31 Days of Horror – ‘VFW’

Grindhouse romp delivers exactly what genre fans crave this time of year

You can call “VFW” the spiritual cousin of “The Expendables” series.

The 2019 shocker features a cast of genre favorites, including William Sadler, Fred Williamson, Martin Kove and Stephen Lang.

They may not be as famous as Arnold, Sly and Chuck, but these weathered character actors are a snug fit for  a horror film. And they’re far from expendable when the you-know-what hits the fan.

VFW | Official Trailer | Voltage Pictures

The story opens in a near future when a designer drug dubbed Hype has society in its clutches.

Our colorful heroes have more important matters to attend to, like swapping Vietnam War stories at their favorite VFW pub. And drinking. 

Always drinking.

The real world crashes their party when a woman named Lizard (Sierra McCormick) enters the bar, carrying a sack of stolen Hype. The local drug kingpin killed her sister, and she took revenge by stealing his precious product.

It’s a matter of time before the kingpin’s goons come a callin’, but our still vital veterans won’t be taken down so easily.

Director Joe Begos (“Almost Human”) bathes the film in eerie colors reminiscent of a classic grindhouse affair. It’s gritty, grimy and it gets under your skin in a hurry.

Begos, who named his production company Channel 83 as an homage to “Videodrome,” understands exactly what a gore-drenched shocker like this needs.

Featurette: The Special Make-Up Effects of VFW

Practical effects help. So does a cast eager to bring layers to what might have been one-dimensional souls. Now, can we rally the survivors for a sequel?

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