Dear God No! DVD Review
Written by Joel Harley
DVD released by Monster Pictures UK
Written and Directed by James Bickert
2011, Region 2 (PAL), 81 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 21st January 2013
Jett Bryant as Jett
Madeline Brumby as Edna Marco
Paul McComiskey as Dr. Marco
Olivia LaCroix as Evelyn Marco
Shane Morton as Randal
Johnny Collins as Collins
Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez have a lot to answer for. Made a cheap-looking film with rubbish actors and a dodgy story left over from the late seventies? Intentionally fudge the editing, dirty up the cinematography some more and add a few tit shots, slap a 'grindhouse' label on it, and you're set. Unfortunately, not everyone has Robert Rodriguez's sense of fun or Quentin Tarantino's ear for dialogue. “You wanna drink my tampon?” Dear God No! is about right.
A violent biker gang, on the run from the law, stage a home invasion deep in the woods. But are their victim and his family hiding a lot more than they're letting on? Maybe – it's hard to tell, what with the shaky camerawork, grainy film and distracting boobs confusing matters all the time. If it cut out all the needless nudity, Dear God No! would probably only be about half an hour long. I do quite like boobs, but not at the cost of story. Dear God No! handles boobies the same way as Family Guy handles jokes – throwing them in whether the story needs it or not, assuming it'll distract you into thinking that the overall product is better than it is. Well I won't fall for your tricks, Dear God No! I'm not so easily manipulated by mammaries.
It has quite a lot more in common with Family Guy, actually. Like Seth MacFarlane's depressingly popular cartoon, it thinks itself a lot more offensive than it really is, relying on cheap shots and lowest-common denominator shocks in place of tension and scares. Idiotic hipsters who enjoyed MacFarlane's 'musical dumpster baby', The Human Centipede 2's crushed newborn scene and (to a lesser extent) A Serbian Film's most famous line will probably find Dear God No! to be the most edgy thing ever. Going on its cover art and overall vibe, it wishes it was Hobo With a Shotgun. But nobody involved in the creation of this seems to have realised that Hobo With a Shotgun was actually good - very well-acted and, crucially, not morally horrible (not for the most part, anyway). Dear God No! is just yet another rape-filled, tediously faux-offensive bit of grot that would still be terrible even if it had been made in the 1970s. Even worse, the 'comedy' rape is justified by the irony which this film hides behind – “don't take it so seriously, eh,” it's defenders will say, “it's just an exploitation film!”
It's a shame, because there is the occasional good idea buried beneath all of the bad ones. The strippers in Nixon masks are nicely unsettling, the Bigfoot idea vastly underused. As the bikers inventively swear their way through the film and special features, there's a real sense that Dear God No! Could have been a lot better if it had wanted to be. The Grindhouse spirit be damned. It would be nice if the directors of today could concentrate on trying to be genuinely good instead of intentionally terrible.
Dear God No! is my reaction to being asked if I ever intend to watch this film again.
Video and Audio:
It looks and sounds awful, but that would be the point. If you want it to look even worse than that, Disc 2 provides an alternative 'Grindhouse' cut, with even more cuts, blotches and crap all over the picture. I'm certainly not going to watch it all over again to compare the differences.
The extras are the most entertaining part of Dear God No! There's cast and director commentaries, trailers, gag reels, slideshows and a couple of amusing film parodies. A ten minute cartoon is far better than the film ever was, featuring a man in a John Lithgow mask - and some genuinely clever criticism of Star Wars.