The Horror Zine Review
A Film by Jason Koch
|Director: Jason Koch
Actors: Mark Sanders, Daisy Gibb, Michael Breckern
Studio: Dire Wit Films
Format: DVD and Bluray
Release Date: October 2013
Run Time: 75 minutes
A Film by Jason Koch
Review by C. Dennis Moore
Allen Dean is a killer. This is what he does, as he says in the opening narration of the Mark Leake/Jason M. Koch film 7TH DAY. But he wants to be more. He wants to start a family, get a better job, make a difference in the world. This goal, however, is hindered by the fact that, to his core, Allen Dean is a killer.
He calls his victims “selections” and he finds them everywhere. He stalks them in parks, he finds them in parking lots; sometimes he watches them through the windows of their homes. Sometimes he can’t sleep until he has killed. And when he doesn’t kill, he sometimes has to resort to drinking until he passes out just to get some rest.
Allen spends his days as a dishwasher at a local dive. He’s hounded by Dave, the new cook who, after a month on the job, already thinks he’s got seniority over Allen. Allen plans to kill Dave before his—Allen’s—time on Earth is over.
But at work, Dave isn’t Allen’s main concern. That would be Denise, the waitress. She’s young, pretty, and totally not into Allen one bit. She doesn’t want to get him fired, so she doesn’t complain about the constant, and creepy, attention. No, Allen doesn’t want to kill Denise…he wants to marry her.
Over the course of a week—the seven days referred to in the movie’s title—Allen does a lot of soul searching, trying to determine the course of the rest of his life. Killing—his first love—or cleaning up his act and trying to win over Denise. It’s a tough road, and isn’t made any easier by so many opportunities for killing almost falling into his lap.
There’s his next door neighbor, Bill, whom Allen doesn’t like, but the guy is the only real “friend” he’s ever had, even if his company isn’t necessarily wanted. Then there’s a neighborhood kid, Tommy Cardiff, who tried once to break into Bill’s house, and whom Bill then asks Allen to keep an eye out for in case it happens again.
Allen could easily take out either of these guys, leaving the world a better place. But that’s not going to help Allen make the biggest decision of his life.
7TH DAY is written by Leake (ISLE OF THE DAMNED) and directed/edited by Koch (LAMPLIGHT) for Dire Wit Films. It runs just over 74 minutes (I love these 70-something minute movies) and has more substance, character development, and surprises than most big budget horror movies with a 90-100 minute run time.
Mark S. Sanders (V/H/S 2) plays Allen, and, given the characters despicable actions and lifestyle, Sanders manages to instill a lot of humanity and sympathy in the character. I felt his voice over narration was a bit distracting at times, but I also feel that was due to Sanders’s tone, not his reading. He just doesn’t have a narrator’s voice. Still, I believed his character was as dirty and disgusting as he appeared. I guess that’s a win for Sanders.
I was leery at first of Koch’s editing style, as there were a lot of quick cuts with random grotesqueries spliced into the film—I was worried it was going to be one of those movies that tries to simulate the state of mind of the killer, or the drug trips some characters take, but the cuts never reached the point of distracting or annoying and did in fact help to establish the state of mind Allen was constantly struggling with. Also, the creepy “interviewer” Allen imagines is following him around was jarring at first, but soon became a natural part of the landscape.
Leake and Koch may be stuck on Low Budget Row with their films, but 7TH DAY is definitely proof they’re dreaming big and reaching for the brass ring. With this one on their resume, I can see them reaching it very, very soon.
More about the film HERE
You can buy the film HERE
About the Filmmaker
Director/Special Effects Artist Jason Koch has just released his new horror feature film 7th DAY in the fall of 2013 with Eerie Horror Film Fest Best film and Best Actor nominations. This follows his 2010 short film LAMPLIGHT, winner of the Late Nite Horror film fest Best Cast Performance. Jason studied special FX make up and film making at the Art institute of Pittsburgh and has spent the last 15 yrs practicing his FX and film making skills up and down the east coast as a co owner of Aftermath FX Studio. Who has recently supplied Special Effects for V/H/S 2 and Troma’s Return to Nukem High Vol. 1, Vol. 2.
About the Reviewer
C. Dennis Moore
C. Dennis Moore is the author of over 60 published short stories and novellas in the speculative fiction genre. Most recent appearances were in the Vile Things anthology, Fiction365.com, Dark Highlands 2, What Fears Become, Dead Bait 3 and Dark Highways. His novel, Revelations, is available in hardcover, trade paperback or ebook formats from Necro Publications. His most recent novel is The Third Floor.