Freak Out is the story of Merv Doody (James Heathcote), a slacker whose one
true passion is horror films. His life suddenly takes a dark turn one night when
an escapee from an insane asylum breaks into his home. Luckily for Merv, The
Looney is about as inept a killer as you’ll ever find and he soon finds that he
is in reality in very little danger. Merv soon sees this encounter as an
opportunity to alleviate his boredom by using his horror movie knowledge to mold
this klutz into a cold-blooded killing machine. He enlists the help of his
friend and fellow slacker Onkey (Dan Palmer) and the training begins.
Freak Out is far more a goofy farce and homage to the horror genre than a
horror movie itself. Though a low-budget, independent production, the movie does
have its share of clever humor to go along with all of the camp. Though a lot of
people will probably dismiss the movie as cheesy, I can’t help but think that
with a larger budget Freak Out would put other parodies such as Scream and Scary
Movie to shame. After all, none of those other movies feature a vegetarian
serial killer prone to admonishing people eating meat by yelling “meat is
murder”. As it stands, Freak Out is destined for cult status primarily among the
crowd who can find themselves relating to Merv’s passion for horror films. These
people will also be the ones who can best appreciate the number of references to
classic horror movies packed into the film. If you consider yourself to be in
that group, then the movie comes highly recommended.
Fans of horror movies will appreciate this screwball take on their favorite film
genre, but others may find it to be to cheesy to stomach.