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By Heidi Martinuzzi | April 16, 2004

“Shut up, God. I’m watching T.V.” – Dead Body Man
If “Waiting for Guffman” had sex with Fight Club, and the resulting child grew up really really poor, you’d call it “Dead Body Man”. The great thing about the availability of digital filmmaking equipment, computers, and the advent of magazines like Microcinemascene and Film Threat is that people like Ryan Cavalline get to make films and let us see them. This is not sarcasm.
You’ve never seen anything this demented or enjoyable or funny anywhere else (except maybe in a Chris Seaver film). We’ve been missing a funny, gut wrenching and ridiculous serial killer story for a while, and now we finally have one.
Willie is a serial killer. He cuts up prostitutes, after having sex with their corpses, of course, and then sells their flesh as ‘meat’ in order to make a living. Willie enjoys killing, and but lately the “voices” have gotten to be, well, annoying. Especially the voice of God (acted by Ryan Cavalline). God keeps telling Willie to kill people when all Willie really feels like doing is watching porn. God will go so far as to actually go into the porn film, stop the actors, and force Willie listen to him preach about sinners and how they must all be killed and turned into meat. The only way Willie can get God to stop yakking is to go ahead and kill someone.
Called by God to cleanse the world, Willie seeks out prostitutes and “bad” people, and enjoys torturing them mercilessly in his basement before ridding the world of their disgusting filth. As time wears on, so do Willie’s nerves. In order to make the voices leave him alone, he joins a serial killer support group, seeks full time employment, and even talks to the other two voices in his head, The Anger and The Sadness, about what he should do. Nothing seems to help Willie, however, and he ends up taking drastic measures to finally put an end to what he has realized is torment not only for the innocent people he slaughters, but for himself as well.
With a plotline similar to “The Corpse Grinders” and “Frailty”, “Dead Body Man” is a humorous take on the demented world of a serial killer and a victim of religious mania. Cavalline is definitely mocking some flesh-eating films like “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Silence of the Lambs” with his characterization of Willie, and he may even be poking fun at great films on the subject like “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” with his fearless, if tasteless, script. Using human skin as a joke gag, a chainsaw as a masturbation tool, and raw meat as a prop in most of the scenes, Cavalline has established himself as a master of raunch. Nudity, frontal and full, is not taboo. His original script is full of funny characters and no one is off limits; rednecks, serial killers, God, self-help groups, suicidal people, prostitutes, and children are all victims of Cavalline’s sick sense of humor.
The character of Willie is more than just a joke. He is complicated and disturbed. There is a complete story behind his madness and a motivation behind his killings. Beneath the funny exterior of his murders lies a strange paradox; though he is killing “sinners”, he tortures and mutilates them mercilessly. He is as much of a sinner as his victims, and you get the impression that deep down, he knows it.
A fiendish twist involving a secret conjoined twin brother, that is at the least unpredictable, and the constant influences of The Anger and The Sadness create a twisted nightmare for Willie that allows us to see, ironically, that he is the tortured one. Because Willie is so insane, it becomes apparent that though the sick humorous world he lives is in funny, it is distorted because we are seeing it through his eyes. Is there really a God telling him to kill? Is his brother real or symbolic? Are all these people just other facets of Willie’s diseased mind?
It’s a very difficult task to make a film that’s funny, yet psychologically complex.
Despite a clever script with some funny jokes, the real hero of “Dead Body Man” is Eddie Benevich. Without his intense portrayal of Willie, the entire film had the potential to be a complete disaster. He is capable of playing a maniac wielding a chainsaw/knife/gun with a smile on his face while at the same time retaining an intensity that goes beyond comedy. A cameo by the lovely Syn DeVil adds spice and fun to a film with her professional acting and great film presence.
Like any good horror film, “Dead Body Man” is left open for a sequel. Did I happen to mention that there are lots of references to chicken-f*****g in this film? That’s the best part.

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