This week ECHG Adam Holtzapfel takes a look at Rock Paper Dead directed by Tom Holland and written by Kerry Fleming & Victor Miller. Rock Paper Dead took home the Night Mare for Best Feature Screenplay at this year’s Nightmares Film Festival.
When I first heard this was playing at Nightmares Film Festival I was excited as it boasted iconic names in the genre like Tom Holland and Victor Miller as well as Michael Madsen, Najarra Townsend, Ari Lehman, and more. Sometimes high hopes aren’t enough.
The film starts with Peter the masked killer (Luke Macfarlane) torturing a woman bound to a table. He asks if she wants to play a game…rock, paper, scissors and of course she loses. The cops bust in and make an arrest. We see him sentenced to the state hospital for the criminally insane for the rest of his life. We see him go through shock treatment and fast forward a few years into the future where he’s released.
We see him go to his uncle’s house and while looking in a mirror we see something run past him. As he finds a key to a locked room he finds dolls wrapped up in a cloth that sets off a flashback. In the flashback we see a young Peter (Kane Rocca) enter a room and take a doll out of a curio cabinet. Here’s where Uncle Charles (John Dugan) enters the room and gives the “I thought I told you not to come in here”, “Dolls are for girls, are you a girl?” spiel. From there he tells Peter he’s going to make him a girl.
As the story goes on Peter sees demons, hears noises, gets locked in the closet his uncle used to lock him in, you know all of the usual stuff that happens in these films. While at the local park he notices Zoe (Anna Margaret) and becomes somewhat infatuated with her. His neighbor “Monica” is a writer that wants to tell the stoy from Peter’s side.
“Monica” tries a second attempt to get Peter to talk, as their conversation goes we hear voices telling Peter to tell her what he did, show her where he touched you. Yep you guessed it he was a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Uncle Charles.
A flashback reveals that Uncle Charles liked playing rock, paper, scissors, where the winner gets to do “anything”. So you see where this is going and why when wearing the killer mask Peter likes playing the game with his victims. We also find out that “Monica” was also a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of her foster brother.
I honestly can’t recommend this movie to anyone unless you want to torture yourself. I get what they were going for especially with all of the recent allegations in Hollywood, but sometimes things that look good on paper should remain there.
(Images taken from Google)