He Never Died (Jason Krawczyk 2015)

51k56e4J1pL._SY445_It is entirely possible your mother has told you that Henry Rollins is no fun.

Do not trust her.

He Never Died (Krawczyk 2015) is a low-budget not-quite horror, not-quite crime thriller, that is never quite brilliant and never quite camp. Jack (Rollins), a grey-haired, middle-aged man, lives alone in a small apartment, oddly disconnected from the world. He does not have a job. He keeps odd hours. He eats at the same diner every day. Most days he goes to the local church to play bingo not with but near the old folks; they do not distract him, he explains.

He keeps himself to himself.

His interactions with people are oddly stilted. He offers nothing. He states the obvious. He doesn’t get them. He is Keaton-level deadpan. (His one loquacious moment is a flatly delivered, seemingly interminable list of the many jobs he has had. That bit is actually quite brilliant.)

Oh, and he’s an immortal cannibal. Just about holding it together by not eating meat and by drinking the blood he buys from a hospital intern. That way he doesn’t kill people. He has a very long history of killing people. In fact, he started it.

But now, in a Toronto that is shot as often as possible to look like an Edward Hopper painting to convince us it is somewhere in the US, someone with a grudge is coming for him.

They don’t know what he truly is.

But they get, rather bloodily, to find out.

All this, however, is beside the point. The film is about something else entirely.

It is about watching the ageing Rollins.

There is something geological about his body. Present. Weathered by time.

It is about his weary face, crumbling like granite.

It is about the slow dawning of mortality. And about carrying on.

And through all of this, Henry Rollins is no fun. (Except, of course, that he is.)

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