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Monday, April 5, 2010

This Review is For a Serial Killer Named Tony

tony7 Tony is a snapshot into the life a lonely-loser fittingly named, Tony. In essence, Tony is a middle-aged dork, a guy that wants to make friends, but no one cares to befriend him. He has a very oily DJ Conner inspired hairdo, a rapist stache, unflattering glasses, and an overall wimpy demeanor. But most importantly, Tony is also a serial killer.

Directed by Gerard Johnson, Tony is a London based film that has no actual storyline. Much of the film's runtime is spent with Tony as he goes about his daily routine, which includes a copious amount of action films, awkward attempts to build relationships, and of course, the occasional murder. Some compare this film to Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and that comparison is only slightly accurate. The film is a character study of a serial killer, but only as deep as the character goes in his life as it is at this moment in time - meaning there is no back-story as to why Tony is how he is. There is no explained history of a terrible childhood, abuse, or anything along those lines, instead, the viewer is left to their own device as to how Tony became this way.

tony Brilliantly played by Peter Ferdinando, Tony is not a character that is likeable, nor is he someone that you can completely hate either. He really tries to make friends with people, but his awkwardness is a turn off to potential friends, as well as making him an easy target for more dominant males. As I mentioned beforehand, Tony is a huge fan of action films, which really plays into Tony's character in many ways. He has a clear obsession with masculinity, an attribute which he himself does not possess, but clearly wishes he did.

tony1 Tony also has a habit of hanging out at gay bars, which mixed in with his tough guy movie fetish, may lend one to believe he is a homosexual. However, when faced with any sort of actual homosexual interaction, he wants nothing to do with it. This could be looked at as a motivation for his murderous tendencies, as he is tortured by the sexuality that he denies, but I personally do not think that is necessarily the case. He is constantly trying to make friends and the only people that seem to be interested are people that can benefit from Tony (he also hangs out with some scummy drug dealers at one point). The guys he meets in the gay clubs are under the influence, so they are horny and willing to hang with anyone in their intoxicated state, even Tony. And Tony is fully aware of this.

tony2 He just wants to have some one to hang out with, someone to watch Death Warrant with, but no one really wants to do those things with Tony, and that is where he losses his grip. Another motivator for his part time occupation as a serial killer comes from his own lack of male dominance in a socially acceptable way. When Tony murders someone, it makes him feel like a man, a man that can overpower another man by taking his life. Tony becomes the dominant one. He doesn't appear to be crazy, Tony never snaps, and he barely shows signs of insanity, unless he is actually attacking someone, but even then, he is mostly calm.

tony3 Tony is Johnson's first feature length film and he does an admirable job for such a green director. Tony is reportedly very low in budget, but looks quite good and the London location has a perfectly gritty aesthetic for Tony to prowl. Most of the camera work is following Tony around in an almost documentary type of way, and there are some nice looking long shots that take in all of Tony’s urban surroundings. The best use of location in the film is actually in Tony's apartment, as it is so plain and unpleasant, that you cannot help but feel a little creeped out by the setting in which he lives.

tony4While I wouldn't call Tony a scary film, there are some affectively creepy moments that made me feel very awkward along with the characters involved. It's a very uncomfortable film at times, but Tony is an uncomfortable character. There isn't even a whole lot in terms of kills, or brutality, and the film's strength all comes from the character of Tony and Ferdinando's fantastic performance, as well as some of the technical aspects of the movie. There are also some humorous moments that are funny in the darkest of ways, meaning that they won't make you laugh out loud, but you'll appreciate them for being there. 

tony6

Tony is a film that has no real plot, has poorly executed confrontation, no resolution and basically, no purpose. However, the film exists to act as a window into the life of a serial killer and in a way, a person that could very well be in any of our lives without us knowing it. He's the unassuming killer who is not looked at as a threat, which is the scariest kind I would assume. Tony is an interesting character study that foregoes basic act structure to focus on the mind of a lonely man and mostly does so in a somewhat successful way.

12 comments:

  1. I love you for the Pixies reference in the post title. Will dutifully check out the film soon.

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  2. And I love you back for knowing where I got that title from! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the film...it's one that can go either way.

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  3. Sounds very similar to this Chilean movie i saw called Tony Manero. Instead of action movies, Chilean Tony is obsessed with Tony Manero from Saturday Night Fever, and is also a serial killer in his spare time.It's actually hilarious but VERY disturbing.

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  4. Wow, that sounds pretty amazing! I checked out the trailer and it looked really good - thanks for sharing!

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  5. Sounds great. I'll be checking out ASAP. Awesome review, duder.

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  6. I loved this movie! Yeah, it doesn't really go anywhere but it's a fun ride getting nowhere with this deranged lunatic.

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  7. Ok this is the second review I read in the last half hour. Both of them have me all in!!

    Word Verifcation: Peedikky...is that P Diddys new tag?

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  8. POT: Thanks brotha! It's an interesting film and I believe that my review would be a good buffer before seeing it so you know the type of film you are getting into. I liked it, but it wont be for everyone, but then again, what is?

    Murph: Exactly! It's quick, interesting and I enjoyed the time I spent with the character of Tony. Thanks for stopping by and glad that you dug the film too!

    Geof: I think Peedikky is when he pees a little after he has already pulled his pants up...that shit sucks!

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  9. I'm hopelessly sympathetic to the psychotic lonelies.

    I'll check this one out.

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  10. As a poor man's HENRY, it was an interesting watch, but I found all of the same flaws inherent in the film, and I just didnt find any level of connection with the character that I did in HENRY, which is what drove me from it more than anything else

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  11. This is seriously freaking me out. On the site "Dinner With Max Jenke" he had a post on "Maniac," and I posited that if someone like Lodge Kerrigan had a go of remaking it, all the gore hounds would get a real idea of how a man with such a truly disturbed mind would think. I see someone has already beaten me to my admittedly fictive punch. Spooky.

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  12. Ashlee: I feel the same way, especially when they are into 80's action films!

    Carl: I wouldn't consider it on the same level as Henry either. I wouldn't say I felt any connection to the character of Tony as much as I found him infinitely fascinating. He's not very relatable, outside of some of his taste in cinema!

    Verysmall: Even stranger is I left a comment on that Maniac post you speak of a few days ago! Coincidence?! I've yet to catch up with any of Kerrigan's films, but have heard great things about Clean, Shaven. Thanks for the comment!

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