Film Review: Bruiser (2000)

Release Date: February 13th, 2000 (Canada)
Directed by: George A. Romero
Written by: George A. Romero
Music by: Donald Rubinstein
Cast: Jason Flemyng, Peter Stormare, Leslie Hope, Tom Atkins

Canal+, Barenholtz Productions, Romero-Grunwald Productions, 99 Minutes

Review:

“Rosie… They won’t know me. I’m invisible. I’ve always been invisible.” – Henry Creedlow

I remember seeing marketing for this film back in the day and thought it had a cool look to it and a character with a cool, unique mask. However, I didn’t know anything about the plot. I guess I just assumed he was some sort of cool hitman or slasher with a gun. Nah, this film is a lot weirder (and duller) than that.

The film follows this guy that’s a loser and pretty much invisible to everyone in his life. He’s got a shitty job, even if it is prestigious, and he’s got a shitty marriage, even if she’s hot and they have a pretty incredible mansion.

Crazy shit happens and then the loser wakes up with a mask attached to his face that he can’t remove but it figuratively makes him even more invisible to those around him. With that he gets a bit crazy and starts getting revenge on the shitty people in his life.

The plot is a bit hard to explain as I had a hard time trying to make sense out of it. The main character’s motivations to kill were clear but his decisions still didn’t make a lot of sense. Well, unless you can watch a movie and not think about things like logic and relying on what you’re shown of the character while the foundation for the plot is still being established.

Point being, the main character doesn’t seem like someone capable of these acts but waking up with a weird mask on I guess makes one into a heartless killer.

I think that the lead actor is the problem, though, and not just the script. He just isn’t convincing and since I’ve never noticed him in anything before, I don’t know if its his fault or director, George A. Romero’s.

That being said, Romero, by this point, was a solid horror director for decades but maybe by this point he just wasn’t as passionate and had lost some mojo. Honestly, nothing he made from this point in his career, going forward, was any good. And I guess that’s unfortunate, considering he was instrumental in giving birth to what became the zombie subgenre of horror.

Bruiser is a really weak, very dull film. It tries to go for the gusto in its big finale but it falls flat.

In the end, at least I got to spend some quality time with Tom Atkins.

Rating: 3.5/10
Pairs well with: George A. Romero’s films that don’t involve zombies.