What Inhumanity lacks in budget, it makes up for in reckless ambition. With a sprawling slasher-thriller-action-sci fi-mystery-suspense story that incorporates serial killers, police corruption, medical experimentation, an international crime ring, a murder whodunit, a love triangle and a myriad of crosses, double-crosses and plot twists, it admirably aims for something beyond typical direct-to-video genre fare. And in some ways, it succeeds; writer-director Joe McReynolds has clearly seen his share of horror films and police procedurals, so he’s got the dialogue rhythm and story beats down — even if things tend to devolve into cliches.
With its budgetary constraints, of course, comes typical B-movie shortcomings: sketchy special effects, uneven acting, muffled sound and apparently the inability to afford an editor. I mean, this thing drags on for a FULL TWO HOURS — an eternity for a film with the production value of a local flea market commercial. And even more incredibly, the story STILL doesn’t resolve itself. It basically ends on a “to be continued” note, as McReynolds seems convinced that his creation is worthy of a franchise. Oh, the inhumanity! It’s a shame because had it been shaved down to a svelte 85 minutes, it would be more evident what a solid achievement it is for such a small genre film, but as it stands, every impression succumbs to the weight of its egregious length.
Summarizing the plot would require nothing short of a novelization, but in brief, Inhumanity is about a serial killer/rapist nicknamed Six Pack Sam (Leviticus Wolfe), whose latest would-be victim is Jessa Dixon (Darcel Danielle), the daughter of an Austin, Texas police detective. She manages to survive the attack — no thanks to some corrupt cops who want her dead for some reason that escapes me — but ends up in a coma for three months. When she awakens, she finds out that her father has committed suicide…or has he?!? She certainly doesn’t think so and sets out to find the truth behind his death, unraveling a web of police deception that leads to a mad psychiatrist testing an experimental drug on the captured Sam…until he escapes and sets off on a killing spree, intent on finishing off Jessa and the shrink that’s been trying to pharmaceutically rehabilitate him.
Aside from its delusions of grandeur, what separates Inhumanity from most low-budget films of this ilk is the fact that it stars a black woman. It’s certainly a refreshing sight, a slice of overdue racial representation that helps offset the fact that Jessa doesn’t really accomplish a whole helluva lot in the movie. For the bulk of the running time (Did I mention it’s two hours? Because it’s TWO HOURS.), she’s just running around searching for leads on her father’s death, interrogating people, hitting dead ends, talking strategy with her dad’s old friend Sergio (Ford Austin) and almost getting killed on a regular basis. She’s on the brink of being murdered at least three times and never manages to save herself in any of those instances. Does she solve her father’s death? No. Does she catch the serial killer? Nope. Does she bring down the corrupt police ring? Negative. Does the kill the mad scientist? Nuh-uh. What about the murderous gangster financing the illegal experimentation? She doesn’t even know he exists. Dammit, Jessa, what good are you?!?!
I assume it will all resolve in the sequel that literally ones of people are clamoring for. Let’s hope things wrap up more quickly than a Lord of the Rings movie.