★★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
Directed by Jesse T. Cook
After his reality show “Cult Buster” was canceled due to an on-screen mass suicide, Dale Domazar (Ry Barrett) spends his days as a washed-up PI living in a trailer park (but with a sick car). One day he gets a call from realtor and neighborhood “Karen”, Kallie Jones (Liv Collins) who is in need of help extracting her husband Brad (Justin Bott) from a men’s wellness retreat that, after Brad refuses to leave, she believes is really a front for a cult led by Master Jagori (Tony Burgess). Seeing this as the perfect opportunity to reboot his show and finally get his season 2, Dale Domazar leaps back into action and insane, action-packed cult busting ensues!
Cult Hero is a whole lot of fun! Where else can you get cults, real estate, wellness, deviled eggs, and dismemberment all in one film? The performances are top-notch. Barrett looks like a jacked-up Ted Lasso with the frenetic energy of Macho Man Randy Savage- ohhh yeahhhh! and Collins gives a pitch-perfect performance as a “Karen”- take my word for it, you don’t want her to go to the manager. The laughs are well-paced and plentiful throughout the film and I especially loved the way director Jesse T. Cook weaved in the Cult Buster TV footage.
Festivals are truly the best place to discover indie horror and the comedies always shine the brightest. I wouldn’t be surprised to have Cult Hero end up on my year-end best list but for now, in the words of Master Jagori, “if you have any other questions, I’ll be in the pool”.
Cult Hero just had its world premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Keep your eyes on The Scariest Things for release information and for a podcast extra interview with Jesse, Liv, and Ry!