Review: The Orphan Killer
Greetings fiends. I thought, this evening, I would bring you a review. Horror movies are filled with iconic boogie men. Halloween brought us Michael Meyers. Friday the 13th brought us Jason. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre brought us Leatherface. Matt Farnsworth has brought us yet another addition to this rogue’s gallery… Marcus Miller, otherwise known as The Orphan Killer.
In New Jersey a family is going about their daily routine at home when a pair of lowlifes break in to rob them. Only the robbery goes horribly wrong and the parents of the two children in the house are murdered, leaving them orphaned. Audrey and Marcus are taken to a local Catholic school and orphanage but Marcus doesn’t seem to be the same little boy. When he beats another little boy to death with a bat for tickling his little sister, the nuns at the school take to corporeal punishment… lashings, near drowning, and when he refuses to repent, forcing him to wear a freakish mask showing him for the monster he really is. After some time Audrey is adopted, leaving Marcus behind to become an urban legend at the school. Fast forward a couple decades and Audrey is a volunteer at the school, choreographing a ballet. Marcus returns that night, feeling abandoned by his sister, and begins his quest for revenge. With a machete, axe, barb wire, and a number of other implements Marcus starts a bloodbath to leave any gorehound happy.
What has happened here is that someone told Farnsworth that 80s splatterhouse flicks make for great entertainment. That someone was very right and Farnsworth has made one that would make the best of them envious. The kill scenes are reminiscent of classic slasher flicks from a machete being shoved through a man’s face to a man getting his head stomped flat. And there is probably enough blood in the film to supply the Red Cross from at least a month. But what about the story?
Of all the killers of all the films I have ever seen, Marcus Miller (played by David Backhaus) is probably my favorite… beating out Jason, Leatherface, and Mike Meyers. Farnsworth has done an amazing job with the killer’s background and character, making him the most three dimensional splatterpunk villain in my personal opinion. I have no doubt that Orphan Killer will go on to become just as legendary as all the other icons of the genre.
Diane Foster does a great job as Audrey in the film too and I expect her to become as legendary a scream queen as Jamie Lee Curtis. The scene in which she is bound by barbwire and tortured by Marcus is excruciating to watch… her cries and expressions of anguish come across as completely genuine and worthy of awards. In fact, all the actors in this film do wonderful jobs in their roles… shocking for a film of this genre actually.
As far as cons, there were not many. There are some instances when the viewer is screaming at the screen for Audrey to run instead of stand there and watch someone get killed. Then, in the end, one has to wonder why she climbed up the stairs to the roof instead of out of the orphanage. Yet even these seems to play in with the film’s particular subgenre and makes the whole movie work.
Farnsworth has announced plans for two sequels and a web series based on the first movie. If they are nearly as good as this film, he has a very long and successful career in the genre ahead of him. I strongly suggest The Orphan Killer, giving it ☠☠☠☠1/2.