Wicked World - Wicked World( Blu Ray) [101 Films - 2022]
From the early 1990s, Wicked World is certainly one of the more bizarre, at times nonsensical, and downright odd slasher-come-psycho dramas. The film is full of WTH moments, as well as having a decidedly pessimistic/ gloomy outlook, and some rather suspected options- which do move towards being offensive, though fall short, due to their ridiculous presentation. As part of 101 Films UK's reissue of the AGFA cult film library, here’s region B blu ray release of the film- with the disc taking in a commentary track, a making-of doc, and a few more bits.
Released in the year 1991 Wicked World was directed, written and starred Toronto, Ontario Barry J Gillis. He has three other films to his name, including one in post-production/ just announced film. His released films take in the gruelling serial killer film The Killing Games (2012), and B ’n’ B set stalk & slash House Of Many Sorrows (2020). He also wrote/ produced the notorious SOV film Things (1989).
After the fairly lengthy credits and quotes, we get a darting shot of a city skyline, a dateline, and a brief voice-over. Then we suddenly shift to a night-time party- where a guy and woman really getting it on- she is taking off her top, and pulling down her pants- while a twitchy and geeky bespectacled guy looks on. The watcher keeps pulling out a gun, then putting it away again- in the background, there is really bad heavy metal playing, though it’s suddenly switches for groovy pop- with a new couple doing a silly clap hand dance. At the window is an older man in gas mask peering in. The making-it-out girl strips off and takes a shower- then the geek snaps, rants a bit then each person is gunned down with strange jump cuts and fake graphic blood spray- this all happens in the first few minutes.
As we move on things get more and more bizarre- first off characters are brought in to suddenly be dropped out by cheap gore-bound death. The dialogue is post-dubbed, often in a muffled/ playful theatrical manner- as the characters don’t often mouth the words. We have jarring musical jumps between different genres- which are normally performed in either a cheapy mocking/ bad manner. And lastly, nothing seems connected/makes sense- in time you figure out the whole film is meant to be from the mind of a grey-haired killer who has been lobotomized- and is playing back different scenarios and memories in his mind.
In time the cop that tried to take out the serial killer comes into the film, to pile on the confusion. We have a load of random characters appearing- getting either attacked with on-screen digital splashes, or falling over in bloody collapses. We have very ropy animal sound effects. The killer been pushed around in a wheelchair- going on playground slides and swings. And general strange ramblings, or suddenly jarring cuts. The acting when it’s done on screen is seriously wooden. Moving onto the slightly more dubious side of the film- there is often a highly pessimistic tone, with folks committing suicide at the drop of a hat, and a general ranting tone. And lastly/ worse of all, there are moments of clear/ open racism from the cop characters- these are lessened a bit by the ridiculous/ wacky presentation, though I’m sure might still offend some.
On the whole Wicked World is unlike anything else I’ve seen in its strange delivery and editing- and if you’re looking for a one-off B movie experience, this is certainly that. I think it mangled my brain somewhat in its nonsensical/ bizarre way.
Moving on to the extras on the Blu-ray. And we get a few extras first off, we get ‘an unseen 2019 director's cut’ of the film, and flicking through this it seemed largely pretty much the same as the main cut of the film…but I may well return to it down the line, when the films faded a bit from memory. Otherwise, we get a commentary track from Barry J Gillis- he’s a rather shouty and excitable character, and the track is somewhat sporadic- but there is worth here. He moves from explaining where the quotes come from in the credits, moving to discuss how the AGFA release came about. He talks about the actors in the film- which were a mix of friends, acquaintances, strippers, and a few pro actors. He talks about how he met Eddie Platt, who played the grey-haired serial killer, outside a video shop- and how he landed up in the film. He informs us that a lot of the flashbacks/ jump-cuts were added in the 2000s. He discusses the store location that gets robbed in the film. Later on, he discusses working with actors on set- which he said went largely well. He talks about certain scene set-ups, and how Platt came up with some of the kills. It’s a passable enough track- which certainly is worth a play. Otherwise, we get an hour-long making-of- showing Gillis setting-up scenes & interacting with the actors, and interviews with the actors/ crew. We get a twenty-three-minute on-screen interview/ caught up with director Gillis. And two-and-a-half-minute onscreen interview with the son of Eddie Platt, talking about his father who has now passed. Finishing off we have a music video for one of the tracks used in the film, and the original trailer.
If you enjoy very odd and decidedly bizarre B movie fare from the ’80s/90s, then Wicked World is something you’ll most certainly have to experience, and what better way to see it than this release of the film.Roger Batty