You won’t see this in a Hollywood horror movie. Movie killers often have specific targets: Freddy Krueger targeted his murderers children, Hannibal Lecter killed and ate rude people, and Snidely Whiplash tied defenseless women to railroad tracks (okay he’s not a killer but you get my point), Billy Kingsley (Donovan Kern), from the new movie, “Billy’s Cult,” targets the innocents and those generally considered “off limits” in horror films, from priests to young children to pregnant single women.
“Billy’s Cult” begins in 1988 when Father Perry (Anthony Grasso) has sex with a prostitute named Lenore Kingsley (Susan Campanaro) in the middle of his church. The prostitute becomes pregnant and gives the child up for adoption. Twenty years later, Detective’s Steele (Debbie Rochon) and Gates (Lou Martini Jr.) are investigating a string of gristly murders committed against johns who had slept with Lenore, single pregnant women, and prostitutes.
“Billy’s Cult” is the brainchild of Writer/Director Michael P. Lucas and is the first in what is hoped to be a new horror movie franchise. Story wise the movie is slightly disjointed. We don’t get a sense of why Billy is the way he is. We know his motive and his means but not what made him turn into a monster. Did something happen at the orphanage? Did abusive parents adopt him? This isn’t explained. Also, the story left several characters storylines unresolved.
Despite these flaws, “Billy’s Cult” has a lot going for it. The film reunites the talented and charismatic “Won Ton Baby” stars: Suzi Lorraine, Debbie Rochon, and Lou Martini Jr. Debbie Rochon’s Detective Steele is a bad ass that commands the screen with her powerful presence. She is out to get the perpetrator of the murders and won’t be stopped, even by tragedy. Everything Debbie does with this character, including her voice, her body language, creates an aura of authority and determination. Detective Steele certainly lives up to her name. Lou Martini Jr.’s Gates would be the “good cop” in the “good cop, bad cop” routine. He is determined but is having second thoughts as to his career choice and is torn about whether or not to stay on the force. Martini wears the uncertainty on his face especially during his scenes with Suzi, who plays his wife. As Mrs. Gates, Suzi has a small role but a significant one because she gets Gates to make a decision that has huge consequences. Suzi plays her very calm and gracefully, but with a touch of trepidation and concern in her voice, making you believe her feelings. Then there is the star of the show, Donovan Kern’s Billy. Kern plays Billy as a cross between Buffalo Bill and Jason Voorhees: a cold, calculating, and terrifying machine with no mercy. He barely speaks and his eyes are blank, unfeeling, and evil. He disturbs you, which is something movie villains are supposed to do.
I want to take a moment to spotlight the effects of the film. The make up was really well done in this movie. The murder scenes are very grisly, especially the one where Billy kills the pregnant woman. The combination between the sound and visual effects make for a disturbing scene that you forces you to cringe and look away. You’ll also cringe when you see what he does with the fetuses. Also, there is a haunting piano theme playing in the background before someone gets killed, which sets the stage in terms of the atmosphere and vibe of the film.
Despite a few flaws, “Billy’s Cult” is an interesting variation of the Slasher genre that brings something new to the table through the killer’s targets. You definitely won’t see something like this out of Hollywood, and in my opinion, this is a very good thing.
To learn more about “Billy’s Cult” checkout the official webpage here.