DVD The Big Bad

DVD The Big Bad
DVD The Big Bad

Run time: 78 min
Rating: 3.7
Genres: Drama | Horror | Mystery
Director: Bryan Enk
Writers: Jessi Gotta
Stars: Jessi Gotta, Jessica Savage, Timothy McCown Reynolds
Frankie Ducane traverses seedy bars, filthy basements, remote hideaways and deep, dark forests as she searches for Fenton Bailey, the man who destroyed her family. Her mission of revenge uncovers a hidden world of monstrous danger and unspeakable terror, one filled with strange denizens who don’t take kindly to strangers … and from which she might not ever escape. Written by Anonymous
Plot Keywords: revenge, zombie, witch, werewolf, independent film
Country: USA
Release Date: 10 September 2011 (USA)


  1. Plot: Frankie goes to a bar in search for a man responsible for the death of her family, but can't seem to find anyone with a connection to him. After a meeting with a woman who seems to share a few things with Frankie's past, Frankie is soon thrown into something that turns her quest for revenge into something much worse. A place where she will be eye to eye with a beast, and has to fight for her survival.

    Our thoughts: If you know me, you know I love werewolf movies. I mean, the good ones. And not just the graphic stuff, but generally the idea of werewolves is damn creepy. I first got interested in "The Big Bad" for this reason, but I also knew that this wouldn't really be a werewolf horror movie as much as a mystery. That usually means a lack of werewolves, and that was the case with this one. There's nothing wrong with that at all, just figured I'd throw that out there for anyone who might be in a similar position as me.

    "The Big Bad" is the name of a bar where our lead, Frankie, goes to find answers about a beast that killed her family. She's looking for a man, but no one seems to be able to help her. That is, until she meets a woman in the ladies' room. The two hit off and start talking about their past, and soon it appears that she knows a thing or two about the man Frankie is after. But after saying the wrong thing, the woman grows teeth and attacks Frankie. This is just the beginning of a spiral into very dark places, and Frankie finds herself in a battle of blood between the surreal and reality.

    What I absolutely loved about this movie was that it so successfully made the whole werewolf thing mysterious. After having watch a number of werewolf movies, it's hard for filmmakers to make it a successful mystery. While we might know where it was heading eventually, it took some really interesting turns to get there. The first third of the movie, if not more, is spent in the bar where we slowly puzzle together what Frankie and her new friend are all about, as well as how the werewolf mythos is implemented in the movie. It takes its time, and it's much needed. It never gets boring because it sways between drama, horror and even comedy. Not straight-out comedy, but there are several moments that show a darker comedy – many of them through comments or reactions by Frankie. And one scene that feels a bit "Evil Dead 2"-ish – let's just say it has to do with getting stuff on you… and a whole lot of stuff, at that. I can't say whether that helps the movie or not in the long run, but it makes the slower parts a lot more interesting.

    After the bar scene, it quickly moves to crime/cult/horror territory and this is my biggest issue with the movie. It takes time with the first part, which is great. The third part is slightly shorter but just enough for us to get an entertaining finale. The middle part, however, goes way too fast. It seems like it is missing a few steps in the dramaturgy here, and just goes from A directly to C (or with a lower-case "b" in the middle). While we might understand what happens still, we're not there emotionally. What started as the beginning of an epic search for Frankie is soon cut short. This was definitely the main flaw of the movie. After that, however, I think we have a solid horror movie going on. It's atmospheric and has plenty of action without ever leaving the roots of mystery behind: we rarely know exactly what's up. Had the middle part been slightly longer and fully developed then I am sure it would've made the ending even better.

    "The Big Bad" is a good horror mystery that could've been a lot more. I still recommend it, though, and especially to fans of werewolf movies. While it's not the most typical werewolf movie, it carries some of the most important things successfully: it's mysterious, it's atmospheric and the werewolf looks believable. Of course, I am always a bigger fan of werewolves that look more like wolves and less like "The Wolf Man", but that's rarely a problem as much as a preference. The werewolves here are of the old kind, and if you expect that then there's nothing to be annoyed by. It's an interesting movie with a solid production, some interesting visual ideas and most of the time very good acting, so check it out if you want a little semi-surreal and dreamlike werewolf mystery!

    More reviews at FilmBizarro.com

  2. Well as it is just released on Video On Demand (VOD) The Big Bad shows that there is a lot possible with a very small budget. The end product is a stylish movie that knows where it is going. Should have been hard for Jesse Gotta to write and play the main role in orderly fashion? Or did she proof us that double roles won't be of any influence in making a good movie?

    Frankie Ducane is a woman in a seedy bar at a bad part of town, looking for a man named Fenton Bailey. A chance encounter with barfly Molly tells her she's on the right track. Molly had run into Fenton not too long ago and come away with a cut on her neck and an itch that wouldn't go away. When Frankie leans in and tells Molly what that itch is, the wounded woman goes to the bathroom and tries to slit her wrist. The suicide attempt fails, and after Frankie has buried Molly's body in a shallow grave, things get much worse. A trail of blood is left in her path as she fights every step of the way on the road to Fenton Bailey. And when she finds him, Frankie discovers those feelings that had driven her forward weren't fueled so much by anger as they were grief. "I just miss you both so much," she tells Fenton before . . . well, I'm not going to tell. Suffice it to say the ending is somewhat bittersweet.

    One of the first things you will notice as a viewer is the great surrealism in this movie. The tone of the movie is a very dark one but with a bit of fantasy touché to it. Jesse Gotta and Bryan Enk have set up a very nice story and which has been captured and directed in a great way. The Big Bad didn't had a big budget but the movie never feels like a low budget movie thanks to the stylistic way of the movie. The movie shows the love that has been put into it and embraces the fairy-tale related parts into a dark murderous ride. Jesse Gotta wrote the script and plays the main role in the movie she makes sure the character she plays shows the emotion so needs to show and never as character feels empty. But The Big Bad isn't without its flaws a lot of action shots have been shot with a handycam which means shaky and muddled scenes. There could have been a lot more and better ways to capture the images but in the end it is a budget choice. While Gotta did great as a writer some of the dialogue is just not worth the time and just feels empty.

    The monologues were just going on too long but never in a way it is annoying but in a way that you as viewer start to question things too much. The effects in the movie are well made and are never to gory and is walking a safe line in this one. Too much gore wouldn't have fit in the dreamy state of the movie and I am glad they didn't overdo it.

    The Big Bad ended up as a surprise for me and after seeing a lot of movies lately with a lot higher budget fail miserably this was a nice breath of fresh air. Keep on the lookout for Gotta and Enk they have everything set up great and let's hope their new movie will have a higher budget. But with the budget they had they made this movie into a success in my book, the makeup, editing, the story and the sound just fits everything perfectly. I would say go check it out it is worth the watch.


  3. I liked "The Big Bad." It seemed like some things were missing from the story but that and the trippy camera-work and lighting kind of made it feel like it's all through the eyes of someone who's maybe a little crazy. I also liked the freaky subliminal flashes of the main werewolf. Some people have said it opens slowly but I actually liked all the bar stuff the best, it kept me guessing as to what was really going on and then suddenly there's a werewolf in the alley. It was really low budget but they did some cool things with the werewolf and gore fx and lead actress Jessi Gotta delivers a terrific performance. A sort of an art-house spin on the monster genre.

  4. I was very moved by this film that's not really the B-level horror movie its cover art presents it to be. While it's partly a creature feature with moments of violence and gore, it's more a fantastical portrait of a daughter who's lost her mother and the guilty stepfather whom she still loves even as she plans his own demise.

    Frankie (Jessi Gotta, who also wrote the screenplay) traverses seedy dive bars filled with lost-soul denizens hiding dark secrets, filthy basements where mad women steal eyeballs and other body parts and, finally, a broken-down shack in the woods filled with scattered trinkets of a previous life (a rosary reminds us that there are no atheists in foxholes – or in lycanthropy) that serves as the pathetic hideaway of the monster who may or may not deserve to die for his crimes.

    The story unfolds in a dreamlike narrative, alternately gorgeously and grotesquely documented by Dominick Sivilli's voyeuristic and sometimes aggressive cinematography – we're plunged from the beginning right into an alternate reality and immersed in a series of fractured images, puzzle pieces that we as the viewer must put together along with Frankie. It's a film where the audience is never ahead of or behind the heroine but rather walking in step with her though every gruesome discovery and confrontation.

    It's definitely not for everyone, as you have to have patience and be in the mood for something that sometimes seems like it's playing tricks on you (and it might be). In fact, "The Big Bad" can be as frustrating as it is fascinating, and its micro-budget sometimes works against its ambitions. But despite its werewolves and zombies and mad scientists that melt into disgusting goo when you throw water on them, it is in the end a very human story that explores the grief process as a sort of punk rock fairy tale, one that warns of the futility of revenge and doesn't shy from the inevitability of tragedy.

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