Are you the kind of horror fan that craves something a little more demented than the average person...?
…Do you want something that will make your non-horror loving friends and family question your moral fiber?
Do you want something absolutely disgusting?
I know you do, and I have good news for you, because that’s exactly what you’re going to get with Dementia: Part II, one of the nastiest films of the year.
Written/directed by Matt Mercer and Mike Testin as somewhat of a dare to see how fast they could develop and shoot a horror feature, Dementia: Part II is a spiritual sequel the 2015 flick Dementia, and follows ex-con Wendell (Mercer), who is hired as a handyman to fix up an old woman named Suzanne’s (Suzanne Voss) home. At first, Suzanne appears to be suffering from dementia, but as time goes on and things get weird…really weird…Wendell begins to realize there may be something more sinister going on with Suzanne.
Let’s just get this out of the way: Dementia: Part II is not in any way, shape or form meant for those who find themselves offended by crude movies. Dementia: Part II does not treat the subject of dementia well, it’s ripe with toilet humor, and its only mission is to make you vomit into your own hands. That’s it. For some of you, that’s an immediate turn off and you should probably stop reading now.
As for the rest of you fellow sickos, please, follow me into this intestinal juice-slip and slide of gag-inducing strangeness.
Following an opening title sequence inspired by the original Friday the 13th which screams loud and proud the level of Mercer and Testin’s horror geekdom, Dementia: Part II sets off on a straight up bizarre journey, as we watch an old man typing away about trying to kill his wife (Suzanne) and drooling blood. Cut to Wendell shoving food in his face, and you get a pretty good idea of the sort of nauseating experience you’re in for.
Once Wendell gets the call for a job and arrives at Suzanne’s home, he, along with the audience, finds himself in a nonsensical world of Suzanne’s own creation, including a stuffed squirrel with horns that does indeed eventually talk to Wendell, because of course it does. Wendell has only been uncomfortable for all of a minute before he realizes Suzanne isn’t all there, as she mentions the recent disaster of Skynet and computers killing everyone, forgets why he’s there, and seems to think her husband is home, after informing Wendell that hubby is, in fact, dead.
Nothing feels right about the house, and Wendell sets off to finish the work as fast as possible, eventually running into Sheila (Najarra Townsend), who has a few secrets of her own.
Instead of getting to the gooey stuff right away, Dementia: Part II spends a bit of time making us uncomfortable in other ways. Through drawn out moments of Suzanne mistaking Wendell for her deceased boo and forcing him to dance with her, then accusing Wendell of trying to “clean out her pipes”, Mercer and Testin squeeze every bit of awkward discomfort out of Suzanne’s sickness. And no, much of it is not done tactfully, encouraging the audience to laugh at Suzanne and feel as disgusted by her as Wendell. “First let’s clean my pipes, but you have to guess which one is clogged,” she says, bloody vomit smeared on her face.
But that doesn’t mean the low-brow humor and tension aren’t effective. Especially once things get gross. Real gross.
At a brisk runtime of just 67 minutes, Dementia: Part II quickly evolves—or devolves, depending on your view—into an ooey, gooey, nauseous piece of gangrene cinema that should come with a barf bag.
Dementia: Part II does everything it can to make you squirm and does it well. Wendell finds squelchy things that should definitely not be in the sink. Guts are pulled. Vomit is spewed. And I nearly lost my lunch watching one of the grossest mouth to mouth gags ever to disgrace the silver screen. Dementia: Part II is shot entirely in black and white, which some of you may not be into (I love it), but trust me when I say that you will be glad, no, thrilled, that this film is shot in black and white, to save you from colorful visuals we just don’t need in our lives.
Not to mention, the black and white also enriches the out of place visuals—such as a giant maple leaf plastered to a window—giving a depth to the shadows of the house that give an added edge to the intense strangeness of the place, and the trippy madness that eventually begins to take over Wendell.
This one gets damn near Lynchian levels of weird, people.
Dementia: Part II does “gross” fun perfectly, but this is not a perfect film. Far from it. Like I mentioned, this film was conceived and shot at lightning speed, and it shows. Voss is full of an engaging energy, and Mercer delivers an endearing, entertaining performance as Wendell, but the character himself is nearly devoid of any sort of “development”. Same goes for nearly everyone else. The last act also feels rushed, introducing an out of nowhere heist plot that takes away any sort of redeem-ability these not so redeemable characters might’ve had.
But, Dementia: Part II is not the sort of horror film you watch for heroic characters and fulfilling storytelling. Dementia: Part II is the kind of film you dare a younger sibling to watch without looking away once, or that you cheer on with crowds of like-minded weirdos at midnight screenings.
This film is offensive, silly, and unapologetically nauseating, and anyone who is into that sort of things is going to eat it up…hopefully without it coming back up.
Dementia: Part II comes to theaters on May 21st and arrives on VOD/Digital/DVD June 1st from Dark Star Pictures and Bloody Disgusting.
By Matt Konopka