These days, most of my exposure to horror films is due to whatever the cinematic fascists at Netflix decide is fit for my consumption. The world of horror is vast and unyielding but I’m too paranoid to download anything illegally, and dropping 20 bucks to catch a flick at the movie theater is only reserved for the few films I really get excited about. This week the film Netflix-Nazis allowed me to watch The Lazarus Effect (I’ll be writing about that turd nugget later) and 13 Sins, a pretty decent movie, which stars one of my all time favorite actors: Ron Perlman.
13 Sins (2015) is a film that shows how a person can compromise their conscience and turn into a monster given the right motivation. The film is a modification of the famous Milgram experiment. Whereas the Milgram experiment was a study of how far people will follow questionable orders from people in positions of authority, 13 Sins explores how terrible people can get when offered ridiculous amounts of money in a desperate situation. The film is about a man named Elliot who gets targeted for a game show that renders cash prizes in return for outlandish behavior. Elliot is played by Mark Webber, that guy you don’t remember from the epic hipster shit fest, Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010), and he performs damn well as a person who is trapped in a nightmare and being forced to commit horrible atrocities.
The film requires a fair amount of suspension of our disbelief with all the secret society and manipulation of common folk to do crazy fucked up shit for money. This does not take away from the fun of the film and many times I felt myself cringing with glee as the underdog hero somehow manages to escape capture despite being somewhat of a spineless doormat. Meanwhile, Elliot’s fiancé, played by the always sexy Rutina Wesley, seems to have an endless supply of forgiveness for the avalanche of bullshit she has to put up with. At first Elliot always gets a healthy mix of luck blended with strokes of clever genius to help him survive to the next challenge, but as the film progresses he succumbs to desperation and makes a bunch of critical mistakes. However, the first and most important mistake was having a negative attitude toward the game to begin with. When starting a high stakes game with an obscene amount of money on the line, you gotta be like Ice Cube: down for whatever. You have to detach, compartmentalize and prepare mentally for the heinous acts of public mayhem you are about to commit.
There is one more thing that the film got totally right, and of course I’m talking about Det. Chilcoat played by the timeless Ron Perlman. For those of you who don’t know, Ron Perlman has been in so many films, TV shows and video games that it is difficult to list them all. He has been in epic classic films; the Hellboy franchise phenomenal television series such as Sons of Anarchy. Perlman also has the uncanny ability to make even the shittiest of movies totally awesome. Ron Perlman is so amazing that he learned how to say all of his lines to The City of the Lost Children and he never learned French! He won a Golden Globe for his performance as Vincent in Beauty and the Beast, and that show is considered domestic abuse in most countries. He can even make a total feces hurricane like Season of Witch enjoyable to watch (at least the parts with him in it). He’s one of the most prolific actors working today and it’s always a pleasant surprise when he shows up on screen and gives us a ‘Ron Perlman moment’. A Ron Perlman moment is when you didn’t know he was going to be in the film, but suddenly he appears and you go “Oh, wow! I didn’t know this had Ron Perlman in it!” and then you high five yourself. The best Ron Peralman moments come when they add to an already good film like 13 Sins. Go ahead and check it out and try not to think about the people around you who might be involved in the game, ready to cash in a check at your expense.
Born and raised in San Diego California, I grew up loving the action horror and sci-fi genres. The first R rated film I saw was Predator back when I was 8 years old. Aliens blew me away as a youngster and I made a M41-A pulse rifle out of paper towel rolls and rubber bands. I ran around for hours avoiding face huggers and blasting xenomorphs in my back yard and I am bringing that big imagination to Nevermore Horror.