Director: Gregory Lamberson
Cast: Anthony De La Torre, Byron Brown II, Aprilann
Production Company: DeInstitutionalized
Runtime: 90 minutes
Some people just won’t stay dead. Unfinished business is usually the reason for their ghostly return. At least, that’s how it works in the movies. Director Gregory Lamberson provides us with a new vindictive spirit in his throwback horror film Johnny Gruesome (2018).
In the movie, Johnny Grissom (Anthony De La Torre) is a defiant high school student who is murdered while out joyriding with friends. He returns from the grave, seeking revenge on everyone who ever crossed him in life. There will be hell to pay…
Anthony De La Torre from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017) and Lords of Chaos (2018) smoulders in the lead role. Johnny is an intense character even before he dies, and that intensity goes up several notches once he returns as a paranormal avenger.
Byron Brown II does a great job of keeping everything together as Johnny’s best friend Eric. He’s really the central character of the narrative, and the one you will relate to the most.
The film also features Kim Piazza from Dry Bones (2013), John Renna from Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast (2011), Nelson Wakefield from Naked Fear (1999), with Kaelin Lamberson and Tim O’Hearn from Killer Rack (2015).
Johnny Gruesome belongs in the same category as a lot of other supernatual revenge flicks like Carrie (1976), Gothika (2003), and Drag Me to Hell (2009). The main difference here is that Johnny isn’t so justified in the steps he takes on his road to vengeance.
The film’s soundtrack adds a lot to what is already a production laced with a strong 1980s cinematic atmosphere. The original score by Armand John Petri and Joe Rozler really captures the right mood. I also enjoyed the songs by Robby Takac, Dean Italiano, Giasone Italiano, and Aprilann.
The movie is tailor-made for a sequel and Brown would be great in an on-going role similar to that of Andy Barclay in the Chucky movies. Johnny Gruesome is a rocking good time. It’s nostalgic and new at the same time. Dig it up and give it a look…
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…