Johnny Gruesome Is Intense, Hilarious, Just Plain Gross
Johnny Gruesome Film Details
Director: Gregory Lamberson
Writer: Gregory Lamberson
16th, October 2018 | 1st, January 2019
Release Format: VOD | DVD
MPAA Rating: N/A
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Running Time: 1hr 30 Min
Social Networking: Facebook
Rebellious high school senior Johnny Grissom is murdered while on a drunken joyride. Soon, Johnny’s classmates turn up dead, murdered by an unknown assailant. Johnny’s best friend Eric begins to suspect Johnny has returned from the grave to wreak havoc on those who wronged him.
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Johnny Grissom, affectionately nicknamed “Johnny Gruesome” by his classmates, is a typical rebellious teenager. His favorite pastimes include drinking beer, fighting with jocks, and listening to obnoxious music in his equally obnoxious car. One day, Johnny takes the car out for a drunken joyride with his friends and decides that he’d like to dance with death- and take his friends with him.
His friends are unwilling participants and one of his closest friends, at first attempting to restrain him, ends up killing “Gruesome”. Johnny’s body is dumped in the nearby creek. After that, his spirit vows to seek vengeance upon not only his killer but the bystander friends who “let it happen”. He is a “revenant”- something ghost-like, but also like a zombie, and seeking revenge. The carnage that follows is intense, hilarious, and sometimes just plain gross.
There is so much to be said about Johnny Gruesome, and most all of it is positive. The only “bloopers” I found were minute, and there was not a moment in the movie where I became uninterested.
The cinematography was quite impressive- particularly, the introductory scene where the viewer enjoyed some noteworthy aerial footage. All of the transitions were immaculate, and the lighting was also well-done. I tried to find a flaw in that department, but even the shots that seemed kind of ordinary still fit in perfectly. It was obvious that the filmmaker(s) are technically proficient.
Most of the actors in Johnny Gruesome did a great job- however, there was one point in the film where the acting became unconvincing, during a scene involving a police officer and school teacher. It almost seemed as if the couple were ad-libbing and I couldn’t shake the awkwardness of it. Otherwise, the actors did a fine job.
Johnny, after rising from the dead as a “revenant”, almost looks like something straight out of a spooky cartoon. He would fit in perfectly at a haunted attraction, because of how realistic his special effects makeup looks. From the dry, peeling, decaying flesh to the finer details such as his eyes and teeth, everything was visually striking. The attention to detail was wonderful, which is why I was surprised to see that one small-but-mighty detail had been overlooked: how would the mortician have gotten his suit on for his viewing without cutting the back? It was perfectly intact when he rose from his grave. If you’re not a death enthusiast, you probably wouldn’t notice or care. But you can thank me later for ruining that for you if you are one of those people who fixate upon minuscule details.
Creepy, cartoony, and comical, Johnny Gruesome is not a film that you will want to miss if you are a die-hard fan of the genre, like myself. It has zombies (well, okay, just one and he’s technically a revenant), blood, gore, drama, suspense, and plenty of laughs. We could delve deeper into all of the reasons why this film left a great impression, but that would entail spoiling multiple parts of the plot, so you will have to see it for yourself.