REVIEW: Spookie Dookie (2022)


Synopsis: Do you like BLOOD? Are you in the mood for VIOLENCE?? Ya wanna see some fucking PUMPKINS???  Well, HAPPY HALLOWEEN you pieces of shit, this is SPOOKIE DOOKIE! Enter the Cemetery and let the Gatekeeper unfold many stories of the MACABRE for your viewing pleasure. You can trust him, he lives in the old crypt and loves to tell the tales to get you into the mood for All Hallow's Eve...

If there is one group of indie filmmakers that never fail to deliver, it's Rock Bottom Video. 

Filmmaker Brian Papandrea may be best known to some for his acting roles in films like The Bad Man or 13 Fanboy, but it's his own films where we really get to see him shine. His taking on multiple roles (writer, director, and actor) with Spookie Dookie is the perfect example, as the film blends his manic frenzy of gross-out jokes, hilarious one-liners, bizarre characters, and absurdist parody into a perfect Halloween treat of a film.

Spookie Dookie is effectively a late-night TV program, hosted by The GateKeeper (Papandrea), who resides in a cemetery crypt and just desperately wants someone, anyone, to listen to his stories. With this loose narrative, the viewer is treated to a barrage of short skits, old Halloween commercials, and panic-induced news briefs about horror movies. It's all very abstract in the best possible way.

Those abstract thoughts and the hilarious scenes are linked together perfectly by Zach Shildwachter, one of the film's producers who also shot and edited the Dookie. Despite its obvious low budget, Shildwachter was able to make this movie look like a million bucks - perhaps figuratively, but for my money it's still the best looking Rock Bottom release so far. It's tight and paced perfectly, not a frame wasted. This partnership is one I hope to see continue in the future. 

The cast and crew are a who's-who of underground horror regulars, including the always hilarious and beautiful Sadie Tate (Papandrea's wife and Rock Bottom Regular, who never fails to steal every scene she's in), Nathan Rumler, Terence Cover, Patrick Dear, Megan Beck (who also crafted the GateKeeper FX), Victor Bonacore...and of course Papandrea himself, playing no less than 317 separate roles throughout the movie. That may be a slight exaggeration, but his take on Dracula is disturbingly delightful, his Kyle Rittenhouse will decidedly piss of all the right people, and his Coffin Joe is one of the funniest parodies I've seen in ages. Of course, they all take a backseat to his GateKeeper, who steals the entire show from  the moment he appears on screen.

Speaking of the cast, I'd also be remiss if I didn't give a special shout-out to Marilyn Mayson, who opens the film (and the trailer, below). Her base...will perhaps be a tad disappointed that this movie doesn't feature her normal acting "activities," but there is plenty of time to slap on one of those classics once the Spookie has wrapped. Her cameo here is charming, yet seductive.

This definitely wouldn't be a Rock Bottom film without plenty of adult humor, and although I have no idea what it's like to live inside Papandrea's mind, it can be assured that the viewer gets a healthy dose of WTF throughout the film's 60-minute sprint of comedy. With some gnarly special effects prosthetics made by the ever-talented James Bell - who has rapidly become the go-to guy for indie FX work - the film's raunchiest moment lands around the 30 minute mark, and I laughed so hard I cried. Poor, poor Terence Cover. That man is a trooper. This part must be seen to be believed. 

Whenever Papandrea releases a new movie, he has a habit of calling it "the dumbest" film he's made, but stopped short of saying as such with Spookie Dookie. I tend to agree with him here. The film is dumb, sure, but I mean that in the most endearing way possible. It's a Halloween-centric comedy with a lot of heart and a lot to say...if you're actually listening. Looking at you, fan film crowdfunders.

Spookie Dookie is Ernest Scared Stupid meets The WNUF Halloween Special; a hilariously goofy send-up of all the local access, late-night horror shows that people of a certain age grew up watching and remember fondly. If you are a fan of Rock Bottom Video, you probably already know what you're getting into by watching Spookie Dookie, so trust me when I tell you that you won't be disappointed. 

...And if you've never seen a Rock Bottom Video flick before, I highly recommend that you start with Spookie Dookie. Or don't, I don't give six fucks.





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