A charming man, a camera and a long string of grisly murders is the beginning of Max Parry’s homemade film as The Last Horror Movie sneaks its way into video stores.
Max Parry is a wedding photographer and aspiring filmmaker. He’s also a friend, a doting uncle and a brother. But his passions grow strong and wildly out of control as he sets upon his quest to capture real moments of death after murdering his victims and getting close to the realism of their last dying breath.
He recruits a young homeless boy to help him record the sometimes unpredictable murders, with the expectation of the boy eventually committing his first slaying himself.
But just who is Max Parry? Is he a failed writer and filmmaker or simply an existentialist? He’s intelligent, likeable and handsome, not your typical A type psychopath. He didn’t come from a troubled background as he explains on camera.
If life is so bad why not end it? A point Max makes to one of his baffled victims who complains about his own life. Max Parry is a survivor, but he does throw some valid questions about human life and its worth before murdering his victims. He should be despised he’s making his own snuff movie after all.
The Last Horror Movie was made in 2003 and directed by Julian Richards, and much like the series Dexter which came along in 2006, it does pose some questions about the moral integrity of society. Max questions the audience towards the end of the film ‘Why are you still watching?’ Yes why is the audience still watching? Why do we watch up to season 8 of Dexter? Are we simply a desensitised society? Or do we find some comfort in the honesty of others?
Iain Brady once referred to his murders as an ‘existential experience’ and ‘recreational killing.’ Max Parry also justifies his murders and has an explanation for each of them.
The Last Horror Movie is a quintessentially British movie, with the charm and whit of Notting Hill and Bridget Jones, except it’s a horror film.
Although the story is linear and leaves little imagination, the performance by Kevin Howarth is astounding. The script is brilliant and the dialogue keeps you intrigued. What will Max Parry justify next? What is his moral compass on the next murder? You remain watching because not only is the character likeable, he’s probably going to say something intelligent or thought provoking.
The film itself may appear quite dated especially being shot on a DV camera but it was good to see the re-emergence of VHS and video shops such as Prime Time! It was also nostalgic to see West London landmarks. It’s not often we see West London on screen so it made a difference to see a place that appears to be under represented on film, especially horror.
Julian Richards is also working on a number of projects at the moment with Suicide Solution, The Monkey Farm and American Bitch which he plans to film in Serbia.
For more information about Julian Richard’s up and coming films you can take a look here.
And you can find out more about The Last Horror Movie here.