A fading movie star and his unsuccessful friend are desperately trying to finish a new script for a zombie film. When a prank leads to an accidental death, the two buddies must keep their cool as they try to figure out the best way to hide the body.
Initial release: 5 April 2019 (USA)
Director: Rhys Wakefield
Screenplay: Rhys Wakefield, William Day Frank
Producers: Rhys Wakefield, William Day Frank, Eric B. Fleischman
There was a time when, for an actor in search of good roles, writing your own movie was a bold and clever idea. Then came Good Will Hunting and Swingers, and everybody thought they should do it. Then it seemed crafty (and budget-conscious) not just to write your own starring vehicle, and to direct it, but to make the story self-referential — about an actor writing a script about an actor writing a script he wants to direct about an actor who wants to be a filmmaker making films about actors. Were there too many clauses in there? Probably — just as there are already too many entries in this unpromising subgenre, with nary a Good Will in sight.
Using this tired conceit as a framework for ostensibly comic accidental murders and drugged-out dumb decisions, Berserk finds Rhys Wakefield (the head creep in The Purge) directing and co-writing, as well as starring alongside Nick Cannon, who presumably represents a glimmer of commercial hope for the grating, sometimes insufferable pic. Unfortunately, fans of the multihyphenate entertainer may find him a depressing sight here, playing a character whose haggard desperation and fright wig of bleached curls make him a far cry from the kid they loved in the 2000s.
Wakefield’s Evan is just getting dumped by his agent when we meet him — she’s sick of his constant promises to deliver a script he claims he’s writing with his movie-star pal Raffy (Cannon). He gets her to agree that she’ll keep him on if he makes good on a promise she knows is impossible: that he’ll have the script finished tomorrow, and that Raffy will commit to starring in it alongside Evan.
BERSERK centers around three so-called “friends” who make the realization that none of them has ever felt true-fear. Over the course of one night, they set out to trick each other into feeling it and nothing is too extreme. The film was directed by Rhys Wakefield as well as co-written by himself and William Day Frank. Wakefield also stars in the film alongside Nick Cannon, James Roday, Erin Moriarty, and Nora Arnezeder.
Honestly, I loved this film. It was so different from anything I’ve watched recently, and it was refreshing. It’s a series of fucked up events that happen to take place on Halloween and you never know what is going to happen next. Each performance was executed beautifully with uniquely bizarre characters that are scarily familiar.
Nick Cannon and Rhys Wakefield play well off each other throughout the film and have great chemistry but the addition of Nora Arnezeder is a must. She adds tension, drama, and intensity to the mix and delivers a killer performance. Together they create movie magic. I must also say that every time I see Wakefield smile, I can’t help but think back to his iconic “sinister grin” in the first Purge film.
BERSERK is a film you really must pay close attention to because it’s kind of all over the place, but it’s supposed to be that way. It was designed to mess with your head. It’s like one big acid trip and as a viewer, you are sucked into that experience never knowing if what’s happening is really happening. In some cases that would annoy me, but it worked perfectly for this film.
Although the film is full of twists and turns throughout the film, the end really surprised me. I thought it was going one direction until boom… it goes a completely different way leaving me surprised but satisfied. It was dangerously perfect. I highly recommend you check out this film when it releases. If you love films that draw you in with a bizarre series of events that result in crime, passion, and murder… BERSERK is for you!