Casual fans and people who only dabble in horror will always be so quick to tell you that the genre consists solely of remakes and reboots, that there are no original ideas left. Well, I’ll tell you something. Those people clearly don’t watch the same films that I do. More specifically, they’ve never had the pleasure of watching a Joe Begos film. Read on as I share my thoughts on his latest, VFW.
After stealing a local druglord’s entire stash, Lizard makes her way into a VFW post seeking shelter. Now it is up to a group of wily veterans to protect her and their post against gangs of bloodthirsty punks.
Last year was actually a really great year for horror. If you don’t believe me, you can go back and read my “best of” the year article for just a small sample of some of the greats the genre had to offer. Of them all though, my favorite by far was a film by the talented Joe Begos.
After witnessing how incredibly amazing Bliss was, I knew anything else this man offered would be just as great, if not better. Sure, his older films were all enjoyable, but his 2019 flick really took him up a notch in my book.
It wasn’t long after I posted by review of Bliss that I heard news of his next project, the one I am discussing here, in fact — VFW. I knew I was going to be in for a wild ride upon reading the synopsis and I can assure you, right here and now, the film did not disappoint one bit.
VFW features an impressive cast of veteran actors. Never before did I think I’d ever get an action horror film starring the likes of Fred Williamson (From Dusk Till Dawn), Stephen Lang (Don’t Breathe), William Sadler (Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey), Martin Kove (The Karate Kid), David Patrick Kelly (The Warriors), and George Wendt (“Cheers”).
All of these individuals and their younger counterparts — Tom Williamson (All Cheerleaders Die), Sierra McCormick (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Travis Hammer (“The Unsettling”), and the lovely Dora Madison (Bliss) — do an amazing job with their respective roles.
Whether they are playing a member of the group of ragtag old-timers or a part of bad guy Boz’s punk gang, everyone is a treat to watch.
In true Joe Begos fashion, VFW is a bloody mess almost immediately from the jump. Each subsequent film that the filmmaker creates manages to outdo the last, providing fans with more gore, more inventive kills, and more realistic, gritty violence.
There is no pumping the breaks, there is no shying away from brutality, and there is no holding back. Joe Begos, along with his entire cast and crew, pulled no punches with this one.
The team of Josh and Sierra Russell from Russell FX have done a tremendous job giving us lovers of practical effects something to cheer about. There is zero CGI involved in VFW and with the amount of gruesome detail put into every kill, there is no mystery as to why Russell FX are winners of a Fangoria Chainsaw Award for best [creature] FX.
VFW at Home
This fantastic film will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on March 31 from RLJE and Image Entertainment.
VFW is presented in a 1080p high definition widescreen 2.35:1 format with a DTS-HD master audio 5.1 audio track and optional English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles.
Bonus content includes behind-the-scenes featurettes on the making of the film, the cast, and the special effects. Also included is not one, but two audio commentaries with Joe Begos himself.
VFW is a fun film the whole way through. It is the quickest 91 minutes I’ve ever sat through and as soon as it ended, I wanted to start it all over again.
With characters donned in spikes and leather, with names like Gutter, Lizard, and Tank, Joe Begos has given genre fans a modern day version of Return of the Living Dead. This punk-rock aesthetic is coupled with dope-sick mutant junkies called “hypers” instead of comedic zombies out for brains this time around, however.
The cast is extremely talented and the characters are bad ass. They are old men with no control of their tongues and even less of their bladders, but when it comes to kicking ass, it’s just like riding a bicycle.
Be sure to pick up Joe Begos’ VFW, as I give this one 5 birthday bar room brawls out of 5.