Director: Fabrício Bittar
Writers: Fabrício Bittar, Danilo Gentili, Andre Catarinacho
Cast: Danilo Gentili, Léo Lins, Murilo Cuoto, Dani Calabresa
Producers: Fabrício Bittar, Danilo Gentili
Music: David Menezes
Cinematography: Marcos Ribas
Editors: Nicholas Fettback, Bruno Nunes
Cert: 18 (TBC)
Running time: 103mins
What’s the story: After a supposed possession in a local school, four online paranormal investigators are brought into perform a sham exorcism to dispel the spirit. But, Jack (Gentili), Fred (Lins), Tulio (Cuoto) and Caroline (Calabresa) are in for a night full of surprises.
What’s the verdict: If early career Peter Jackson made Ghostbusters, it might resemble this Brazilian blast of bad-taste horror. Come the closing credits, there is nary a fluid that hasn’t splashed across the screen. You can practically taste the viscosity.
The title is something of a misdirect. While loosely linking to the legend of Bloody Mary, this is closer to the Japanese urban myth of Hanako-san, a schoolgirl tormented into committing suicide. It all makes more sense when discovering the original title translates as Exterminators from Beyond Against the Bathroom Blonde…
But, whatever you call it, Fabrício Bittar’s movie is unabashedly aiming itself at gorehounds. The plot is Scooby-Doo simple: four YouTube paranormal investigators risk bankruptcy following an online scandal. When a student in a local school inadvertently summons the spirit of Bloody Mary (or whatever you want to call her) the quartet are hired by the unbelieving headmaster to perform a show exorcism.
But, over the course of one night, everyone has the supernatural rubbed in their faces through multiple splatacular spooky encounters.
Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary is best consumed surrounded by mates, with pizza on the lap and lager in hand. Subtlety and restraint are thoroughly exorcised in a film that weaponises condoms, poo, pee and umbilical cords.
Enjoyment levels will depend largely on how much that sentence makes you grin: if you’re stone-faced, best to skip this one. But the horror is well-executed, confidently balancing the gross-out and more traditional demonic fare.
Humour is defiantly broad and un-PC, again likely to land best when watched in an audience. We could have done with fewer HIV jokes, but this is all too gleefully cartoonish to cause major offence.
Gentili, Cuoto and Lins also aren’t afraid to play their characters as cowards, ready to use each other as human shields when the going gets malevolent. There is also a fourth Ghost Killer, Calabresa, who suffers Ernie Hudson’s fate and is sidelined for most of the movie. We did, however, enjoy the two teachers who act as a Greek chorus, bemoaning the flaws of low-budget horror movies and the fate of extras in them.
An overlong runtime could have used a judicious exorcism itself to expel plot fat, the pace sagging in the middle act. A mooted TV-spin off should rectify this with swiftly told episodes.
Until then, order in the pizza and enjoy.