By David Dent
A follow up to 2015’s Dementia pretty much in name only (the original movie’s director Mike Testin is now co-director on Part II with Matt Mercer, who stars in this one), any inherent seriousness in the first movie is completely swept aside; Part II plays for laughs and gross out, and wow does it succeed.
Mercer is Wendell Miska, out on parole and trying to hold down a job as a handyman. He gets a job round at old Suzanne’s house, tasked with unblocking her sink, but she soon draws Wendell into her life, clearly enjoying having a young man on the premises, even if she can’t remember who he is half the time – she seems to have early onset dementia. Wendell is first bemused, then alarmed at the range of guns and rifles on display around the house, left by Suzanne’s late husband, who was a Mountie (this is a Canadian movie, after all).
Then in walks Sheila, who says that she’s Suzanne’s daughter but is more likely a con artist. And as if things aren’t problematic enough, Suzanne has a festering bite mark, which turns her into a slavering zombie!
The 67 minutes of Dementia Part II, crisply photographed in black and white, were the result of a challenge from a Chicago film festival to bring a movie together, from scratch, in a month. Such a challenge would have done well to produce anything watchable at all, let alone something of the quality and humour of this film.
Mercer is very funny as Wendell, confused as hell but desperate to hold onto his job and keep out of jail. But star of the show is genre regular Suzanne The Lords of Salem, Contracted: Phase II Voss as Suzanne, absolutely loving her role as a rabid granny. Sure the movie makes little sense, but everyone’s having a great time, and it certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome.
Dementia Part II screened at the Soho Horror Film Festival