Directed by Paul Morrell [Other horror films: Huff (2013)]
I think that Filth to Ashes, Flesh to Dust reached for goals that they couldn’t quite realistically attain, but while the movie is certainly repetitive, I don’t think it’s all that bad. Unfortunately, it’s not particularly good or even memorable.
The special effects were decent. It’s not an overly gory film, but at the same time, they certainly don’t shy away from the good stuff. An okay throat-slitting, a decent decapitation, and a few other highlights exist, and though none are memorable, I think that most of them were competently done. The same could be said for the camerawork, while we’re at it – it was certainly shaky and amateurish, but in the end, it got the job done.
Most of the actors and actresses here didn’t really stand out. Linda Bella acted stoned out of her mind half the time. Allison Ochmanek did a pretty good job playing a racist bitch, almost a little too well. As the main character here, Derrick Bishop was pretty commendable, as was Bianca Lemaire in her role, though I sort of wish she had gotten more screen-time. Our serial killer, played by Nicholas J. Leinbach was moderately threatening, but I don’t think they fleshed his character out nearly as much as they should have.
For the most part, this film could be summed up as “running from killer, fighting, and running again.” Very little in the way of additional story was added. Sure, having one of the characters still getting over the murder of their girlfriend was a bit deeper than the norm, and in fact, some of their scenes had an almost-artistic look to them, but it didn’t combat how repetitive the film started to become.
I’ve got to talk about this, though, and that’s the basis of the film: a serial killer targets those he believes to be inferior, such as minorities and drug addicts. There’s a well-to-do little rich girl who says racist things casually (such as referring to a black friend as a ‘monkey’ behind her back – that kind of bullshit), along with another guy who truly thinks that whites are above blacks and Latinos on the evolutionary ladder. In today’s political climate, I think this movie addresses some pretty heavy topics (and this came out before Trump assisted in heightening racial tension), which was both a surprise and somewhat of an issue. I don’t know if you can accurately look at sociological reasons for racism whilst in the middle of a subpar slasher, but at the same time, I sort of do appreciate the intent.
Filth to Ashes, Flesh to Dust is a movie that has something to say, and that’s somewhat unique for a low-budget slasher film. Certainly, this movie tried to do much more than they reasonably could, but that’s probably something to applaud them for. No doubt, there are some decently-done emotional scenes in the film, especially the finale. But after having seen it twice now, I don’t really think it’s a movie that I would go back to. It’s competently-made, and some aspects are done quite well, but it’s far from the most enthralling piece of cinema.