Like swing dancing and ska music, making films that hearken back to the old grindhouse days seems to be a fad that has had its moment, and now it’s time to move on. Sure, there’ll be a Hobo with a Shotgun every once and a while to play the role of exception to the rule, but for the most part I figured we were done with the modern revival of grindhouse. Desdemona 6 proves me wrong, but in the best way possible: it’s really good!
It’s 1979, and a young couple runs afoul of a sinister driver and his spooky muscle car late one night while driving in the middle of nowhere, roughly six miles outside of the town of Desdemona… wherever the fuck it is. It doesn’t really matter, does it? Anyway, driver and spooky car are not exactly what they seem, and the couple’s innocent night turns from playful to terrible, complete with a creepy farmhouse, and you can guess what happens next.
This is a dirty, dingy horror short that looks like someone pissed all over the film negative before wiping it off with their ass cheeks (again, in the best way possible). We’ve got all the right pieces for a grindhouse horror flick, and it’s all done about as good, if not better, than one would expect. Yes, it’s predictable, but that’s because it gets what it is and plays to that familiarity. Everything from the look to the over-the-top and borderline-horrendous acting lines up.
That said, yeah, it does what it is really well, and therefore deserves its due credit, but it doesn’t reinvent the wheel or anything. It doesn’t necessarily elevate its genre, it just lives perfectly within its distinctions. This is fine, if you’re looking for some quality grindhouse then look no further. But if you’re looking for something a little different, or a new twist on some old ideas, then this isn’t quite it. That isn’t much of a criticism in the grand scheme of things, though, because as long as what it set out to be was a kick-ass grindhouse-style horror short, then it achieved its goal.
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