Title – Random Acts of Violence (2019)
Director – Jay Baruchel (Goon: Last of the Enforcers)
Cast – Jesse Williams, Jordana Brewster, Jay Baruchel, Niamh Wilson, Simon Northwood
Plot – Todd (Williams), the creator of hit comic book series The Slasherman, based on a real life serial killer, finds that his work is evolving into real life occurrences in deadly fashion as he road trips to a convention.
“Is any of this getting your creative juices flowing?”
Review by Eddie on 21/08/2020
If you were to pick a director to helm the big screen adaptation of Justin Gray’s and Jimmy Palmiotti’s underground comic Random Acts of Violence I am fairly positive Jay Baruchel isn’t the first name that would’ve sprang to mind.
The Canadian funnyman, best known for his supporting turns as a wise-cracking loudmouth in the likes of This is the End, Goon and Knocked Up, shows a completely different side to himself in this Shudder release as he takes on duties behind the camera, in the writer’s room with co-screenwriter Jesse Chabot and in front of the camera as the highly strung Ezra.
A grisly affair that follows Jesse Williams comic creator Todd as he ventures to a fan convention with his girlfriend Kathy (played by the Fast and the Furious’s Jordana Brewster), his business partner Ezra and their assistant Aurora (Niamh Wilson), only to find that he and his fellow road trippers face the deadly proposition of his comic’s lead The Slasherman becoming a bloody reality, Random Acts of Violence is a true gore-filled exploitation ride as Baruchel holds nothing back as the bodies start piling up in creative and regular fashion.
Taking aim at the toxicity of fandom and how sometimes peoples heroes can be anything but upstanding citizens, Random has a message that is tucked away in the midst of all its more slasher orientated antics but one wouldn’t expect to walk away from this quickfire 80 minute affair with any life lessons as Baruchel’s low-budget exercise fancies shock value moments over anything of real substance.
With this focus in mind Random is a sure-fire hit with genre fans and with the big screen iteration of Slasherman the year has one of its most memorable horror figures but when the film is focused more around the character beats and interactions the audience is left wanting as our protagonists get caught deeper and deeper in a life and death game of cat and mouse.
Todd himself is a fairly unlikable creation, Williams unable to evolve his creators arrogance into something that becomes relatable and likable while Kathy, Ezra and Aurora are more fodder than anything else but the lack of a truly gripping character doesn’t detract from a genre-orientated offering that acts as a showcase for an unlikely career pivot from Baruchel.
Final Say –
A gory and grim affair, Random Acts of Violence is one for horror buffs specifically as this blood-filled affair shows us a whole new side to comedian Jay Baruchel.
3 toy trucks out of 5