“The Editor” began its theatrical run in Houston last night at Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park. It also has another screening Sunday night.
Astron-6, the production company that brought us “Manborg” and “Father’s Day,” returns with the horror comedy “The Editor.” Rey Ciso (Adam Brooks) was once the greatest film editor the world had ever known, but went mad after an editing accident left him without the use of four of his fingers. Now Rey edits sleazy Italian horror films along with his assistant Bella (Samantha Hill) for director Francesco Mancini (Kevin Anderson) much to the disapproval of his former actress and recently retired wife Josephine (Paz de la Huerta).
Two of the cast members are murdered on set, which brings detective Peter Porfiry (Matthew Kennedy) into the picture. While supporting actor Cal Konitz (Conor Sweeney) looks to make the most out of his cast members’ deaths by leaping into the lead actor position, it’s Rey that always seems to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and who Porfiry targets as the killer.
That initial connection that the same guys who made “The Editor” also made “Manborg” didn’t even register until “The Editor” had been viewed in full. These are five individuals who love the same things we do, but know how to turn their passion into these nostalgic cinematic nuggets of amusing fanfare. So naturally, “The Editor” is a satisfying experience for anyone who is a fan of horror or Giallo directors like Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento.
The bad acting is apparent from the start, but give it a chance and let the humor shine through. The screenplay is as ridiculous as any line from either “Anchorman” film, which is absolutely a compliment. Lines such as “I would never stop crying, you stupid cripple,” “You’re just a little girl, fly away butterfly,” and a personal favorite, “Damn, I forgot I don’t have fingers on this hand anymore,” will resonate with you long after the film ends. Even the dub track seems to be off from the picture, which immediately makes the film feel like a cheaply dubbed foreign horror film that was quickly thrown onto a forgotten VHS tape only to reach cult-like status once it was eventually discovered.
Kills from the film have borrowed elements from multiple Fulci films including “Zombi 2” and “The Beyond” and even the opening kill is an obvious throwback to the hanging sequence in “Suspiria.” “The Editor” is overflowing with nudity and gratuitous sex. There’s a “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter” kind of twist on the shower kill where a naked man is slaughtered. Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy, and Conor Sweeney know how to incorporate the horror legacy from the 70s and 80s into a really fantastic and quite hilarious film.
Elements from the story are just so ludicrous that you can’t help but laugh. Everything from hysterical blindness to the car chase between Rey and Porfiry, which results in both men driving off a cliff, emerging with minor injuries, and continuing the chase on foot. Slapping is also important$ to the formula of the film. Men and women are slapped so often in “The Editor.” Most women want or need to be slapped on a regular basis to be kept in line, after all (according to the film).
Udo Kier has a small role in the film as Dr. Casini; the head doctor of an insane asylum. He leaves a long lasting impression with his peculiar behavior. You’ve never seen anyone sniff a picture frame quite like Udo Kier.
“The Editor” utilizes purposely horrendous acting, noticeably fake practical effects, preposterously amusing gore, a copious homage to Giallo horror, and downright absurd comedy and assembles every ridiculous fragment into this delightfully brilliant film that somehow works as both a tribute and an uproarious comedy. There’s no telling what the next Astron-6 production will be, but whatever it is you can bet it will be entertaining on absolutely every level.