Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Special, Just Say No...If You Can

The monster that is addiction. Just saying no may make a great bumper-sticker but the physiology of humans makes that adage unrealistic. Addiction takes over and just like Lon Chaney, Jr., you change...into a monster. Those near to you are endangered (never mind yourself), and just like the werewolf, you can blend into society. Before others know what you have become, its too late. Some may die, some may be ruined, and its all your fault. The horror film can offer so many blatant metaphors for addiction and the addicted, so today we look at a new film by B. Harrison Smith, "The Special." A preachy tale about addiction? Perhaps, but be warned...this is a horror icky one that will stick with you long after the end credits.
Jerry (Davy Raphaely) is a wee bit paranoid and perhaps mildly great sin. Him and his bestie Mike (David Sheridan) are having a few one night and Jerry is upset 'cause his wife is cheating on him. Always the enabler, Mike puts forth a plot for revenge...and suggests Jerry do the same. At first hesitant, Jerry agrees and the two pay a visit to Madame Zhora's (Susan Moses) brothel for "The Special." What is it? Ha! Watch the movie and find out...but Jerry is quite taken with it. Wait, I should say, he is infatuated with it...maybe addicted? Now Jerry is obsessed and the obsession drives him to do things...really bad things...he otherwise wouldn't do.
We see Jerry begin his downward spiral and this is really sad because his sultry wife Lisa (Sarah French) apparently isn't the two-timer Jerry originally thought. Too late, the downward spiral which Jerry is trapped in gets destructive. Its no longer least not the Jerry Lisa knows. As many sultry babes in horror stories, we begin to see a perilous journey for Lisa as addiction (but to what?) invades her marriage. Jerry changes and people will die, lives will be ruined, and a never ending cycle of evil and destruction seem to be forming. Again, what is "The Special" that traps Jerry? You'll see. I've held back spoilers but expect gore, and horror...if we were talking about a bottle of Jack Daniels, well, this film wouldn't be on this blog.
Is there hope for Jerry...and Lisa? Exactly what is "The Special" and how did it get hold of Jerry so quickly...or can it be banished from his life? Is there something more than deviant sex offered at Madame Zhora's brothel? The reveal will be shocking and the plot leading up to it will be unsettling and squirm-inducing. Long after the end credits the ick factor will grow more intense as your brain begins to process just what "The Special" has laid onto your conscience. For some shocking horror which puts forth a hard metaphor about addiction, see B. Harrison Smith's "The Special." Those of you who write screenplays may want to take some lessons for the two who wrote it for this film, Mark Steensland and James Newman (they wrote the novella, too), who kept this horror story crisp and fast-paced.


  1. Great review, it's got all the ingredients of a mental asylum paranoia, can't wait to read the novel, great to see the script true to it!!

  2. Loved the novella. Can't wait to see how it translates to the screen. The special effects should be mind-blowing

  3. Holy crap Harrison has another film out? I still haven't seen Death House Yet!:O Great review Christopher & thanks a million for the heads up. I liked Camp Dread so will definitely check this one out