The Unhealer (2020)

Directed by writer, producer, and filmmaker Martin Guigui (Beneath the Darkness), The Unhealer has a pretty strong cast with Natasha Henstridge (Species) and Lance Henriksen (Near Dark) as the best-known actors.

Kelly Mason (Elijah Nelson) is a young man with a compulsive eating disorder called pica that causes him to eat paper, Styrofoam and anything inedible he can get his hands on. Medical science can’t help him, his classmates bully him and his single mother (Henstridge) has no idea where to turn.

Enter Pflueger (Henriksen), a former con artist and hustler who has gone from desecrating ancient Native American burial grounds for artifacts to becoming Reverend Pflueger after an explosion gives him the ability to cure others. Despite the pleas of Native American elder Red Elk to give back the ability, Pflueger claims that he will live forever and use his healing gift for material wealth.

Bernice hires Pflueger to heal Kelly, but the laying on of hands causes the man to die of a heart attack. Now, his gift has been transferred to the boy. Any trauma inflicted on him only damages the people attacking him. So just imagine, if you’ve been abused by your fellow teens for years, what would you do?

Oh yeah — and if Kelly eats anything that someone has worn, everything he feels, the wearer feels too. Of course, this leads to a wet dream in the middle of the school day, adding to the late 90s/early 2000s direct to video feel of this film — I mean, it has a Stabbing Westward song over the credits — and that’s a good thing.

As Kelly becomes more confident and finally wins over Dominique, the woman of his dreams, he starts to realize that these powers are a curse and that they’ll demand more violence than just the damage he’s dealt to his bullies.

This has been developed as a trilogy, which makes sense, as it has a pretty decent story that feels like it can go on from here.  There’s an insane moment where Kelly uses a drill on his own knees to deliver damage to a football player that shocked me with both its humor and gore. Well done.

The Unhealer is available on blu ray, DVD and a number of digital and cable platforms, including iTunes, Amazon Video, Vudu, Comcast, Spectrum, and Cox. It will be coming to Roku and additional platforms soon.

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