FX guru Gabe Bartalos is back behind the camera with his second directorial effort Saint Bernard, and the psychological horror movie is even more insane than you'd expect. As a master of practical gore whose work can be seen in many memorable movies, Bartalos is a legend in the horror community. His impressive splatter FX can be seen in a variety of cult classics like Brain Damage, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, the Basket Case sequels, and the first four movies of the Leprechaun series with Warwick Davis. In 2004, Bartalos reunited with Davis for his first horror movie, Skinned Deep. Now, the two collaborate once again with Saint Bernard featuring a very memorable role for Davis in what is probably the veteran actor's craziest movie yet.
Saint Bernard is certainly not a movie for everyone, and it's best to know that going in. Because of its over-the-top sequences, the movie wildly entertains, and it's not going to be like anything you've seen before. In the movie, Jason Dugre stars as a classic music conductor named Bernard, focusing on his descent into complete insanity. You know you're in for a ride when Bernard finds the severed head of a Saint Bernard on the street, placing it into a bag which he carries with him throughout the movie. The movie is grossly compelling, and somehow each scenes only gets more and more bizarre as Saint Bernard rolls along.
With Gabriel Bartalos in the director's chair, horror fans would expect the FX in the movie to be on point. Fortunately, the makeup department does not let us down. Saint Bernard excels with its FX, and there are plenty of violent and gross-out scenes to satisfy gore lovers. Because some of the scenes are intentionally wacky as well, there's a fair amount of humor mixed into the movie, and this definitely kept me entertained even when I was having issues following the story. If nothing else, Saint Bernard is certainly unlike any other movie.
Where Saint Bernard shines most brightly lies within its cast. Warwick David appears in the movie in a role that's limited, but one of the most memorable scenes of the movie. Katy Sullivan also co-stars as a crazy woman known as Miss Roadkill, who wants to take Bernard's doggie head for herself. What happens to her makes for another very memorable moment, and Sullivan plays the odd part incredibly well. Star Jason Dugre does fantastic in the lead role as well, wonderfully playing off his co-stars as he goes from one zany encounter to the next. The head of a deceased canine may be his only friend, but Bernard is somehow the most normal - and relatable - character in the movie.
If you're a fan of mind-bending movies, Warwick Davis, and classic horror flicks from the '80s, this is one that should be up your alley. You might come out of it wondering the what hell you just watched, but watching Saint Bernard is certainly an entertaining experience. Saint Bernard is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital platforms. You can check out the official trailer below, courtesy of Severin Films on YouTube.