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HECKLE [FrightFest October 2020]

Written By:

Martin Unsworth
Heckle

A popular but obnoxious comedian, Ray Kelly (Steve Guttenberg), was killed in his home in the early ‘90s, now, years later, an equally nauseous stand-up, Joe Johnson (Guy Combes) is set to play him in a movie biopic. Unfortunately, Joe is heckled during one of his shows and goes too far with his response and the ‘fan’ is now following him and posing a risk to his life.

Martyn Pick’s film is an uneven beast. While it builds up some paranoia working on the concept of a heckler wanting to do bad things to a comedian, it doesn’t help when, in the back of your mind, you want a whole lot of nastiness to head Johnson’s way. Similarly with Guttenberg’s character. Only seen in flashback, he’s such an odious person that you’re pleased that he’s been blown away. The peripheral parties don’t fare much better. Cameos from ‘famous’ faces such as Dani Dyer and Clark Gable III (who sadly died after filming) don’t bring much to the table kudos-wise – although Hellraiser’s Nicholas Vince stands out in his role – and Guy Combes’ beard looks as fake as Guttenberg’s wig. On the plus side, once we get into stalk-and-slice territory, there are a few fun kills and the resolution is so preposterous, it’s genius.

While Heckle won’t win any awards, it’s a fun distraction if you can overlook the shortcomings.

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