Saturday, 24 February 2018


"Splatter" (2009, Joe Dante, Roger Corman, Netflix) is a short web series from the earlier days of the concept of TV streaming.

Johnny Splatter (Corey Feldman) was a troubled rock star who filmed himself graphically committing suicide. A small group of family, friends and colleagues are invited to his home for a will reading. Each, suspecting that they're about to be handed a massive payout, turn up, despite revealing that they didn't exactly like Johnny much.

Suddenly, the TV springs to life, revealing that Splatter filmed his will prior to his untimely demise... Or, is he back to take vengeance on his unappreciative acquaintances? As the episodes progressed, viewers were asked to vote for who would meet their death next.

The series suffers from its overtly corny style that comes across as a little too sincere, but overall I found the layout, practical effects and over the top characters to be tongue-in-cheek and a bit of fun.  There were, apparently, more episodes but only the initial run of three are available to view easily on Netflix. It is undeniably a disappointing effort from Dante and Corman, but this is likely down to the confines of the schedule and the gimmick.

Horror films have a great and long history of using gimmicks, and this early example of a Netflix original is no different. Feldman's vengeful zombie delivers a demanding "Who's next?" at the end of every episode and, at the time, the audience were given the chance to vote. It's cheesy, but that's what I was there for. I've also just always liked Corey Feldman.

We have the usual tropes and a small cast of characters including the ever awesome Tony Todd bringing us the only seemingly sane character in the bunch. While the short series is hammy and manages not to be particularly innovative, despite its natty gimmick, it delivers its resolution quickly and was certainly part of Netflix's foray into changing viewer's habits and a step towards the innovation and horror series being created today.

[Image: Netflix]