This review is dedicated to the memory of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
“Slayeth the evil that lives inside you. Where they are walking, the devil walks, too.”
Cast and Crew:
- Roddy Piper: Murphy
- Bill Oberst, Jr: The Warden
- Kyle Hester: Bowen
- Timothy Muskatell: Richard Sullivan
- Naomi Grossman: Mother
- Noah Hathaway: Alverz
- Zack Galligan: Riley
Directed by: Chad Ferrin, Screenplay by: Peter Simeti and Erin Kohut, Based on the Graphic Novel, “The Chair” by Peter Simeti
“When I think about how I got here–four years of trials, two appeals, it’s kinda ridiculous. I guess I know where my tax dollars went. I been here so long, I can barely remember a time before it. I had a life–I had a great job, beautiful wife, loving family. I had it all.”
With those words we are introduced to Richard Sullivan, the main player in this horrific tale. We often wonder what lengths of depravity and evil men can sink to…we learn that in this movie. “The Chair,” when it had it’s pop-up screenings around the country, was so intense some people actually left the theater, unable to handle it. I’m a hardcore horror chick and can handle pretty much anything, but this even had me flinching.
Don’t get it twiztid….this movie is one of THE best horror movies I’ve seen in a long time. Yes, it’s Indie Film at it’s best. For being filmed in only two weeks, on sets built by Kyle Hester himself, “The Chair” has already attained cult status. It is a definite must see film. This film is hardcore, pure horror the way it’s supposed to be. All practical effects, no green screens. This movie brings you back to horror the way horror is meant to be seen. The tale of Sullivan, as he narrates his life on death row is all consuming. His voice, at first, wraps you up, only to throw you to the sadistic prison guards. This was Roddy Piper’s last film, and it was his best performance. Murphy (Piper) the head guard, comes off crass, cruel bordering on evil, and just down right mean. His actions, for the most part, are dictated by The Warden (Oberst, Jr). Now that’s a whole other kind of crazy evil. You DO NOT want to go see The Warden. Nope, no way, no how.
Sullivan tries to maintain his humanity is this cruel world he’s forced to deal with. Trying to help other prisoners, only brings trouble–for him and the ones he tries to help. We go back to his childhood, not exactly a fun one, and meet Mother (Grossman). She becomes, like The Warden, a symbol for our hatred, making us feel all the worse for Sullivan. Sometimes, though, seeing through others eyes, things may not always be what they seem. What do I mean by that? See the film and find out.
All in all, this film works on so many levels. Peter Simeti, who wrote both the graphic novel and screen play, also cast the movie. He reached out on social media and got just the right people for the right roles. This is one movie you need to see. The evil that men do make this a very intense, complex story. Well written and acted. Horror has many names and faces. This one is called “The Chair.” Make sure you see this, you’ll never forget it.