Some might call Henry Rollins “abrasive, yet effective.” Others might perceive Rollins as a thorny asshole, filled with smaller thorny assholes, which are filled with even smaller thorny assholes, oozing liquefied assholes. Both views are correct. In “He Never Died,” Rollins (not renowned for his performance range) plays Cain, an emotionally unstable immortal misanthrope doing his darndest to stave off that pesky, insatiable blood-thirst. The film’s writer/director, Jason Krawczyk, is assumed to be aiming for a comedic, over-the-top horror parody, but doesn’t quite get over the rim tonally. Nor does it fully commit to the darkly philosophical character study it teases. As the “hero,” Cain’s refusal to the call is reversed out of sheer boredom. Which, I guess there’s something to that, immortality can be super boring. But what a boring reason to follow a call to adventure. Some cute details and cartoonish bullet play keep the film moving, although it does feel more like an inflated short. The story had a tiresome tendency to pull up just as it started to descend into the valleys of ultimate mania and excess that seemed to be the aim of the project to begin with. You don’t cast Rollins for his monk-like control. We want explosive tantrums. If there was one more draft of the screenplay, I see Cain’s kidnapped daughter dying, and I see Cain going fathoms over the edge, becoming a force of supernatural destruction in order to get God’s attention. That’s where the root of his contempt resides. I’d like to see a casualty heavy God v. Cain punch-out. Then how about this: Cain wins! He gets to be God now! Oh, but heavy is the head that where’s the crown of thorns. As God, Cain is forced to be merciful by nature to his most egregious offenders, letting them live.
- Release Date: March 17, 2015
Very decent effects
Overlong (low blood:runtime ratio)
Weirdly contradictory character motivations
Clunky story development