'Dead Dicks' delivers a gory and poignant portrait of suicide and rebirth

Imagine if David Cronenberg directed “Flatliners”.

click to enlarge Becca (Jillian Harris) prepares to dismember her brother Richie (Heston Horwin) for the third time in "Dead Dicks" - Artsploitation Films
Artsploitation Films
Becca (Jillian Harris) prepares to dismember her brother Richie (Heston Horwin) for the third time in "Dead Dicks"

Have you ever finished a movie that just blew you away, but you had absolutely zero idea what the fuck you just watched?

Welcome to “Dead Dicks,” a fearless and fascinating take on resurrection that isn’t afraid to get surprisingly poignant about our fragile existence or throw some full-frontal penis on camera when you least expect it.

That’s right, there are bare boners in “Dead Dicks,” but don’t let that scare you off. This isn’t zombie porn. Far from it.

Dead Dicks
4 out of 5 stars.
Run Time: 83 minutes
Now available on Blu-Ray, DVD and streaming

For horror and science-fiction fans, especially, “Dead Dicks” will be a welcome oasis in a pandemic summer that’s been sorely lacking in joyous cinematic discoveries.

“Dead Dicks” is like watching David Cronenberg direct “Flatliners.”

It’s packed with bizarrely beautiful and grotesque mutations, such as the giant wall vagina that mysteriously appears in Richie’s bedroom, and serves as a kind of reproductive assembly line, which sets “Dead Dicks” in motion.

Richie (Heston Horwin) has struggled with depression and mental illness for years. His saving grace has always been his sister, Becca (Jillian Harris), who has sacrificed her own ambitions to keep an eye on his well-being.

As the film opens, Becca, an aspiring scientist, is struggling to find the words to tell her brother that she has been accepted into a prestigious medical program and that she will have to relocate to attend.

After discovering a slew of missed calls and texts from Richie, she leaves work and goes to his apartment where she finds him dead, hanging from a belt in his closet.

Until Richie walks out of his bedroom, completely naked, and thoroughly surprised to find her there.

It turns out that Richie can’t die. Or, at least, his spirit can’t die. Naked Richie is actually Richie 4.0, as Becca learns, after locating two more corpses in his apartment. But with each suicidal experiment to test the boundaries of his newfound immortality, a little piece of Richie’s memory disappears.  

click to enlarge Is it a water stain or a bulbous wall vagina? Maybe a better question is, what happens if you crawl inside? - Artsploitation Films
Artsploitation Films
Is it a water stain or a bulbous wall vagina? Maybe a better question is, what happens if you crawl inside?

“Dead Dicks” also is a gore-soaked exercise in body disposal as Richie’s annoying neighbor Matt (Matt Keyes) finally has his fill of living on the first floor below Crazy Central and calls the building super to come inspect Richie’s apartment.

And it’s a cadaver comedy that gets more and more ridiculous as the body count stacks higher and higher, leading to one of the film’s best moments involving an aborted rebirth and the fallout from an incomplete gestation inside the wall vagina.  

More than anything, “Dead Dicks” is rife with ruminations on what it means to be alive, and how something so precious can be taken for granted.

The film offers profound bursts of exposition that help sum up what it’s like for people who believe there’s a hornet’s nest in their brain that they simply must shut off, even if it means taking their own life.

If you’ve ever seen Emiliano Rocha Minter’s fantastic dystopian sexual fable, “We Are the Flesh,” you will be delighted by how “Dead Dicks” concludes.

Whether intentional or not, first-time feature directors and co-writers Chris Bavota and Lee Paula Springer summon Minter’s surrealist imagery by taking Becca and Richie on one final trip, but they wisely leave the outcome largely to your imagination.

“Dead Dicks” is provocative, playful and revelatory.

Don’t go download the trailer. Don’t look up any other reviews.

Just trust that this is one of those movies you have to see, and experience, in order to appreciate.

Clothing optional, of course.

Contact John W. Allman at Blood Violence and Babes.com, on Facebook @BloodViolenceBabes or on Twitter @BVB_reviews.

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About The Author

John W. Allman

John W. Allman is Tampa Bay's only movie critic and has spent more than 25 years as a professional journalist and writer—but he’s loved movies his entire life. Good movies, awful movies, movies that are so gloriously bad you can’t help but champion them. Since 2009, he has cultivated a review column and now...
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