Monday, August 12, 2013

Dollar Bin Horror Spotlight - Nicotine Stains

Charlie is a forklift driver at the local cigarette plant. When his colleague Sugar, the company 'cigarette girl' gives him samples of a new synthetic brand Charlie can't wait to try them out. They cause strange feelings and surreal nightmares and seem to be interacting with Charlie's bi-polar disorder. After a nightmare in which he awoke coughing and hyperventilating, his girlfriend Jen demands he quit the habit. Although he agrees to her wishes, he has no idea the road he's about to travel.

The thing I love about indie horror is that anything and everything you could possibly think of can be made into a film. There are no limits to creativity and this film is no different. When I first read the premise of a man who has a meltdown after quitting smoking, the first thing I thought of was people I know who have been life long smokers and then quit cold turkey...they get bitchy, mean, and just become assholes without their nicotine. This film takes that premise to the extreme. Charlie's madness descends from both the lack of nicotine and his mental disorder (which in the description is bipolar but seems like either something a bit more serious or the most extreme case I have ever seen...hearing voices and talking to inanimate objects is usually a sign of things like schizophrenia or even dissociative identity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder) and turns into a murderous rampage. The thing I liked most about the film was the way the film makers used color to enhance the feelings and the atmosphere. A lot of the scenes had this reddish, orangey tint to it when shit was about to hit the fan and it added a level of grit to what was going on. In the more non assuming scenes, the color was more subdued and almost a relaxing tone and gave the character a sympathetic feel (I mean, if you're a smoker, just imagine going a few days without a smoke at gotta feel for the guy!). The music was also well suited to the action and was quite creepy. The acting was actually pretty well done for a low budget film and the script was very well put together. It felt real. There were a few parts where the acting felt a little forced, but overall they did their job of pulling you into the story. If there was one thing I would have done, it was to give the kills in the film more "detail". In some of them, it felt a little cut off and I would have liked to have seen more of the gory stuff (not because I think all films need it, but in this case it would have shown his madness to an even new degree and I feel it could have really gone over well here). Overall, this film is a great example of indie horror and why so many horror fans are moving from mainstream into this little known corner of the horror universe to find something other than another friggin remake. I suggest everyone head over to and find out more about how to get a peak at this well done indie gem.

1 comment:

Grimm said...

Nice. You've officially got me wanting to see this. Thanks for the link, I'm heading over after this comment. Great write-up. And I agree, all horror is right now is PG-13 garbage or remakes. Or worse, PG-13 remakes LOL