Jack (Henry Rollins) is a man of few words and a set routine, which he uses to keep his habits off the radar and his life as uncomplicated as possible. With strange scars on his body and a penchant for cannibalism, Jack ends up tangled and twisted into the lives of his estranged daughter (Jordana Todosey), his hospital intern “fixer” (Booboo Stewart) and an admirer from his local diner (Kate Greenhouse), by way of the mob and a mysterious man in black.
As far as Supernatural Indie features go, writer/ director Jason Krawczyk walks the path of bigger budgeted fayre such as Legion (2010), Priest (2011), and bears a similar tonal connection to Francis Lawrence’s comic book adaptation, Constantine. Rollins’ acting shadow boxes with the quiet peculiarity of Keanu Reeves understated performance in that 2005 flick and creates a more nuanced character than one initially anticipates. Each quirk and foible annunciated and punctuated with a quiet physicality where a pause or silence delivers as much as the cynical script.
Whereas many movies of this ilk go for a more po-faced and morose execution, He Never Died addresses the possible religious and fantastical elements of the world with a dry, dark wit that perforates the gloom. The screenplay balances the threat and suspense with protagonist Jack’s skewed worldview. A weary soul living in a world inhabited by people he has to endure more than relate to.
In many low budget Indies the violence is rendered with a “disconnect” brought about by the implementation of digital effects. While a degree of post-production tinkering took place, for the most part the filmmakers opted for practical effects and an impressive use of visceral makeup and props to give weight to the visuals in the more horrific elements.
With its overall tone and world building, the execution of He Never Died feels more like an extended pilot for television than a singular feature film, which incidentally is where the continuation is set to take place. A miniseries is currently in development with both Jason Krawczyk and Henry Rollins expected to return in the near future.
He Never Died is available now via streaming and on demand services.
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