Sunday, August 21, 2016

he never died [2015]

a curious anti-gem of a pic starring former black flag front man henry rollins as jack, an anti-social immortal who has a penchant for human flesh and blood but is on the straight and narrow as he abstains from eating meat, especially the human kind, and eschews violence.  jack's total life consists of eating at a diner where the pretty waitress has a crush on him, playing bingo three nights a week at a very boring pace, watching TV, and sleeping in his SRO.

the how and why jack as a flesh-eating immortal are not made quite clear.  he is a vampire, yes, but who and what and how are kind of blurred in the narrative.  we learn later that jack is so old he has a starring role in the bible.  but jack's hermitage and non-violent behavior are tested to the breaking point by the arrival of his daughter.  all things go to hell.

rollins is not a good actor.  he is a personality, and the role of jack is written around his personality.  rollins has a rough, gawky charisma that lights up the dullness of jack's habits toward an inferno of pent up desires.  as for the pretty waitress, cara, played by, new to me, kate greenhouse, who has mad acting skills and brings to her character a lilt of worn sadness, her infatuation with jack brings a rawness greater than the merely physical.  greenhouse is a delight to watch as she opens up the blackened seams of jack's life.

jack's daughter, andrea, played by, again new to me, jordan todosey, is blip in the narrative and the macguffin to lift jack into action.  todosey does well as the goofball kid who gets the story into motion but it is cara that cracks jack's icy surface.

there is bloody action, a kind of carthasis, and then the flick ends.  the movie ends not wholly satisfactorily because i want to know what happens to jack and cara.  i suspect they return to their respective lives.  but that is my problem with wanting a resolution.  the writer/director jason krawczyk appears to be allergic to tidy endings.  that's fine.  i think krawczyk wrote the role of jack with rollins in mind.  a vampire as middle-aged punk rock intellectual who doesn't like people.  oh, one more detail i liked about this movie.  jack's place was filled with books.  that's a nice touch. 


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