Ryan Nicholson has always been a director whose work I’ve been familiar with, but not until last night have I ever been brave enough to watch it. Recently I’ve come to the realization that extreme horror is something I can handle, and even enjoy. Therefore I decided to go into Collar with a brave face and a strong stomach and I’m happy to report I came out unscathed. Despite my brain telling me otherwise, it turns out I’m not squeamish at all and I’ve really developed a fondness for horrors most brutal offerings, provided they’re not boring. I’m happy to report Collar was a success.
From what I understand, Collar was somewhat a departure for Ryan into darker territory. The lighthearted comedic aspects of back alley abortions and bowling alley rapes in his previous efforts were all for a good camp laugh; I’m of the view that no subject is taboo enough to laugh at, therefore I look forward to seeing Hanger (2009) and Gutterballs (2008) when they arrive in my mailbox. Collar is a mean spirited, brutal affair indeed, but I’d be lying if I didn’t told you I didn’t chuckle at the cannibalism. I have a twisted sense of humour.
Collar stars Nick Principle as Massive – the homeless Satanic serial killer with a hunger for human flesh and a penis that doesn’t take the word, ”no” or the gut wrenching cries of its victims for an answer. Massive is an intimidating villain carried by force alone: no spoken words are needed to convey his evil intent. By far the strongest character of the movie, Collar has a villain it can be proud of, and one that is sure to send a few chills down a spine or two. That being said, the supporting cast are fairly unmemorable in comparison, despite all putting in a solid effort.
The plot to Collar is thin, but effective: a deranged homeless killer who was abused as a child kidnaps, rapes and tortures unsuspecting victims from the streets. One night, after receiving a call, Dana – a female cop, sets out to investigate the situation, only to be taken hostage, strapped to a collar and subject to the abuse of Massive. While this is going on, the heinous acts committed by the Satanic rapscallion are being filmed by 2 sleazeballs who profit from capturing peoples misery on their smartphones.
As to be expected from a filmmaker with Nicholson’s reputation and amazing F/X skills, the gore is plentiful and it looks incredible; he’s a supremely talented man who’s worked on some huge movies and TV shows, so Collar is above most indie productions for the gruesome stuff. As sickening as you might find it at times, it’s hard not to view Collar and marvel at the effects work. Here we’re treated to disembowelment’s, child birth and bodies being broken in half with back breakers (the wrestling move) – and much more. Collar’s depravity, sleaze and violence ensures that it’s never boring for a second, unlike other movies of the ilk.
Collar is a nasty movie that doesn’t shy away from pulling punches. In fact, it punches you so hard you might feel it in your gut afterwards. The supporting characters and thin plot aren’t particularly strong, but with a short running time and constant supply of carnage, it doesn’t outstay its welcome. This is filthier than a dubstep bassline drop at a mud wrestling match between 2 STD riddled hookers with heroin addictions. 6/10
Written & Directed By:
Nick Principe, Aidan Dee, Mihola Terzic