Review: Dead Envy

Dead Envy: Review

Sex, shampoo and rock ’n’ roll get worked up into a lather in this musical, murderous thriller. 

Writer-director Harley Di Nardo also stars in his film as David Tangiers – a washed-up rockstar turned hair stylist, who seems modelled after a post-Pirates Johnny Depp. By day he runs a salon with his wife Cecily (Samantha Smart); by night he grasps for former glories at half-arsed gigs in half-empty dive bars. 

When David hires the intense and inscrutable Javy Bates (Adam Reeser) to start working at the salon the two bond over hair gel and hard rock, but it’s not long before the roots of Javy’s dark secrets begin to show.

Unfortunately, it’s amateur hour (and eight minutes) in this poorly shot, chopped and performed thriller that isn’t remotely thrilling. Samantha Smart stands out as the only half-decent member of the cast, but she’s given shoddy service by Di Nardo’s painfully hackneyed script. The film is shot with flat and lifeless cinematography, and tangled subplots are left to break into split ends.  

A whole multitude of cinematic sins can be forgiven with entertainment value. Yet while Dead Envy’s promotional material promises a soapy sense of fun, the film never embraces its inherent absurdity to bring the campy comedy or cartoonish horror that this joyless experience desperately needs. 

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