Strawberry Flavored Plastic is a film that proves that you don’t need a ridiculously high budget to create a sensationally palpable piece of cinema. The fraught pacing of some sequences drops rocks into the bottom of your stomach, which churn with the words alongside the deftly orchestrated narration of the film. This psychological neo-noir horror film is brought to life by the lead protagonist Noel Rose, played by Aidan Bristow, as he whisks through his breezy narrative and gradually becomes my favourite all-time psychopath, apologies to Patrick Bateman.
The faux-documentary is centred around Noel’s recovery from the ‘insatiable itch he can’t scratch’ which, in his case, happens to be murdering people and going on psychotic rampages in the grocery store, the latter part is something which I’m sure will resonate with many, after all, who doesn’t feel that in the grocery store every now and then?
As well as following Noel, the film also tails documentary producers Errol Morgan, played by Nicholas Urda, and Ellis Archer, played by Andres Montejo, as they get close to the surrealist world of Noel Rose and his unrestrained tendencies to brutally murder people. During the filming, the producer’s characters come into their own as Noel’s madness seeps into their psyche, as they put their lives on the line for artistic endeavours.
At this point, I need to clarify out that Strawberry Flavored Plastic is more than just your average slasher. While the gore is minimal, the fear is paralysingly instilled into the mise-en-scène as Noel’s psychopathic secrets are unravelled through a series of interviews with the documentary producers, that’s also mixed with footage of his ventures. The film is a subversive exploration of fear, rationality and grief that sucks you into the the surreal notion of finding compassion for a serial killer as you watch him meander through his own horror show. Director Colin Bemis adds a fair amount of black comedy, with some of the murder scenes stinging just as comedically terrifying as The Shining‘s infamous ‘Here’s Johnny!’ scene.
Strawberry Flavored Plastic turns Noel into more than a man, more than a psychopath, he’s a zealous enigma entwined in the riddle of his own warped rationality and its truly fascinating. The narration from the producers and Noel’s own accounts of his actions and morals morph into pure philosophical poetry which Urda poignantly brings to life, which in turn led me to conclude that he’s either a fantastic actor, or I wouldn’t like to meet him in a dark alley way…
Overall, I’d personally walk over broken glass to shake the hand of the writer who dreamt up such an amazing script and dropped the mic with an ending that punches you harder in the stomach than the concluding scene in the original making of Martyrs.
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