Review by Dan Taylor
those of us that've been wondering where
horror master George Romero has been since
making THE DARK HALF (1993) this flick might
answer the question.
For those of us that've been
wondering what happened to the George Romero
who made such classics as the DEAD flicks,
MARTIN and THE CRAZIES, BRUISER only adds
to the mystery.
Henry (Jason Flemyng) has
problems. His boss is an asshole that's
having an affair with Henry's shrew of a
wife. After a day of being told that he's
a nameless, faceless nobody that's exactly
how he wakes up the next morning - with
a permanent (?) white mask attached to his
face. Empowered by his new identity, Henry
takes revenge on those that've screwed him
I'm a big Romero fan, but
will be the first to admit that he's never
been the most subtle of filmmakers and tends
to wear his subtexts on his sleeve. He also
lives and dies on the strength of his actors,
and this time there's no Ken Foree or John
Amplas to save the day.
Those factors conspire against
Romero in BRUISER, and the flick's inability
to achieve major theatrical distribution
becomes clearer and clearer as the plot
lurches along. Naive and filled with gaping
plot holes, BRUISER features performances
that range from sleep-inducingly understated
to wildly over-the-top. This, of course,
excludes the ever-reliable Tom Atkins (NIGHT
OF THE CREEPS) who shows up in yet another
performance as a haggard and harried cop.
Watching BRUISER makes you
wonder why it took Romero seven years to
make a flick and why this was his choice.
While he's taken strides to distance himself
from the genre entries that made him a gorehound's
best pal, it might be time for the director
to reacquaint himself with his roots.