Excreamer (2006)
By: Devon B. on October 27, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Masochist Pictures (UK). All Regions, PAL. 4:3. English MPEG 2.0. 60 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Shane Mather
Starring: Shane Mather, Nicola Fenn, Richard Wyart, Dean Mather, Perry Slayter, Richard Greenaway, Stuart Hazell
Screenplay: Shane Mather
Country: UK
I got a bit annoyed when I received Excreamer. First, the front of the cover proclaimed this the "director's cut." I'm getting mighty sick of this faux-director's cut phenomenon. If it's the only release of the film, it's just the film. That's it! The front also touts this DVD as a two disc special edition. Well, there are two DVD-Rs, but the back of the slick reveals that they are DVD-5, which means they are single-layer DVDs. So, really, Excreamer and all the bonus features could've fit nicely on a single dual-layer DVD-R. But my annoyance was only just beginning…

The Excreamer DVD is an absolute mess of a release. The film glitches so heavily and often on my player, it is unwatchable. The flaws occur at the same place each time, so it's not just a random skip of the laser, either. Dialogue is mostly indecipherable, images distort, and the whole thing is prone to locking up completely. Now, admittedly, I have a cheap-as-free DVD player, but this is the first PAL movie I've played on it that had any problem, and it happened with both of Excreamer's discs. When I checked the Masochist Pictures website, I found that Excreamer was currently unavailable due to printing problems, so I'm assuming I wasn't the only one to have issues. In the end, I had to watch the film on my computer, which greatly reduced but did not eliminate the problems with the DVDs.

Excreamer's story is as follows: In 1971, NASA sent a bunch of toilets into outerspace, as aliens would naturally need to relieve themselves. That sounds about as plausible as any other NASA plan, really. Now, the toilets are back, and NASA were right. Aliens did use them, but not necessarily in the way envisioned. The aliens utilise the toilets to attack the planet, turning their victims into "perverts," which usually involves cross-dressing. Two scientists try to work out what's happening and defeat the aliens before it's too late.

Shane Mather produced, edited, directed, and starred in Excreamer, as well as working on the visual FX. The film is very low budget, as evidenced by the low grade CGI. A weird 50s sounding pop score made up of royalty free songs and music from Karl Holt and the Suggestions gives the film a fun, unique feel. Excreamer can get quite violent, and features some nicely done squibs. Unfortunately, there're a lot of squibs, so they do get old. The blood also looks a bit odd, but that may actually be a continuity issue, as it seems to dry real quick.

Story wise, the film often seems outlandish for outlandishness' sake, which is okay when it works, but the movie lacks cohesion. There're certainly some good gags, like a porn fetish mag clipping getting its own billing in the credits. The film often goes for over the top offensiveness, with shit spewing (from more than one orifice, if you know what I mean), a dildo version of the Phantasm sphere, and fecalphilia all on display. The only through story of any significance is the two scientists trying to figure out what to do, so much of the other material plays like a series of vignettes of weirdness. Mather readily admits writing is not his strong point, but thankfully he has far more talent as a director and actor, and Excreamer comes across as quite competent despite a threadbare script.

The run time is beefed up by the credits, outtakes, and a seemingly irrelevant Still Photo Slide show presented at the end of the movie! On the website, the film is listed as 63 minutes long, which they claim barely makes it feature length. Hmmmm, I'm guessing maybe the slide show was just a few minutes of padding, then? It didn't really work, anyway, because the film ran 60 minutes and 35 seconds on my player, not 63 minutes.

As I said, the film goes for the over the top offensive, and this includes racial humour. I actually found the race jokes of little value, not because I'm overly PC, but because the bulk of them weren't well written. Honestly, I didn't really think anything about the race related humour until the least offensive racial joke appeared, which was in the last quarter of the film. It was just a satirical jab at multi-culturalism, but while I'd taken the other jokes as intentionally trying to be offensive, this joke made me think, "Wait a minute, maybe they were serious with that other stuff." My suspicions were heightened when I went into the bonus features. A shot in an earlier short film of Mather's features a newspaper where the secondary bi-line is "Tony Blair is a nigger lover," which is only going to work as a gag for those that are going to be saying, "It's funny because it's true!" Given that Tony Blair is reported to be holidaying in Africa during the events of Excreamer, and the bulk of the racist humour appears in conjunction with Blair, I'd guess that in Excreamer, Mather was trying to somewhat more subtly make the same point stated more directly in that earlier short film. I don't think it was bad for Mather to express his views, but it is a message I may have chosen not to expose myself to had I known about it before watching the film.

Regardless, Mather has done a decent job of creating a no-budget "feature length" film, and the guy certainly has some skill.
Video
Excreamer was shot on what appears to be high-end video, and is presented at 1.33:1. Some of the CG isn't fully merged with the film and gives the picture a blue-screen look, but given the movie's non-existent budget, that should be entirely forgiven. The picture glitched every few minutes or so even on my computer, and was completely unwatchable on my stand alone DVD player.
Audio
Well, through the speakers on my computer monitor, I could make out most of the dialogue, and the two-channel mix seemed fine, when the disc wasn't glitching. I cannot offer a comprehensive review of the audio given the fact that this release did not work on my stand alone DVD player.
Extra Features
On the first disc, there's a behind the scenes that runs roughly 12 ½ minutes. There's also a commentary by Shane Mather, who's joined by FX artist Dean Mather. The commentary was a bit dull for my tastes, but by the time I'd gotten to it, I was pretty fed up with the disc playback issues.

Disc two was also heaps of fun to get working, as my computer had trouble even accessing the DVD menu. There're a few minutes of deleted scenes, a Nekro Fucks music video, and some short films by Shane Mather. The four complete short films, with a combined run time longer than Excreamer's, offer more squibs and fecal obsession. If you enjoyed Excreamer, you'll probably also enjoy these short films, and they're a worthy inclusion on the DVD. The Inflated Man, which looked the most amusing of the shorts, and appeared to be the adventures of an inflatable man sex doll (brought to life via crude stop motion). It seemed like it would be fun, but it locked up completely on my computer, so I wasn't able to view much of it. There's also one unfinished short, and an abandoned animation project.
The Verdict
Excreamer's not up there with British horror comedies like the brilliant Shaun of the Dead or even I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle, but it's also not a dreary bore like Unmasked Part 25. The film itself would've scored higher, especially when considering it's budget, but given the utterly fucked up piece of shit that was this "2 disc special edition," I have no choice but to give this a one.
Movie Score
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