The tagline on my screener of Francis Xavier DeGennaro’s new “Action/Slasher Flick” goes “What’s wrong with these people?…EVERYTHING!!!” Well, they sure as s**t got that right. And let me add that EVERYONE in this film also has EVERYTHING wrong with them. From the torture happy criminal computer hacker to the dognapping serial killer, to the freaky female cops hot on their tail, and more, there’s a very large therapy bill waiting to be rung up here.
Fresh out of prison for computer hacking, Sal pays a visit to his mentally challenged little brother Chancey who lives alone, all except for his two dogs, in their dead parents’ home. When Sal steps out to get them a pizza, a serial killer creeps into the house – a serial killer who bears the uncanny likeliness of Sal, right down to his attire even. Catching this killer in the act of kidnapping one of his dogs, Chancey then finds himself target of the killer’s wrath, ultimately losing a life or death struggle. Sal returns with the pizza, too late to save his brother or find the killer, but right on time to have the whole thing pinned on him by the nosy neighbors.
Later, after being sweated a bit by a couple of perverted detectives, Sal makes a break from the police station and hides in the basement of the old folks home of which he is employed. While hiding, Sal is able to use his computer hacking skills to search the Internet and secret S&M sites for clues as to who his brother’s killer is…because all serial killers dwell at kinky sites I guess…actually, today that’s probably totally accurate.
The clues Sal comes upon don’t exactly point directly to his brother’s killer, but they do lead him to a new love interest, Delila, and the demented artist who would have tortured her to death if Sal hadn’t found her in time. Soon, Sal and Delila turn the tables on her attacker and begin torturing him for information on the whereabouts of Sal’s brother’s killer…because all serial killers and creeps keep a tight network I guess, like the mob.
What little clues they receive from their prisoner opens up a whole world of criminal shitheads, of which they play tag team vigilantes, but not too long before they realize they’re initial mission has been sidetracked and that they need to focus on finding Sal’s brother’s killer, but just as they are getting close, the perverted detectives are on their track and only time will tell if they wind up helping or hindering our two vigilantes.
In another filmmaker’s hands, “Torture Me No More” probably would’ve turned out to be just another disposable, pretentious serial killer flick trying too hard to bare teeth it doesn’t have. DeGennaro’s penchant for the absurd, however, keeps this one way ahead of the pack, making this film anything but disposable, even if it is still a little hard to swallow. In fact, through all of the bizarre characters, twisted sense of humor in the face of brutality and the creepy sound design, you get the feel that perhaps the filmmaker has EVERYTHING wrong with him too and I like that. It makes you feel like this guy knows what he’s talking about despite the fact that you’re watching a string of very incredible events. Peculiar and bordering on the criminally dangerous, “Torture Me No More” is one serial killer film that won’t be easily forgotten.