Minnesota, 1983. The 80s are in full steam: neon lights, wire-rimmed glasses, gel-soaked side-partings and man-perms. No wonder people are getting a little bit stabby. Enter Joel (Evan Marsh), critic for Vicious Funatics magazine, horror film expert and seriously cool guy (if he does say so himself, of course). Steeped in envy over his roommate's boyfriend, Joel follows him to a bar straight out of a new-wave music video and proceeds to consume his body weight in liquor.
Waking up decidedly worse for the wear in a storage closet, Joel stumbles into a support group and assumes the identity of Phil. Only problem? It's more of a networking seminar for serial killers and Joel will need to draw on every last horror trope at his fingertips to outwit his bloody-thirsty colleagues and avoid becoming their next victim.
Featuring an eyeball on a skewer that I will never unsee, Vicious Fun is exact what it says on the tin - bloody, gory and a hell of a lot of fun. It's directed by Cody Calahan (The Oak Room) who I'm beginning to love for his trademark combination of lurid colours and off-beat storylines and written by Calahan and James Villeneuve. The Oak Room star Ari Millen is a real treat as the unhinged Bob but as a fan of psychopaths and monsters, it was great meeting Fritz (Julian Richings), Mike (Robert Maillet), Hideo (Sean Baek), Zachary (David Koechner) and the impeccably cast Carrie (Amber Goldfarb) too.
With far more style and sleeker women's hairstyles than we ever saw in the 80s, Vicious Fun takes us through a night of mayhem and delivers a very satisfying ending. I give Vicious Fun an excellent four out of five stars and recommend for fans of horror with equal parts comedy and gore. I'm absolutely looking forward to whatever neon-baked trip Cody Calahan takes us on next.★★★★☆
A Shudder Original, Vicious Fun will be released on 28 June 2021.