Delivery (2006)
By: Robert Winter on August 10, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Warner Home Video (USA). Region 1, NTSC. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0. 93 minutes
The Movie
Director: Jose Zambrano Cassella
Starring: Matt Nelson, Tara Cardinal, Kevin J. O'Neill, Melissa Gruver, Trhea Danae Screenplay: Jose Zambrano Cassella Music: Jose Zambrano Cassella
Tagline: "We deliver in 30 minutes or your killing is free"
Country: USA
If you've worked in the retail industry then you'll understand that for every 10 hassle-free customers there is always one who seems to go out of their way to make your day a misery. But just imagine if nearly everyone you came into contact with was a nasty bastard then you would have the basic ingredient for this slice of suburban horror.

Grossly overweight Montgomery Goth (Matt Nelson) attempts to restore some sense of stability to his life by getting employment as a pizza delivery boy. Through nightmare flashback sequences we learn that he has been in therapy for years after seeing his father blow his brains out in front of him and his little friends. However, because of his size and low self-worth he is an easy target. He's frequently verbally abused by customers and his boss, which only serves to further erode his fragile self-esteem. Then he meets Bibi (Tara Cardinal), the only person apart from his psychiatrist to show him any kind of sympathy and warmth. Everything seems rosy until Bibi breaks it off with him, setting in motion a cataclysmic angst that pushes Monty way over the edge.

Not quite as harrowing as Joe Spinell's jaw-dropping performance in Maniac, but Matt Nelson as the bedeviled Monty manages to play his role with an extraordinary amount of pathos. We feel his shame, hurt and aching need to find acceptance. We even forgive him when he does finally explode as violence appears to be the only pathway out of his torment. In fact, it gives him a frightening strength that metamorphoses him from pathetic loser to anti-hero of Rex Miller-esque, hatchet-chopping proportions.

However, I do have two gripes. Firstly, it takes too long for Monty to snap. The first hour is laboured by character development that could have been shrewdly written and edited into the first 20 minutes. This would have allowed for a few more ingenious slayings like the lesbian-lawn-fry sequence to quiver across the screen to fully satisfy those slightly dulled by too much exposition. The second is the tacked on, dopey, clichéd ending that promises a part 2.

Interestingly, the film won Best Picture and Best Actor at the Screamfest 2006 Horror Film Festival held annually at the legendary Mann's Chinese theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.
Shot on high-definition video, the 16x9 enhanced transfer is generally quite pleasing. There's only some lo-fi grain in lower lit scenes and red tends to look a little oversaturated.
The 2.0 mix services the soundtrack and score quite well to complement the film's many moods, which range from despair to psychotic rage.
Extra Features
Director/cast commentary
I gave up listening to this commentary after about 10 minutes. It wasn't because of anything the participants said, but it was due to the fact that I couldn't hear what they were saying. The DVD authors forgot to turn the soundtrack and score down so it was like listening to two radio station programs constantly vying for each other's attention.

Blooper reel (4:02)
A series of screw-ups by the cast that aren't particularly funny.

Behind the scenes slideshow
A set of 40 high-quality behind-the-scenes and publicity stills.

Original trailer (0:55)
A cool, overwrought trailer that does well to promote the film.
The Verdict
Overall, Delivery has a keen awareness of the gore-drenched H.G. Lewis style of filmmaking propped up by the sleazy quirkiness of Frank Henenlotter. But it also offers something a little extra – an above average character driven narrative that carries the plot's central theme to a morbid, logical conclusion. Just turn the film off when the 'five years later' subtitle hits the screen.
Movie Score
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