Okay, judging by the extremely favorable rating (6.9/10 momentarily) and the amount of exclamation marks in the subject lines of other users' reviews (I love this movie!!!!!!!), it's abundantly clear that "Deadbeat at Dawn" has a rather large base of devoted fans. Then probably my two-cents won't become too popular and quickly will collect a few dozen non-useful votes, because all I saw was an irritatingly cheap and practically intolerable amateur home video. People always refer to "The Evil Dead" when they've seen a low-budgeted horror/cult movie they liked, but let's be honest, the genius and superiority of Sam Raimi's landmark never gets reached. Jim Van Bebber's debut is far more reminiscent to Tim Ritter ("Killing Spree", "Creep") and Nathan Schiff ("Weasels Rip my Flesh", "Long Island Cannibal Massacre"). In other words, painfully inept amateur guff in which the overenthusiastic writer/director desperately mobilizes his friends and family members to star in his dream project, but nobody actually dares to shatter his illusion and say to his face that his film sucks."Deadbeat at Dawn" admittedly features a few brief moments that are decent and a plot that could have been compelling if it were handled by a slightly more competent director with a budget. The set-up is comparable to Walter Hill's "The Warriors" - a personal favorite - and opens with a depiction of the intense rivalry between two street gangs. Goose, leader of the Ravens, and Danny, leader of the Spiders, practically cut each other to pieces during a macho-showdown at the local cemetery, and for Goose's spiritual girlfriend it means the ultimatum to choose between her or his gang. After a long and deep reflection, Goose realizes he really loves her and decides to drastically turn his life around. The Spiders then savagely kill the girlfriend and Goose is bent on revenge; - especially when he finds out that the two gangs are merging together behind his back. "Deadbeat at Dawn" is mostly infamous and loved for its excessive gore and violence. I'll be the first to gladly admit that the brutal massacres are sick and twisted in a delightfully entertaining fashion, but they are also badly spread throughout the film. For every gore highlight that lasts for three seconds, there are several overlong and tedious sequences in which absolutely nothing remarkable happens. Van Bebber tends to stretch every ingenious aspect endlessly, by the way. The encounter with Goose's alcoholic father, who goes berserk because the son drank his last can of beer, is funny at first but not for 7 minutes. The first lines of the "I-hate-people" rant by a maniacal gang member named Bonecrusher is also hilarious, but the full four minutes are insufferable.In the nineties, Jim Van Bebber made excellent (and extremely sickening) short films, namely "My Sweet Satan" and "Roadkill". I strongly believe they were fantastic just because they were shorts, and thus Van Bebber didn't need to add filler footage. He returned once more with the highly acclaimed (among genre fans) biopic "The Manson Family", but personally I think that's also one of the most boring and undeservedly hyped horror films ever.
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