If you wish to go to the current Fangoria site, you may click the top logo, "Home" or "News" links. Or click here.
There's a weirdness to the circumstances of JUG FACE’s plot
that doesn't quite take hold of the entire film. That is to say, a bit
disappointingly, that a movie about prophetic pottery, incestuous pregnancy and
a pit that demands sacrifice is a lot more of a straightforward horror picture
than it sounds.
“The pit wants it wants,” is repeated throughout Chad
Crawford Kinkle's rural fable. It's no coincidence that phrase resembles
another; just as it’s no coincidence the pit itself reminds one of a heart. Red,
in the center and dictating just how this village operates, the pit demands
blood once a year it seems, taking possession of a simple potter and outlining
the face of the chosen on a jug.
Being a longstanding tradition, the town is sober, yet
exceptionally accepting of its annual immolation. This is part of the film's
success in looking at the horrors of inevitability. When young Ada, betrothed
to another and pregnant from her brother, discovers she is chosen, all effort
is pushed toward avoiding certain fate. When certain fate isn't satiated
immediately, it takes others in her place, building a path of blood and guts
until it reaches its target. Ada hides her jug face, stuffing the secrets of
her pregnancy and illicit affair within. Meanwhile, those massacred by the pit
are now shunned, forced to walk as ghosts in limbo.
One ghost in particular often appears as a reminder of what
doesn't exactly work in JUG FACE. Aside from the genre familiarity of its
limbo/shunned state dead, visually the ghost is where the film’s seams show the
most. While JUG FACE is clearly on a tiny budget, it’s never bothersome until
the frankly cornball appearance of the dead is revealed. Additionally, Ada is
privy to visions of the pit at work. Her line of sight into the murders, colored
and chaotic, turns out less psychedelic than possibly intended. These rough
patches though are slightly alleviated thanks to grounded work from JUG FACE’s
cast and Kinkle’s own depiction of this small community.
A store owner from the nearby modern-living town tells his
employee not to get involved as “there’s weird things happening in those
woods.” He’s right, but it’s not the fault of Ada, or her Pa, or anyone who
came before them. Ada, her family and fellow townspeople aren’t insane, nor are
they unreasonable, vicious backwoods folk. They suffer from a cruel deity and
somberly recognize their need to serve it. Larry Fessenden (director, THE LAST
WINTER) takes on the role of Ada’s father and is often an understanding,
empathetic presence. His sternness only progresses in light of the worsening of
If not a novel story, JUG FACE is certainly colored in with
strange, unique details, making it nicely not so tiresome. Kinkle makes a smart
choice in never revealing the pit creature’s visage, with no monster battle
either. After all, JUG FACE resonates because the film’s creature isn’t so
frightening, but the responsibility we must take in unavoidable darkness is.
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY AND BE THE FIRST TO KNOW ABOUT NEWS, CONTESTS, EVENTS AND MORE!
All contents © 2011 Fangoria Entertainment