Bruiser (2000)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Thriller
A weak-willed businessman, pushed to the edge of sanity by his demanding job and people who don't respect him, wakes up one day to find his face a blank image of a white porcelain mask, and he takes advantage to this unexplained supernatural event to get back at all those who have treated him badly. --IMDb
George A. Romero George A. Romero
Jason Flemyng Jason Flemyng
Peter Stormare Peter Stormare
Leslie Hope Leslie Hope
Nina Garbiras Nina Garbiras
Andrew Tarbet Andrew Tarbet

5.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: July 04, 2004
The movie starts up by showing Henry Creedlow, an employee at Bruiser magazine, being a spineless weenie in various situations. His boss Miles (pronounced Milo, but spelled Miles in the credits) treats him like complete shit and embarrasses him in front of the other employees. Being the coward that he is, Henry takes it all in stride and doesn't say a word in his own defense. When he catches his wife Janine jerking off the boss that treats him like shit, he confronts her with his findings... only to be laughed at and humiliated by her. She thinks that it's about time he found out, and yes, she's been fucking men behind his back for quite some time in order to advance in her job. True to form, Henry takes it all in without doing anything about it, and this proves to be quite the laughing matter for Janine, as she tells him that a real man would have confronted both Miles and herself right when they were caught. Henry goes home, and Janine goes out to spend some more time with Miles. The next morning, Henry wakes up to find that he no longer has a face, only a blank white slate where his distinguishing features should be. He also has quite the different outlook on life now, and decides to finally start standing up for himself and getting revenge on those who have wronged him.

This was an excellent movie to welcome George Romero back into the horror industry after an nine-year hiatus from directing. Sure, it didn't quite reach the levels of greatness that The Dead Trilogy did, but it definitely wasn't a minus on his resume. It has the classic Romero touch to it, that being that you could watch this as just a normal horror movie and come away satisfied, or you could pick it apart and get to the underlying meaning of the film, which makes the storyline just that much better. The way the storyline works out in the first quarter of the movie really sets things into motion with a bang. You can't help but to sympathize with poor Henry and his plights, and to pick out people in the movie that you yourself have worked with or been around. It's that mix of great realism and fantasy that really gives this movie a great opening, which leads right on into an even better finale of revenge against everyone that's fucked with him.

The cast chosen for this movie were some great picks for the most part. Jason Flemyng (Henry) does a great job at coming off as a pushover in the beginning, and then transitions flawlessly into the slightly-insane type of person. Then there's Peter Stormare (Miles) who is also great with his parts... that of the typical asshole boss that could give two shits about his employees, and is only out for his own cash earnings. Continuing the trend, there's Nina Garbiras (Janine), who plays the bitchy wife role to perfection and never misses a beat in doing so. The only person that really didn't do much for me was Leslie Hope as Rosemary, the wife of Miles. She wasn't really bad in her role, but just boring and lifeless in most of her scenes. She either did a great job at not caring about what was going on around her in most of her parts, or she didn't really put a whole lot of effort into her parts. Whichever the case may be, replacing her with another actress certainly would have helped things out a bit.

Then, there's the soundtrack to the film. The score done by Donald Rubinstein fit the scenes perfectly, no flaws there... but the really interesting thing to me was the surprisingly-long cameo by The Misfits. They stick around for the entire finale of the film, playing a nice little set list for the party that is going on around them, which was a very nice touch to the scene going on. As an extra on the DVD, the video for "Scream!" is also included, which was a nice little bonus.

Overall, definitely worth the pickup if you can handle some storyline with your horror. It's not a kill-per-minute gorefest, nor is it a bloodbath when the kills do occur, but the great story presented more than makes up for that. 9/10.
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