Twisted Minds - Underground Reviews

fredag 13 april 2018


Directed by: Greg DeLiso
Written by: Greg DeLiso, Peter Litvin
Stars: Peter Litvin, Georgia Kate Haege, J.J. Brine... read more

Country: USA
Style: Action | Comedy
Runtime: 1h 22min

I bet all of us here at least have heard about Troma Entertainment and their infamy. They had their heyday in the 80’s but are still going strong with alot of independent contributors to their evergrowing library of weird and odd cinema. Everything from giant chicken zombies to killer condoms - they got something for everyone and sometimes even things for no one, they got their bases covered!

One of Tromas more recent releases is Greg DeLisos vigilante flick - Hectic Knife. A pretty cool and well made (considering the budget) movie about Hectic (awesomely portrayed by one of the movies screenwriters - Peter Litvin), yes that actually is his name, a knife wielding vigilante that keeps the streets clean from the criminal scum that infests it.

But one day everything takes a turn for the worse when he comes face to face with his newfound nemesis - the evil Piggly Doctor (really well acted by J.J Brine) - who wants to take over the world (as evil nemesis tend to do). Why? Well, why not! There seems to be some kind of subplot about him and his assistant/mistress (played by Traci Ann Wolfe, who reminds me of a funnier Daryl Hannah, but still holds her own) trying to flood the streets with ”the drugs”. From what I can remember they only give “the drugs” to one poor guy that seems to be forgotten for the rest of the movie until one tiny pretty fun callback until the last act. Maybe a dropped storyline or just a joke? Who knows. But it’s pretty funny.

But that might be one of the problems with this movie. There is a lot of storylines that just seems to get dropped, there is not many of them that they run all the way with and that makes the movie feel a bit unstructured. Sometimes it just feels like fun scenes with a very loose narrative forced into them for the sake of keeping them relevant. Some scenes are just pretty unfunny jokes that drag on for way too long and they use them way too many times. I guess it’s to pad out the length of the movie itself and it’s not as confusing or boring as in other padded features. We know what the movie is about and what is happening - but not why or how we got there. Especially the soon to be famous cult classic “bagel scene”. My God that was random and pretty hilarious with it’s fourth wall breaking meta feeling. it’s like a “behind the scenes” video that just happened to end up in the feature itself. It could work as a short film on its own - it’s that good. If I’ll remember anything from Hectic Knife a year from now I bet it’s the bagel scene. It’s really rememberable in the best way possible with some great acting (maybe because they might not be acting?)!

Another of my favorite scenes is one that suddenly turns into a “documentary” about prostitutes on these ragged streets. Well made and very funny. They catch the feeling of a low budget documentary without a doubt. It is spot on. And of course, as a lover of practical effects, I really appreciate the short little scene of stop motion animation. Amazing seeing that in a low budget movie today.

Hectic Knife has some really cool looking scenes. The opening scene is beautifully shot and brings 90’s arthouse to mind - in a good way... The whole movie is in grainy (by choice or high ISO? It think differs) black and white (except the “wrap up” scenes that play during credits) and I believe that is for the better. It fits the feeling and tone of the movie itself and the “cheap video look” is less obvious - great choice! The camera work and cinematography is overall very beautiful and feels way more expensive than it probably was.

The movie even has a pretty solid sound design and a amazing soundtrack that reminded me of John Carpenter a bit here and there. I would love a soundtrack album of Hectic Knife, that’s how good it is. The most problem really is with the characters. Some are really great and I love them. Some are underdeveloped and some are not developed at all. Hectics girlfriend (Georgia Kate Haege) (one of the victims of street violence that he saved earlier on in the movie) doesn’t really fill any function, at all. Their stories doesn’t pan out to anything and they are just left on their own.

But my absolute favorite character is Hectics room-mate who actually turns out to be “pretty important” (I use that loosely) by the end. Other than him, Hectic, his mentor and the awesome villains non of the characters are important enough to be there really. The make little to no sense to the main story and their own little stories just gets dropped, as I said earlier.

It might sound like I didn't like Hectic Knife, but that’s far from the truth. I really enjoyed my time with it and I will watch it again in the future. It has a lot of laugh out loud moments and a great feeling throughout, among a fragmented story and some really non useful characters. I guess I could say that the parts is better than the sum of them. Maybe that’s true. The movie ends with a very abrupt fight that got me thinking of some 70’s films that end right after the climax, like Dirty Harry. I’ve never liked those, but here it kinda fits and with an awesome wig gag I cannot complain!

I just got to say that I loved the “The Hangover”-joke and the roomates song - great moments! It is also nice seeing smoking back on the screen as much as in this. Oh, I just remembered, this movie have one of my favorite lines of all time:
-”Sometimes you just gonna have to let the bitch fill the cup”. - Brilliant.

This is really a “very classic” superhero/vigilante movie (follows “the hero’s journey” structure), told in a very non-conventional way which makes it so much more enjoyable. A feeling of total independent renegade filmmaking flows through the whole thing and it makes my true independent cinema loving soul very happy. It kinda reminds me of that scene in Tim Burtons 'Ed Wood' (1994) when they are shooting in the streets: -“We don’t have a permit... Run”!

I’m really looking forward to the future with the team behind Hectic Knife and maybe, just maybe, we can get “the further adventures of Hectic Knife”. I know I would watch it and I’m looking forward to it.

Make sure to pick this up whenever you can. This is true independent cinema.


Produced by: Michael Anthony, Greg DeLiso, Peter Litvin
Cinematography by: Greg DeLiso
Editing by: Greg DeLiso
Special Effects by: Al Krakosky, Clay Williams
Music by: Peter Litvin
Language: English | Spanish
Color:  Black & white | Color

Distributor: Troma Entertainment


Writer for Twisted Minds. Indie-filmmaker based in (but not exclusive to) Gothenburg, Sweden. Has been acting since the age of ten and has writing for even longer time. He likes all sorts of movies and are doing his best to find the good parts in the worst ones. Writer of articles and reviews in both English and Swedish. Lover of the indie film-scene where he believe true creativity and freedom happens today - To express the wonderful words of Troma; "Let's make some art!".