Director: Mattia De Pascali
Cast: Andrea Cananiello, Nik Manzi, Donatella Reverchon
Production Company: Mattia De Pascali
Runtime: 75 minutes
“There’s daggers in men’s smiles” — Macbeth (2.4.165)
This famous line refers to duality and deception. I’d like to stretch the meaning further by suggesting that terror can sometimes be funny. McBetter (2018) is a horror film by director Mattia De Pascali that knows how to whistle in the darkness…
In the movie, Malcolm (Andrea Cananiello) is driven by delusions of grandeur. His girlfriend’s father is the owner of a thriving fast food chain and he dreams of revolutionizing the industry with his ideas. Malcolm would kill for the chance to get what he wants…
The film’s story is a loose adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It has the brutal murder of a powerful patriarch and a witch in the form of a television psychic. Of course, the parallels need only go so far, since they only represent one aspect of the movie.
There are some giallo film elements included here too, such as suspense, gore, and evil conspiracies. Again, the similarities pretty much end there. One may even suggest that some of the wilder moments are inspired by Troma films! There’s certainly a lot going on…
After all, this is a horror movie! A deranged beast also happens to be on the loose, complicating an already messy murder plot on the part of the conspirators. The blending of genres and styles is definitely one of this film’s strong points.
The movie’s opening sequence focuses on real sides of beef hanging in a meat locker. It’s a gross collection of images that force us to reconsider our desire for animal products. These scenes might be difficult to watch for more sensitive viewers.
Malcolm even suggests an alternative to meat early in the narrative. However, some might find his scheme no less cruel or unusual. The theme of animal abuse turns up again, but in a decidedly different way, when the true nature of the beast is revealed.
This definitely sounds serious, but there are quite a few funny moments as well. Nik Manzi is hilarious as the cantankerous Joe McBetter. He constantly peppers his language with profanity and rude references. I think his phrasing is even more comical because it’s in Italian!
In addition, the colourful lighting, camera movements, and inventive angles are all visually stimulating. McBetter deliciously blends horror with comedy and suspense in order to create an entertaining witch’s brew.
“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble…”
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…