CERT: UNRATED | PLATFORM: DVD, VIMEO | RELEASE DATE: JULY 7TH
Pro wrestler Hermann von Strausser (pound shop Ron Perlman lookalike William DeCoff, himself a real-life pro wrestler back in the 80s) is fresh out of jail after serving time for intentionally killing one of his opponents during a match. He rejoins his family but, when an unfortunate incident results in his probation officer no longer being able to enjoy the benefits of oxygen, Hermann’s life – and the lives of everyone around him – turn down a road that nobody expected. Unless they were expecting to make a murder pact with a swamp demon (voiced by wrestling Hall of Famer, Jake “The Snake” Roberts) and the probation officer coming back to life…
Many of the usual pitfalls encountered by low-budget productions are present, including questionable acting, editing issues (particularly with the audio, where some lines of dialogue are nigh-on indecipherable) and a bit too much fluff, but the film unquestionably tries its absolute best with what it’s got. Some of the dialogue and performances are a bit too cheesy for their own good and there’s an unhealthy amount of sexual violence (which is especially uncomfortable to watch with the current #SpeakingOut movement going on), but there’s tons of humour, both intentional and definitely not intentional. As the story gets more and more insane, it’s difficult not to get invested in what’s happening, to the point where you can’t help but feel at least a tiny tingle of admiration for everyone involved.
Parts Unknown is a fine effort for such a low-budget production. The campy goofiness and unexpectedly mental story (in case you missed it: crazy wrestling family killing people at the behest of a swamp demon while being tracked by an immortal probation officer) manage to override the more cringe-inducing moments, building enough good will to carry you through to the end. Someone throw some money their way and turn Parts Unknown into a 45-minute Kung Fury-style short immediately please!