4 Stars
Year Released: 2001
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 83 minutes
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It’s a creepy feature about a washed up drunken cartoon writer who talks to a dog, has a relationship with an imaginary girlfriend, tends to have homicidal urges and is heavily into bondage and depending on how your sense of humor runs, you may just find it funny.
Kicking a mess of beer cans out of the way, so that he can disembark for more alcohol (a scenario I’m sure many a Film Threat writer is familiar with), Millard Mudd winds up running over a stray dog on his beer run. Desperate for company, he brings the dog back home with him, convincing himself that the dog is not dying, but rather just really sleepy. Tucking the dog into bed, Millard continues on with his lonely existence as a failed cartoon writer. He drinks his life away, staring blankly at a blank computer screen, talking to himself. This doesn’t last very long however as the dog, Lucky, revives and begins talking to Millard, telling him what to write and pulling his career out of the dumps. In return for this favor, Lucky demands that Millard do as he wishes and that includes murder.
For about the first ten minutes of “Lucky”, we’re shown Millard’s erratic thinking process as he babbles to himself about the meaning of life, the difference between consciousness and unconsciousness and if there’s an actual difference at all. It’s pretty clear that this guy is cracked and it’s shortly after he runs over the dog that we’re actually taken inside his mind when things start to get really scary and the lines between reality and imagination are completely erased.
For a film about being inside the mind of a lonely writer having a nervous breakdown, it never shakes the viewer loose of what’s going on even if you have to question what exactly is real and what isn’t. Helping keep the film on track is Millard’s comedic narration. Besides being a total schlub, he’s a lovable guy and his demeanor, when he isn’t having a violent outburst, reminds me of Garfield. No matter how weird things get, you’re willing to follow this character along his twisted little journey, hoping that maybe he can pull himself out of this hell he has created for himself.
The last film I can remember that blended psychological horror, comedy and gore like this one is Frank Henenlotter’s “Brain Damage.” As grim and horrific things get, you just can’t help but chuckle your ass off. But as much as I laughed throughout this feature, director Steve Cuden has succeeded in putting the fear in me to stop drinking, get a roommate and get a life outside of my apartment.
Well…maybe not. But at least I considered it for a moment.

Posted on September 13, 2004 in Reviews by

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