For us guys, probably the worst pain we can ever imagine is to do with our Crown Jewels. We act like we’re tough as nuts, but believe me as a tattooist the worst clients ever are the big, steroid, muscle-bound fellas. They talk a good game, but always crumble and that’s a needle and ink, never mind the Nards!
Watching ‘Banjo’ presents that constant reminder that anything resembling the downstairs area is a NO NO!
The story centers on Peltzer (James Hamer-Morton ) who is basically a pathetic subject of a man. He is bullied and taken advantage by everyone in his life including his boss and his girlfriend Deetz (Dani Thompson). He goes from home to work, back to home and has no quality of life and lives on his nerves and is an anxiety-wreck. Peltzer is even bullied and dominated during sex which results in an unfortunate episode that includes a DIY stitch job and buckets of blood (hence the film’s title). I’d heard many rumors of this scene before viewing the film, but I have to admit it was better than I expected. Granted it was graphic, but in an extremely over the top, hilarious way that it never felt forced or trying to be graphic for the sake of it. It genuinely made me laugh out loud!!!
Regan has delivered a sticky, wet, hilarious British Horror-Com that certainly won’t disappoint.
This is the jumping off point for the film as it really kicks in once the prosthetics start flapping about on screen. Once Peltzer returns to work he’s ridiculed by his colleges, boss and also his girlfriend regarding his extra-sexual activities, to the point where he reluctantly loses it and summons his demon-esque childhood imaginary friend called Ronnie, superbly played by (Damian Morter).
The film really shifts gear and now we have a Horror version of -‘Drop Dead Fred’. Ronnie starts sarcastically slashing his way through the workplace and righting a few wrongs for Peltzer. The undercurrent story isn’t rocket science, which involves Deetz and Peltzer’s boss Mr.Saywer (Vito Trigo) plotting to dispose of Peltz and take hold of his quaint little house that he’s inherited from now deceased mother, but we certainly ain’t looking for ‘Citizen Kane’ here, the story isn’t the important thing, it’s a vehicle to showcase Regan’s utterly surreal, shameless and bonkers mind.
One of ‘Banjo’s’ strong point’s is its pacing. It jumps from set piece to set piece and every one better than the last. The more the film progresses, so do the performances. Everyone seems to become more comfortable the longer they’re on screen and having great fun. Without doubt the stand-out performances are Morter & Hamer-Morton, they’re excellent together and have a wonderful chemistry. The supporting cast are ok with the best being (Serena-Chloe Gardner) as Melissa, a type of ‘Girl-Next-Door’ character that is as pathetic and dominated as Peltzer. There’s also nice support from (Laurence Harvey) and a cool cameo by Troma-Legend (Lloyd Kaufman).
‘Banjo’s’ greatest strength is Regan’s mad-cap direction. He’s delivered a sticky, wet, hilarious British Horror-Com that certainly won’t disappoint. I can see why it’s been getting great reviews at festivals. Regan is the true star on show here and his perseverance and determination to create ‘Banjo’ in the vision he envisaged is very admirable as he’s come on leaps and bounds since it was a rough short film.
‘Banjo’ should be Regan’s ticket to great things as he’s the sort of ideal young director bigger studios should be eyeing up to take the reins on quirky film projects or a surreal-British TV series. There were snippets of a young Edgar Wright visible here and it wouldn’t surprise me if Regan gets a call very soon.
‘Banjo’ is bloody, strange, silly and one hell of a good time.