Uncle Peckerhead (2020) – Film Review
Director: Matthew John Lawrence
Cast: Mike Lawrence, David Littleton, Chet Siegel
by Sarah Morgan
If somebody asked you to review a film called Uncle Peckerhead, what would you do?
Probably either run a mile or laugh and say “yes, why the hell not?” Luckily I fell into the latter category when confronted by exactly that query, and although initially trepidatious, I ended up being pleasantly surprised.
The title sounds as if it belongs to a particularly unsavoury porn movie, but it’s actually a low-budget horror movie that more than makes up for its lack of funds by being inventive, amusing when it needs to be and rather entertaining. The music’s pretty impressive too.
“Harbouring a secret”
Chet Siegel, Jeff Riddle and Ruby McCollister play Judy, Max and Mel, the bass player, guitarist and drummer in aspiring rock band Duh, who are about to embark on their first tour – until their van is repossessed. They desperately attempt to find another, eventually attracting the attention of a man known only as Peckerhead, or Peck for short.
He’s older than the twenty-somethings, but seems rather lonely and down on his luck, so when he offers to become their chauffeur and roadie for nothing more than a few bucks for fuel, they agree.
But Peck is harbouring a secret – like the Mogwai of Gremlins fame, if he’s still awake after midnight, he turns into a ravenous beast, something the trio discover when their usually sweet-natured new friend eats the promoter who’s just ripped them off. Well, at least it’s one way to get the money they’re owed…
“Every last drop”
David Littleton is wonderful as Peck; his Southern drawl is perfect for a man desperate for friends and who manages to illicit sympathy, despite his cannibalistic tendencies.
And while horror fans will lap up the blood and gore (so to speak), music lovers will enjoy the glimpse we get at life on the road for cash-strapped performers desperate for their big break. Their struggle seems pretty realistic, while the music is impressive – it was written by Riddle who, when he isn’t appearing in indie movies, really is a touring musician.
Director Matthew John Lawrence squeezes every last drop out of his budget and actors to deliver a genuinely intriguing movie that stands up to repeated viewings and seems destined to gain a devoted cult following.
Holy Mess music video
Short film: Larry Gone Demon
Uncle Peckerhead is released on Blu-ray by 101 Films, £12