Euthanizer: Potential Concept, Under-Developed Story
Director: Teemu Nikki
Writer: Teemu Nikki
Release Date: July 20, 2018
Release Format: Cinemas (limited)
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Running Time: 1 hr 25 min
Veijo runs a black-market operation euthanizing people’s ailing pets to make extra money. It is clear he has dark secrets, but only after meeting a young nurse and a seedy mechanic (who’s mixed up with a vicious gang of neo-Nazis) that Veijo’s carefully balanced, albeit deranged, life begins to show cracks. Things turn to the extreme when Veijo does not finish a job he was paid to and his client finds out…in this grungy exploitation throwback.
Euthanizer initially released November 24, 2017, in the Film Festival circuit, boasting the Best Script, Best Music, and Best Screenplay awards. This acclaimed dark Thriller will be coming to the US on July 20, 2018, in limited theater release in L.A., and on August 7, 2018, on VOD from Uncork’d Entertainment.
Veijo makes money euthanizing pets who are sick and suffering. When Petri comes to him to get rid of his dog, Veijo instead takes the pet in as his own. When Petri finds out the dog is still alive, he gives Viejo a warning to kill the dog or he is in trouble. Veijo still refuses to kill the dog, so Petri returns with two accomplices, who pursues Viejo. After a fateful turn of events, Veijo turns vigilante and haunts the men down, seeking vengeance.
Euthanizer has a concept that has tremendous potential, yet, the story is under-developed in a few areas. The concept behind Euthanizer is one that is shocking, yet intriguing. When you think in terms of what line of work this is, and people who seek these services. It makes for a dark and emotional concept. A concept that appears to be fresh in cinema as it’s not frequented as much.
The story and plot build lack substance. First, we have Petri and his clan of neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Aside from minimal key dialogue, this is not clear, as they resemble more of the average neighborhood bully. It does not elaborate on their secretive goings on, and who they are.
Second, we have this awkward connection between Petri and his father, who lies ill in the hospital. It is clear there is a strained relationship, but there is no backstory to go on. All we see is the sour attitude Petri has towards his father, which is rather confusing with lack of reasoning. Let’s not touch on the awkward romance between Viejo and Lotta, the nurse that’s caring for his father.
Third, we observe Viejo, who seems to have contradicting morals. Given his line of work, it conflicts with his attitudes towards customers and their pets. The customer’s pet has to be suffering in order for him to complete his work. Yet, he turns a blind eye to some pets who are healthy, but who are being rejected by their owners. For whatever reason, he takes a liking to Petri’s dog, in particular, sparing his life and making him his own pet.
Euthanizer wins an award for Best Music. While the selections are decent, the times in which they occur in the film are not parallel. We have dark and devastating scenes, which should call for a fitting background score, yet, the song that’s played does not complement the scene.
Euthanizer has a potential concept that lacks development. Writer and Director Teemu Nikki create an invigorating idea. The story and characters need more in-depth explanations. Backstories are essential in productions such as this. The audience needs to make sense of what is going on.