August 12, 2012

Filthy Review - Skull World

Skull World (2012) (Advanced Blu-ray Screener)

Review by Jude Felton

Skull World is just like planet Earth, except it is a damned sight more entertaining! It is inhabited by one Greg Sommer aka Skull Man and the man knows how to rock. The documentary, Skull World, is directed by Justin McConnell who previously released the post-apocalyptic horror flick The Collapsed, and is a completely different kettle of fish (or Lawn Gnomes if you prefer). The one thing they do share, aside from Sommer popping up in The Collapsed as an armed gunman, is the fact that both exist in a different reality. Sure, Skull World is all very real but it is a world far removed from yours and mine and I want to visit it!

Greg Sommer brought Skull Man to life whilst still a wee young metal fan, and over time he has become a definite alter-ego. Both are crazy, in a good way, but they are two different characters entirely, just check out Skull Man’s insane speech at Sommer’s graduation ceremony.

A documentary about one man’s alter-ego would only go so far though. It would probably be very entertaining, but there would only be so much before it would start to repeat itself. Fortunately this is not the case here. We learn the life and background of Sommer, which is in turn hilarious and a little weird, and he is very candid about just about everything, from going bald to living in his mother’s basement, and then we get to learn about the Box Wars. And this really is the meat and potatoes of the documentary.

What is Box Wars, I hear you ask? Well, allow me to tell you. The Box Wars are event where like-minded folk dress up in cardboard costumes, complete with cardboard weapons, and then proceed to beat nine shades of tomorrow out of each other in organized battles. It is, for want of a better phrase, completely mental. It is also taken incredibly seriously, with Sommer heading up the Canadian Chapter after being contact through the founders in Australia and the plans of expanding Box Wars.

Although taken seriously, it is all in the name of fun and no one seems to have more fun than the denim-clad Sommer. This is a man who was born to rock; maybe not on a stage in front of thousands of fans, but rock nonetheless.

To say that Skull World is an entertaining documentary would be a mild understatement. It is genuinely funny for the majority of its running time, pausing only once in a while for more serious comment. McConnell and his trusty camera are there for absolutely everything, except for some childhood footage, and even dons a head-cam to film from the midst of one of the battles. The film itself is cut from around 270 hours of footage, which truth be known I cannot even get my head around!

Whether you enjoy Skull World, as much as I did, will depend on how you look at life. I imagine that fans of documentaries such as Best Worst Movie will get a kick out of it, as to these eyes it was very much in that vein. Documentaries are always an acquired taste, but this one is so damned entertaining I couldn’t help but to enjoy it.

The version I am reviewing is the 99.9% complete version and, aside from looking great on Blu, is a well put together doc with no real excess flab to weigh it down. I did see an original work print which ran longer than this 102 minute version, and I can safely say that this cut works exceptionally well.

If you get the chance I recommend that you visit Skull World at your earliest convenience. You don’t need to worry about the time, because here it is always time to rock!

For more information about Skull World, which is set to hit festivals, you can check out the film's official site here.


LeftFieldFilms said...

This looks great and also insane! I've still to see "Best Worst Movie" and I'm a massive "Troll 2" fan. Unfortunately this stuff never gets released in the UK!


Lord of Filth said...

Do you have a region free DVD player? If so I highly recommend getting Best Worst Movie. Will keep you posted on the release details of Skull World.

LeftFieldFilms said...

I have a region free dvd player. Do you know if it's on region free blu ray? That would be ideal! Thanks for the heads up!

Lord of Filth said...

I don't believe that there is Blu release as of right now. The DVD is about 4 quid on Amazon though.