I initially knew nothing about MOLLYWOOD aside from what the poster told me – A skull emblazoned pill with a candied pink tagline reading ‘Death is an easy pill to swallow’. The burning hue of fuchsia drew me in, my interest undeniably piqued and further pandered to by an intriguing, albeit brief plot synopsis describing a serial killer disguised as a drug dealer, picking off the club kids of Chicago. This sounded like a product made for me, and I was easily sold.
My initial enthusiasm remained intact thanks to gratuitous gore and merciless murder displayed at the forefront of our picture. I was graced with a serial killer who seemingly wanted to eradicate those with loose morals, in turn giving me deep Dexter vibes and I was lapping that up like a dog in dry heat. I cannot emphasize the true level of optimism I felt initially by the well-articulated, yet uncomfortable monologue delivered by our maniac driven by deeply religious beliefs. Gut-wrenching gore juxtaposed with a dialogue littered with biblical verses created a morbidly fascinating concoction, and I was eager to see where this journey would lead me.
As you likely have gathered, I was on board early on. Revealed details about our mystery killer only deepened my focus – A club kid turned Jesus freak? I mean, who wouldn’t want to see that unfold? Oddly enough, I found myself empathizing with him in a strange way – Modern club kids are quite literally some of the worst people on the planet, and I’m sure none of us really feel much for our on-screen representations of them in this particular case. Though this approach can work very well for slasher films, I sadly felt that it didn’t in this case.
Had the victims been the only insufferable characters on screen maybe it would have been more forgivable, however, a large portion of our story focuses on a formerly crooked cop in his efforts to track our killer down. I’m assuming this angle was put in place to add suspense and more depth to the story, but I really felt that it broke up the pacing in a way that didn’t quite work for me. The dialogue dragged frequently, and not to sound insolent, but it was just plain weird in some places. I mean one second this cop is forcefully showing a horrifying photo of a burnt eyeball, then speaking about his former career as a DJ in the next. I could feel a physical question mark manifest from the crown of my head, which isn’t something I am particularly fond of as a viewer.
I wish it hadn’t been so confusing, because there were things I really dug about MOLLYWOOD. Firstly, it cannot be denied how visually stunning the entire film was. Lush sets bathed in the use of vibrant colors alluded to the likes of Dario Argento for me, and it was so wonderfully fitting to the intended atmosphere of the film. Secondly, and as aforementioned, I cannot adore the concept of a born again club kid going nuts and exterminating annoying party kids enough – I only wish this had remained the central focus of the film. Micah Fitzgerald’s performance as our leading maniac was strong, quirky, and I can’t help but feel that the rest of the film served as an utter injustice to what he brought to the table.
In summation – Where it worked, it worked very well. Unfortunately, the frays in the fabric here were just a little too severe to go unnoticed. MOLLYWOOD arrives On Digital and On Demand June 4, 2019.