Deviant Behavior – USA, 2017 – reviews

‘Beauty is pain’

Deviant Behavior is a 2017 American slasher horror film directed by Jacob Grim (Dreadtime Stories) from a screenplay by Sal Hernandez. It stars Eric Rodrigue, Alex Heatherley and Tania Monroy.

A masked self-made transgender, on a twisted mission to become the most beautiful woman in town, is interrupted by Charlie Reese, a sleazy private detective who has discovered her world of pain and depravity…

Review:

A pitcher of sangria is what I needed to write this review. A pint of Fireball was needed when I watched this film. Deviant Behavior is horrible. And not in a good way.

When the potential thrill of a movie appears during the opening credits, I tend to think YES! This is going to be one badass film. And then, splat! It falls flat immediately with no visible plot motive whatsoever, a poorly written script and a lame collection of actors.

Walter (Alex Heatherley) is a seemingly normal-looking, everyday doctor who has a secret. He has a mate (Hunny, played by L.G. Koruptore) who silently tortures and kills women while making snuff videos. Why? To placate Walter who’s “deviant behavior” is jacking off to them in private, fresh off the take.

Hunny isn’t your every day “wife”. Let’s consider The Goonies’ Sloth, mixed with a bit of The Silence of the Lambs’ Buffalo Bill, and top it off with a porcelain doll mask from The Strangers. You see, Hunny is a mute, trans morph of a man-turned-woman whose hideous deformity is hidden by this pretty girl mask.

We are soon introduced to the main protagonist of Deviant Behavior – private detective Charlie Reese. Charlie is a drunk, dishevelled, slimeball who will do almost anything to make a buck. When visited by a concerned brother who hires Charlie to find his missing drug-addicted sister (why are all these characters written in such a clichéd manner?), of course, he sniffs out his old friend/crush, Roxy (Tania Monroy) to assist. Oh… Roxy is a hooker. As if you couldn’t figure that out.

So now, we are in full-blown detective mode. Where is Kerry (the missing sis), who is this Walter she was last seen with, why are women disappearing and more importantly… who cares?

Walter is clearly a sleaze, hitting on pretty women to lure back to his apartment with the promise of drugs, liquor and possibly a romp in the bedroom. But since Walter’s depravity is jerking off to seeing these women being slaughtered, we are left with the wonderment of motive. There is no backstory. There is no rhyme or reason. And there is no determination of how Walter hooked up with Hunny who clearly has a need to pacify him to no end.

Charlie (Eric Rodrigue) is the only saving grace. And, that is not saying much. He is unattractive, sloppy, drab and reactive. Within a blink of an eye, he goes from the ambulance chasing idiot to the all-consumed hero ready to put his life on the line to save the current abducted victim…and Roxy!…from a gruesome demise. Why?

God only knows. And I mean that… God, and director Jacob Grim, because I could not understand this lack of character development or a sudden sense of heroism that Charlie launched himself in to. That, and expressing his love for Roxy when we are not granted a clear account of their history together. Where did that come from?

Deviant Behavior is ultimately a disaster. From the ridiculous song and dance moves during Hunny’s slicing victims behind a doll mask to an insane hum-drum guy-turned-sadist, down to a “used car salesman” of a detective, I still struggle with the intention. Not necessarily of these characters, but of the movie as a whole. 

The obvious ode to The Silence of the Lambs is insulting. The amateur production values and the abhorrent screenplay (the writing is just atrocious), left me with a WTF moment: “did I just watch that from start to finish without hurling?” You will find more deviant behaviour by watching your local news channel than in this abhorrent mess.

Meredith Brown, MOVIES & MANIA

Other reviews:

” …the mean bits of the movie aren’t for everyone, but if a bit of gruesomeness is something you enjoy with a proper story attached, then this one is definitely for you.” Search My Trash

Main cast:

Eric Rodrigue, Alex Heatherley, Tania Monroy, L.G. Koruptore, Hendrik James, John Dugan, Pablo Schmitt, Ed Guinn, Bonnie Ann Coronado, Buddy Smith, John Gonzalez, Laura Schmitt, Patrick Chabera, Hannah Valadez, Lisa McGrew, Mario Aguilar, Hannah Keller, Taylor Tolleson, Skeeter Ullman, Aiden Xander Cox, Jason McCahan, Taylor Goldman, Kidd Garcia, Jake Gonzales.

Filming locations:

Corpus Christi, Texas

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