I bought this movie because the guy running studio’s booth at a convention offered me a free switchblade comb and a button. My journalistic integrity implores me to share that little detail with you for the sake of disclosure. Ethics in schlock journalism and all that. That and I needed an opening hook. When this movie needed to come up with a hook it had the lead character strangle a woman with a dildo. Unfortunately I’m not nearly as creative as the folks who thought of that.
STEVE: DEATH COLLECTOR
USA, 2015, Missy Dawn
Surely the spineless Steve’s complete lack of authority and people skills makes him a shoe in for this gig. He’s poked fun at by his coworkers and boss and is snubbed by his new office sweetheart before he even speaks to her. Steve’s working on commission so after enough failures with his clients, he begins to take his work to the streets. Nothing can stop him from getting his cash. Not even witchy blood orgies. That’s a thing that happens. Then it’s never spoken of again. Steve wanders through a series of bizarre set pieces culminating in various fairly creative murders and some pretty funny lines.
That’s basically what the whole movie is; Steve entering and exiting scenes leaving only a one liner or two and a trail of bodies in his wake. It never tries to be more than it is and doesn’t even attempt to push its concept any further than you’d think it’d go. In this case, that’s a great thing. Its kills may have lofty goals – the deadly, deadly skullfucking comes to mind – but the folks behind the scenes knew where to limit themselves to take advantage of their lower budget and schlocky tone. It seems to be a common sentiment that it’s impossible to reproduce the charm of a bad movie when you’re going out of your way to create that fuzzy, awkward tone that sets the good-bad movies from the unwatchable ones, and I’ll always disagree with that partly because of movies like Steve. It’s intentionally goofy, but you can tell from the performances that the people involved had a great time and were happy with what they made and that makes me happy to watch it.
Steve‘s a simple movie, and it knows what it wants to be. Truthfully, after I brought the disc home and stopped fiddling with the stupid comb I looked up a trailer and honestly wasn’t sure it’d be any good. The trailer and the screenshots on the back of the box made it seem like a bog standard shot on video affair hearkening back the good old days of slashers, with artificial fuzz and tracking aplenty. But upon starting the movie up, I was greeted with widescreen footage shot with some skill and a very cool – very much copyright infringing – 8-bit intro following Steve killing his way through Nintendo characters. It really sets a great tone right out of the gate and I kind of appreciate the misleading trailer.
Now don’t get me wrong, Razor Sharp Studios isn’t putting to shame any big budget productions or anything, but this movie looks nice overall, is edited well enough, and has some hokey – intentionally I’m sure – but effective practical effects. The sound, unfortunately, isn’t on the same level. Dialogue echoes a bit and music tends to be a little too loud at times. Truth be told there are a fair amount of technical errors, but it’s easy to look past when the movie’s this charming. That’s probably the biggest surprise to me, this movie’s just got such a laid back, likable vibe. It’s hard to poke fun at it when it does that itself.
So, give Steve a chance? I say go for it, if you can get a hold of the movie and want something hokey, irreverent, and proud then you won’t be disappointed. While there’s nothing overly graphic – skull fucking and necrophilia have never looked so PG – I will say that weak stomachs should should pass due to a few particularly dark scenes. Definitely don’t bother if you want something with a budget or top notch special effects, either. I personally love the lo-fi look and feel to everything but it’s easy to see why someone would disagree.
Razor Sharp seems to distribute all their movies on their own, and I’m not sure how many they print. Their online storefront currently has Steve in stock as well as their more popular Porkchop series.