Screwdriver follows Barnabas, a local handyman turned killer, as he gets revenge on the family who opened a new parts store in town. Their new fancy store took his livelihood and now he’ll take their lives.
JimJam, Jonny, and I did a video review of this the other day that you can totally go check out. However, by the end of it, I still had a lot to say about the film so I thought I might as well sit down and write a review.
First and foremost, I love the writing in Screwdriver. Even though it’s all pretty tongue in cheek and all the characters are dialed up a notch, they all feel like real people. I’m pretty sure if you lived in the South, you’ve met people like this. Hell, you might be people like this. The dialog feels natural. For example, there’s an argument about how much Kiss sucks. I’ve had that same conversation! Kiss is highly overrated and people just need to accept that shit and move on.
This movie is also fucking hilarious. There are a ton of great jokes and one-liners sprinkled throughout. There’s even a little bit of physical comedy here and there. There’s an early fight scene between Giovani and Ruger that is comedy gold.
The killer, Barnabas, is one of the most entertaining slasher villains out there. Some of my favorite parts of the movie are when Barnabas is hunting for a new tool to use. I’m about 90% certain it’s just Ryan Grooms improving in character and it is fucking hilarious.
That’s a Damn Good Kill Right There
Screwdriver isn’t just about the laughs. Make no mistakes, this is a bloody, gory slasher flick. As far as indie films go, the effects in this flick are good. We get blood, guts, limb removals, and a decapitation. When you take into account that this has a listed budget of $200 the effects are fucking spectacular. This is one of those movies that shows what talented folks can do with a little bit of cash and some hard work.
The kills are good, too. Barnabas is a versatile killer. The guy switches weapons with every kill just about. Hell, he might even use more than one weapon on the same victim. I’m not going to go all in depth and ruin the kills for you but just know there’s some stuff in this flick that you’re not going to see anywhere else. I guarantee that.
If you’re familiar with the work of writer/director Chuck Conry, you’ve seen most of the cast in his other films. A good chunk of them were also in Korey Jordan’s Chickens Blood. Everyone in the cast is solid; most of them have been in multiple films and the experience is really starting to show. There are some stand out performances as well. Ryan Grooms as Barnabas was by far my favorite part of the film. Ethan Bouldin brings the perfect amount of pure heel “my daddy is rich, fuck you,” energy to Giovani.
All in All…
All in all, would I recommend Screwdriver? You’re goddamn right I would. Now, I want to add a caveat. This film ain’t for everybody. If you’re a movie snob and you need your films to be pristine shiny Hollywood products or expect some woke message to be spoon fed to you, skip it. Also, why are you the way you are? If you’re a fan of low-budget indie films that are a lot of fun and a lot of passion behind them, you cannot miss this one. Go get your copy from the Grundy Nation Facebook page or you can give Chuck Conry a holler on Instagram and get one there as well.