One of the most fun parts of doing write ups for So Wizard Podcast is when I get to check out something new and fresh. A project that I would otherwise not had access to. Hectic Knife is one of those projects.
Made by Writer/Director Greg DeLiso Hectic Knife follows a character by the same name. Hectic is something of a vigilante, though he brutally murders the criminals with kitchen knives. The twist to the anti-hero character is that he really doesn’t care about what he’s doing and is pretty down on… well, just about everything. He seems to carry on his vigilante duties despite being disinterested, lack of pay, and no 401k option.
When Piggly Doctor starts forcing citizens in Hectic’s city into being drug addicts Hectic reluctantly decides to confront him.
I wanted to open my write up saying that Hectic Knife isn’t really my ‘thing’ but it did give me great memories of sitting around watching worn Troma VHS tapes on CRT TVs with my high school friends. After finishing the movie I learned that this was almost exactly what was happening. Filmed in 4:3 and black and white (mostly) Hectic Knife was just missing some grain to complete the look of a Troma film. This is, in fact, a Troma Team release.
Technically Hectic Knife is surprisingly well made. It’s shot well and the editing is clean. Being in 4:3 and missing color for the majority of the film was an obvious choice and finding out its a Troma picture made those aspects great.
The bad-on-purpose genre Troma is best known for still has quite the following despite the relative ease of above average movie making equipment at the ready. Some movies are shot entirely on cell phones and look pretty good. The self effacing humor is rampant and sets along with lack of score never stop reminding the audience this was a low budget affair.
The self-effacing humor is a bit relentless. Before too long it even becomes tiresome. The story doesn’t unfold naturally with some quips and stepping outside the fourth wall every now and then. It’s more jammed down the audiences throat and big gaps in the plot are excused away with vulgar lines about ‘not giving a shit’ and how ‘stupid the movie is.’ (Character’s words, not mine). Even The Toxic Avenger was a fully formed movie at its ridiculous core.
On top of not fully articulating plot points and going out of their way to point it out, the filmmakers have scenes that either serve no purpose or drag on way past their expiration date. Some are funny gags and are forgiven but when gags are repeated or don’t land its grueling to sit through. Toward the end of the movie there is one scene, and gag, that goes on so long the movie steps outside of itself to make fun of their own gag. This was a genius move and one of the funniest parts of the movie. Sadly the scene commenting on the scene lasts a bit too long as well.
Credit to the actors in the movie. The script is purposely written with lines that are hard to get out. They stand by their roles and ham it up (in the best way possible) like soap stars let off their leash. Staying in this insane world without blowing the final takes is a pretty impressive feat.
Hectic Knife was a fun trip down memory lane. The movie is definitely one better done with your friends around to really get into the fun of it. It has a funny premise with the lackluster anti-hero who can’t be bothered by much and it throws some jabs at typical movie tropes. I personally would’ve liked a bit more polish on the script but I know for a fact that is not what the intended audience is in it for.