Lloyd Kaufman and Troma completely lied.
At least, that was all I could think about during the film Septic Man.
Actually, I had a lot of strange thoughts that went through my head. I sat there thinking about how the mutants wander around Old New York in Futurama. I had this strange inkling to watch Princess Bride, and how much I miss Andre the Giant. I decided that I may never eat mushrooms again. I even had to look up director Jesse Thomas Cook to see if he was a plumber or if he just really wished Mario a horrible death every time he went down a green pipe (Google doesn’t know).
The one thought that seemed to dominate all of these, however, is that Septic Man is a pretty damn good film (which is very good because if you are making a film about raw sewage, you are leaving yourself open for some very interesting puns from reviewers). Septic Man is not really a slow burn, but more of a slow descent. As the main character is plunged into madness at his predicament, we , too, follow. The special effects are all practical and all out of this world wonderfully gross. It’s a one man show that will leave you disgusted, confused, and scared of what goes on outside of our knowledge.
Jason David Brown is the Septic Man Jack. Jack’s a self employed septic man that is not easily disgusted. His town is being evacuated because the water supply has been contaminated and the powers that be are attempting to track down the source. While out on a final job prior to the evacuation, he is approached by Phil Prosser (Julian Richings). Prosser is a consultant that enlists Jack to stay behind and lead the process. Prosser offers Jack $200,000 (with $20,ooo paid up front).
Jack accepts, and his pregnat wife (Molly Dunsworth) angrily leaves town. That night, Jack realizes where the problem is and immediately embarks out. Long story short, he gets trapped. Even worse, somebody knows that he’s there and is not helping him (Robert Maillet and Tim Burd).
Let’s get this out of the way: You will see poop. You will see vomit. This is not a pretty film, but it does catch your attention. Our hero Jack is just a guy at the start of the film. During flashbacks, you can see how vibrant and good looking he once was. During his initial scenes, you see how his career has dampened his looks and his attitude about life. As the movie goes along, we see Jack break down and rot. It’s awful, but it’s wonderfully done (Brown won best actor for this performance at the 2013 Fantastic Fest.).
The film hinges directly on his performance, and he was up to the challenge. Brown never really had to interact with other people throughout the movie, but instead is asked to be a more disgusting version of Tom Hanks in Castaway. However, I do have to say that Maillet reminded me so much of Fezzik in The Princess Bride (I half expected him to tell Jack that he found four white horses while yelling down to him…) Because of the dirt and grime of Jack’s situation (as well as a few injuries), he also is caked in filth. He begins to slowly become The Toxic Avenger, except not as campy. In fact, this version might wipe that never ending smile off of Lloyd’s face.
And while Toxie always looks plastic and fake, Jack is just gross. He’s a zit that’s just waiting to burst. There are quite a few bodies and there are a couple deaths. Everything is practical, and it is disgusting. Like I said…. poop and puke. When you add in a great bisection and a little cannibalism, you got yourself a special effects team’s greatest dream.
Septic Man is available on VOD August 12, and in theaters August 15. It’s definitely worth a look (if you can handle it).