[Official Review] ‘Dear God No!’ A Throwback That Lacks Depth

Reviewed by Mike Ferraro

What a film. Dear God No is a throwback genre film bringing us back to the glory days of Grindhouse cinema. Writer/director James Bickert made the brilliant choice of shooting this film on actual 16mm film – a giant step in the right direction of filmmaking! As you’re watching, you can’t help but miss the format. It’s not like digital cinema has cinematography as a whole. It’s just so painfully obvious how it all lacks a certain depth. With this film, it’s nice to see things like how the foreground separates from the background, a little bit of grain covering the whole image throughout the entire picture, and how the lighting looks way more realistic.

But that is about all for which we can really praise.

Dear God No tells the story of a Jett (Jett Bryant), the leader of a devil-worshipping motorcycle gang, who spend their time raping nuns and murdering people. The group decides to pick on a group of wealthy college types at a cabin in the middle of the woods.

In this cabin, Dr. Marco (Paul McComisky) has been dabbing a bit with trying to cure the dead (most notably, his dead wife). With that, however, also comes a giant sasquatch-like creature, roaming the woods and knocking off heads of passersby. So when the undead wife comes from out of the basement as this gang prepares themselves to rape a pregnant lady, they just see it as another opportunity to rape someone else. If Dead Girl taught us anything cinematically, it’s that thou shall not rape that which no longer lives.

Since the Tarantino/Rodriguez created Grindhouse double-feature from a few years ago, filmmakers far and wide have created films of that ilk to keep the genre going. Only a few of them have really succeeded (like Hobo With a Shotgun and maybe Bad Ass) and the others just try too hard. Dear God No definitely falls into that latter category. The harder the filmmaker tries to shock us – and there are moments – the easier it becomes to not care about what we are seeing. It’s one thing to shock for a purpose but it is another to shock for no reason whatsoever, simply because you are trying to tap into certain genre requirements.

The DVD is chocked full of special features regarding the making of the film. It even contains traces of its marketing campaign – most notably, specific genre related spots (torture porn, zombie). We are also blessed with 2 commentaries – filmmaker and actor – if you are so inclined to sit through this film a couple of more times. That is not going to be an easy task.

Official Score

  • doodlebug

    I saw this film with a crowd at Texas Frightmare Weekend where it was the hit of the festival programming. Mr. Harley’s review totally missed it here. This film has nothing to do with the Grindhouse genre. Like the filmmakers pointed out at TFW this is a Drive-in Film inspired by them growing up at Drive-ins in the 70s. It is a homage to those regional curiosities you find on Something Weird Video. Grindhouse was a tribute to 42nd Street and Hobo with a Shotgun was a tribute to 80s Troma films. Unlike those films, this is jam packed full of nudity and shot in a 70s aesthetic.

    The shocks that seem to offended the reviewer fit within the context of the film. This is a biker film and unlike any other made. Bloody, dark, funny and action packed. I’m really disappointed at the lack of care given to these folks who made something the genre has never seen. I was looking forward to in depth information on the extras. BD really dropped the ball on this one.

    • DeadInHell

      I thought the review was spot on. Dear God No! didn’t fail because it was offensive, it failed because it was so poorly executed. The handful of notable bits (few and FAR between) aren’t really worth sitting through the rest of the film. The quality is just about as low as it gets, the script, the performances, the effects, the camerawork. It’s not raw in a way that feels “retro” or reverent, merely cheap and crude in the worst, most amateurish way possible.

      It’s not an issue of being a moral crusader, the movie just sucked.