SLASHER MONTH: Bruiser (2000)

For all the times that George Romero did so much with so little, there are just as many times that he did so little with so much.

I mean, Peter Stormare is in this. And, strangely, The Misfits, so if you ever needed a point to connect Jerry Only to Kevin Bacon, this film will help. I mean, Tom Atkins is in this movie and I still struggled to remain awake.

I feel like I should honestly go back and watch this again, but so much of Romero’s post-Creepshow output leaves me incredibly cold. There’s definitely an Argento-like line between the films that work and the ones that should. There are some great ideas here — a man driven insane by corporate America has a face that turns blank white — but that’s it. There’s no real ending, there’s no real reason and no something extra to it. It’s perfunctory and if I never saw the credits, I’d have no idea Romero touched it.

There’s also an incredibly bad cover of Take On Me over the end credits and I just shook my head and it compounded the sad sense of loss that this movie instilled in me. Also, this was the first Romero movie not shot in Pittsburgh, but hey — plenty of local pro wrestlers are in it. So there’s that.

I just always got the feeling that Romero could do better and at some point, he just thought that he couldn’t. There’s absolutely no comparison between this and Martin. I mean, it’s certainly better than There’s Always Vanilla, but his Calgon commercials were more gripping than that film.

It’s probably super unfair for me to wish for greatness every time. I mean, the gulf between Dracula 3D and Tenebre is incalculable, too.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll like it better. It’s on Tubi.


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