Review: Dead Man Tells His Own Tale (Fantasia 2017)

It’s hard for a horror film to be a comedy, while keeping all of its horror aspects intact throughout. If you have too much of one, you lose some of the other. Even harder then, is to balance these two genres and make the entire film be a commentary on sexism and misogyny in the modern world while not taking away from the experience by pushing that angle too far either. Yet, I found myself surprised by the deft touch, thematic balancing, and care put into this movie.

 

 

Dead Man Tells His Own Tale is directed by Fabián Forte, co-written with Nicolás Britos; the film stars Diego Gentile, Mariana Anghileri, and Emilia Attías. Fabian stars as Angel Barrios, a sleazy advertising director who is big and important enough to get what he wants. He uses his position to sleep with the women who roles, holding this double standard to his wife despite her wanting an open relationship. He’s a scummy douchebag who eventually gets what’s coming to him when he’s killed by women who turn out to be Celtic Banshees, and resurrect him as their zombified slave to do their bidding. Now the tables are turned, and women are completely in charge of him and his life.

 

Despite him being enslaved, the rules set upon him actually make him a better person. He can no longer lie to woman, he can no use foul language to them, and interestingly enough, there’s a scene where he seems to understand exactly what his wife is feeling about him as a husband and a person, and she hilariously freaks out know that everything the Angel she knows would never, ever say something so touching and heartfelt. It’s makes for a interesting dynamic throughout when he’s presented with situations he’s faced before, but can only go about them in ways he never has. There are some hilarious scenes later on when Angel meets other men enslaved by the coven as well, and the interplay between them is a huge laugh. Towards the end, the film starts to get more into the horror aspects of things when the coven starts to carry out their plans. The Banshees are legitimately terrifying, and I wish there were more of them in the film. The only big gripe with this film is the ending, in which everything just abruptly ends. The whole movie led to the final moments, and when the moment comes, it just happens and then the credits roll. It’s a very vague, ambiguous ending that’s open to interpretation. Despite it being somewhat hopeful, it could have transitioned smoother.

 

Dead Man Tell His Own Tale is a smart and funny film that has a lot to say about today’s sexism and misogyny, while keeping itself grounded in it’s horror and comedy roots. The characters are fun, the situations are hilarious and it’s commentary on today’s world is done with deft touches. This film has a lot of heart and love poured into it, and it should be commended for that. It doesn’t have a definitive answer for the imbalances and injustice people face and are discriminated for, but it leaves the door open to discussion and interpretation.

 

3.5/5 Zombie Heads

 

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