself. Of course they’re not perfect, but once again, that’s the whole point. Call it a cop out if you will, but those who care are seeing the wrong movie.
Though I can’t deny that The Editor is a lot fun, it certainly overstays its welcome. By the third act, I’d gotten the joke, and as funny as it was initially, something new was needed to see it through to its conclusion.
With a slender budget and the crew consisting of the five Astron-6 guys taking on virtually every role, it’s a miracle The Editor exists at all. It’s not perfect, and I’m skeptical a re-watch would provide anything new, but its hell of a good time at the cinema.