- Ghosts of Empire Prairie (2013) Review

Title: Mr. Bricks: A Heavy Metal Murder Musical

Also known as:

Year: 2011

Genre: Independent / Thriller / Musical

Language: English

Runtime: 76 min

Director: Travis Campbell

Writer: Travis Campbell & Lauren Miller


A gunshot to the head might kill most people, but not tough guy Eugene Hicks. He wakes up angry and set out for revenge on the person who shot him - a cop. He's also out to find the love of his life, a woman he attacked and raped, but who grew fond of him as well.

Our thoughts:
As I'm not a fan of musicals, I really doubted that I would enjoy "Mr. Bricks: A Heavy Metal Murder Musical". Granted, I knew it was gonna be different because it was actually a heavy metal musical, but it seemed awfully cheesy in so many ways when I read up on it. That's why it came as such a surprise that the movie was actually reinventing a genre for the better. The musical numbers became an additional force to an already excellent storyline, and brought out a great energy that I've rarely seen in musicals before. The fact it was heavy metal added so much to that, making it a quite legendary movie as it hasn't really been done before. It certainly hasn't been done to perfection like this before.

Eugene Hicks gets shot in the head by a cop after having raped an undercover female cop (though with certain consent as a Stockholm Syndrome grew). He wakes up pissed off at the police force, and even more furious that his lady is gone. Now he's out to kill the man who shot him and get his woman back, no matter how many people he has to take down on the way. Eugene Hicks, also known as Mr. Bricks, is ready to smash faces.

The opening paragraph is an April Fool's joke. I have to tell you that because I honestly can't commit to pretending to like this movie. I wish I was a stronger man, but I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight if I made you believe it was good. There are so many flaws with it, but that it's so awkward to watch that you want to bury your head in the sand is the worst part of it all. Let's start with the lesser evils. The production isn't too horrible for an indie flick, it has pretty rough camera work and far from clean shots (very grainy as soon as it gets remotely darker) and a lot of half-assed color filtering/editing. It's not a pretty movie to look at.

The acting varies. There are okay moments, but down-right horrible moments as well. The lead, Tim Dax, works as the brainless muscle who just wants revenge, but as soon as he talks (or.. dear God.. sings) it quickly goes down the drain. The rest of the cast are acceptable - again, unless they sing. More on that later.

There are some violent scenes, you get plenty of faces smashed by bricks and similar muscle violence (you know, to really get use of having a body builder in the lead). It's nothing that stands out or even works to much effect. But it is, you know, okay. The effects aren't a problem in the movie, I just wish that there would be better use of them. For a movie that consists of a person kicking ass/killing people, I would want to see some creative kills to support it. While the fighting scenes are as well performed as they can, they're not scenes you'd remember.

Now, what makes "Mr. Bricks: A Heavy Metal Murder Musical" an absolutely horrible movie to sit through are the musical numbers. It's sometimes hardcore, sometimes more towards gothic metal, and it sounds like it was written by someone who just learned to make music. It's very, very rough around the edges. One song might sound like 3-4 different songs put together with duct tape. Lyrically, they're even worse. They read as if it was someone who has never liked metal who sat down and read the worst, most forced violent lyrics in all the subgenres, and attempted to copy them. We're talking high school quality at most, with lines like "When they see my tattooed body I want them to know my face" and "Evil nights have found me, never want to be like this. Forgive nothing. Forgive nothing. Forgive nothing. I can't forgive.". Tim Dax sings most of the songs, but none of the songs stand out as even decent. They are just really awkward to watch, embarrassing almost.

"Mr. Bricks: A Heavy Metal Murder Musical" is the worst musical I have seen. It's just hard to get through because of how terrible the songs are written and performed. The scenes between them are far from great, but even if they were good scenes they'd be rendered useless when followed by such horrible musical numbers. The movie is completely clueless and without wit, so there is no way it was even done in gist - which you would like think (or hope). It's like a parody of what they wanted to make, but they forgot to make it funny. This is a real stinker, I'm struggling to find a positive thing to say. At least Travis Campbell made something slightly better with "Slaughter Daughter", though not great.

Positive things:
- There aren't many metal musicals, so I guess that could draw some interest?

Negative things:
- The songs and musical numbers. Everything about them sucks.
- Most other things, but mainly the above.

Gore: 2/5
Nudity: 1.5/5
Story: 1.5/5
Effects: 2/5
Comedy: 1/5

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