A horror comedy named Uncle Peckerhead is going to provide a certain expectation. It will be violent and extreme in its gore. There will be little story and the characters will be very shallow. While some of this is true to an extent, Uncle Peckerhead delivers a much different story than the title would suggest.
The story centers on the punk band Duh. They have set off on their first tour and are ready to play their first big show. Along the way they need titular character. It turns out the friendly Peckerhead turns into a flesh eating a thing every midnight. What could be more punk than that?
The most surprising thing about Uncle Peckerhead is how much it focuses on friendships. Friends are not a new concept to horror. In fact, it is usually a group of friends that end up being slaughtered by the iconic villain. Uncle Peckerhead treats the dynamic a little differently, however.
The friends are not fodder in this movie. The focus is on their relationships. There is more to the characters then “nerd wants to be popular” or “douchebag jock”. There is an actual arc and development to everyone.
Initially, the members of the band not sure what to think of Peckerhead. His traveling with them is more of an ends to a mean. When they discover his secret, they want him around even less. As Uncle Peckerhead progresses, the band becomes more comfortable with him. It is not just about accepting what he does; the group actually become friends.
This leads to another common conceit in horror. There is the question of how far will a person go to get what they want. The difference is Uncle Peckerhead makes it more of a moral dilemma the majority genre is usually willing to. In most cases, it is simply a case of person is corrupted by power, does evil things, and dies at the end. There is a deeper exploration here that makes it more intriguing.
Which is not to say Uncle Peckerhead does not know how to have fun. The movie has moments filled with death and bloodshed. Just like any good horror flick, it makes sure to have its share of gross out moments. In particular, is a great scene involving a confrontation with a pair of metalheads.
The movie’s strength lies in its calculated use of gore. When the kills come, they are suitably over the top. Blood sprays out of dismembered victims forcing those caught in the deluge to have to hose themselves down while limbs are graphically torn from bodies. Instead of relying on these moments, Uncle Peckerhead uses them sparingly. This maximizes the effect while also putting more emphasis on the story.
Uncle Peckerhead is a fun horror comedy. The characters go beyond the cookie cutter variation found in these types of movies. All are very likable making the film much more enjoyable. The story is never content to rely just on terror giving audiences a well rounded story.
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