Deadline (1984)

   

Produced, Written & Directed by: Mario Azzopardi

Written by:
 Mario Azzopardi & Richard Oleksiak

Starring:

.... Steven Lessey 
.... Elizabeth Lessey 
.... Burt Horowitz
 .... Darlene Winters 
 .... Sharon Lessey 
.... David Lessey 
Bev Marsh .... Martha Lessey

Special Appearances: 

Carol Pope .... Herself
Rough Trade .... Punk Rock Band Members 

Release Dates: Direct-to-Video: 1984


 

 

 

Rating:

 

A screenwriter Steven Lessey (Stephen Young) is too focused on his work that he doesn't have time for his family but yet film producers aren't happy with what he has written and isn't in touch with reality as well as facing deadly consequences due to the fact he is mentally away from reality.

 

The opening credits had a nice low budget horror feel to it all and then a close up shot on our main character Steven Lessey typing away which seems drawn in enough as well as talking to his kids later on at the breakfast table and so fourth.
Then there's situations which makes thing really confusing when he talks to people at a forum and so fourth while we have a moment with a woman taking a shower and then the water sprays blood and so fourth as I wondered what that was all about.
Also he goes into a place to discuss his project and then there's a situation with a mechanic working on a construction vehicle and a close up shot on a black goat and him not being nice to this animal and then suddenly something happens to him with this vehicle activating and close up shots on the goat which was a teaser to him showing a class his film project. 
Things get more and more complicated when he is trying to do more writing for his projects and this is supposed to lure you in on what he's writing like a woman dying while going into labour which looked sick and intense or some grandchildren making out they're playing a game with their grandma but they burn her which looked truly shocking to watch as I admit that scene looked very effective in a horror flick.
However what's really sick and twisted is when we see a bunch of nun's doing a church ceremony only to attack the priest which seemed to involve canniballism. I really though that this scene was totally messed up big time. 
While Steven is at home typing there's a fairly well done dysfunctional moment with his wife Elizabeth having a nervous breakdown in front of her children when she arrives home and he carries her to their room in which this had a somewhat effective feel on a family falling apart.
My favourite scene is when there's another story idea of a punk band performing and someone brings in a few drunks to watch as it totally looked like a music video by how crisply things were shot and a shocking moment at the end to one of the homeless people. But that was about it. 
Later on in the story more dysfunctional situations involving Steven at a party talking to some people as well as producer Burt Horowitz which involves some criticism on what he is writing and how things aren't good plus spotting his wife doing cocaine with other people and they are returning home in a heated argument which looked messed up. It truly has a look at how sour their marriages are.
A scene that stuck out in my mind is when Steven is on set directing a piece of the horror film and says something insulting to one of his actresses and she acts like a primadonna about it all and runs off set as this has a real feel to working with others that don't get along.
Then when he drives home there's a news on what happens to his daughter cause it influenced his sons on a film that he did which seemed off the wall while we watch on what went on arriving home with the police and paramedics as well as how his wife reacts to all of this. Also an abusive moment when he shakes his son but this looked a bit sloppily done too.
However there's an effective moment with Burt speaking to Steven with some women next to him at a restaurant getting stern and demanding towards him as this setting looked like a mafia type of business discussion.
Then near the end of the story things looked extremely messed up when Steven invites a few wannnabe actresses to his home for drugs and partying while they watch his film and suddenly it shows his daughter talking to him on the screen which leaves and idea that he's hallucinating. Also there's nice violent moments later on as well as these women trashing his place as all of this looked insane.
Bottom line is that this movie is so unorganised and messed up in which I was convinced that whoever did this piece was on some serious drugs. Most of it didn't make sense at all. Almost made out that it was a horror anthology. Whoever did this sick flick should be ashamed of themselves as it was a total waste of time. 

The acting is at a mediocre pace and very dated too. (Steven Lessey) tried his best in order to pull his weight as a starving writer and can seem to get into it all by trying to focus on what he is doing. He does well with his arrogant attitude as well as showing off a frusterating behavior. Seemed convincing by acting dysfunctional or disturbed by what is going on especially during the end of his performance.
(Elizabeth Lessey) seemed to draw in okay as a messed up wife of his in which she does well by acting aggressive or like a basket case when she is having a nervous breakdown in a scene but at times she is a little too over the top and tries too hard to pull it off. However she comes off well onto the camera regardless.
(Burt Horowitz) does a bang on job as a film producer in which he offers a ton of spunk and enthusiasm intop his role adding a nice charm to what he is talking about as well as being totally energised with his words. Plus does a good job when doing business coming across as nearly intimidating in a mobster type of way by what he is talking about to his fellow cast member in a restaurant as his performance for that scene can be quite memorable. 
 (Sharon Lessey) adds a nice innocent behavior as well as her cute looks in which she reminds you of other child stars in horror films coming across this way. Also does well acting haunting like quarter way through the story. She for sure studied this part incredibly well for what she had to do here.
It was exciting seeing a cameo by rock star Carol Pope (Herself) appearing at a gig in which she was sharp with her words as well as acting tough and slick. Does it all with great style and terrific effort. Seemed to offer humoress actions to all that she did here.



A woman is naked in a shower top to bottom
Three women are topless while partying out in someone's home

A mechanic is slaughtered by a vehicle
Decapitiations are revealed
Priests insides are torn out and eaten
An object explodes out of someone's stomach

Sam Bari composes a decent score for the film in which we hear a wooden flute playing in certain calm spots which flowed in nicely. Plus we hear creepy violin sounds with suspenseful trombone sounding quite loud which adds a punch to what is happening with the terrors surrounding the situations. THis isn't your everyday classical music but has a nice 80's low budget horror sounds to it all.

A great performance by Rough Trade really belting out their stuff in a scene that looks like they're doing a music video as there's nice aggressive vocalising as well as later on in a bar scene doing their classic "Grade B Movie" which is a catchy song indeed.