When a film arrives at your door wrapped in a green ribbon with a bloody foam rubber index finger tucked under it...well, let's face it, that sucker is probably gonna get watched, especially when it has some good buzz surrounding it. Chop was worth unwrapping. Another motivator was that forced amputation has made for some great movei and TV entertainment in the last few years. In Tales From The Crypt, Lance Henriksen and Kevin Tighe played a game of chop poker that cost each them more than an arm and a leg. There's an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1985), titled Man of the South in which a wacky John Huston convinces a down on his luck Vegas gambler to risk his digits on a bet. I also wonder if Chop's writers ever saw Scream and Scream Again (1970) in which a hospital patient memorably and repeatedly awakens to find yet another limb has bitten the dust. Whatever the influences of Chop it is one funny gross out horror comedy made on what looks to be a tiny budget by people who really cared about it. Trent Haaga is making his directorial debut here but he's hardly new to cinema. Among many other credits he wrote the transgressive Deadgirl (2008) and he cut his writing teeth on Troma stuff as far back as Citizen Toxie:The Toxic Avenger IV (2000).
Lance Reed seems like a nice enough guy but he's having a bad day. While out and about his car breaks down and a ride from a passing stranger leads to a series of inquisitorial questions followed by a dart gun to the chest. When he awakens he is missing his index finger and gets a phone call from the same stranger who tells him to do exactly as he's told if he wants to see his wife again. Evidently Lance has done something to the stranger and the fact that he can't even remember what it is has launched the enraged man on a bizarre revenge scheme that is bound to have Lance in emotional and physical pieces before all is said and done...and chopped.
To reveal anything else wouldn't be fair. Will Keenan is hilariously harried as the victimized Lance Reed and Timothy Muskrat manages to make the vengeful stranger pretty memorable as well. There are a host of other great characters who come in and out of the film most notably a biker who needs to be recognized as one the best ancillary horror comedy characters ever. Some will find the performances too broad but there's a tone to Chop that is consistent and the increasingly gonzo goings on more than explain the need for the characters to start out so over the top. I watched it with a couple of friends and we were repeatedly moved to both laugh and scream. This is a no-they-didn't-kind but I hope they do it again kind of film and a must see. Chop even manages to work a neat EC Comics style moral lesson before it gets to it's silly silly ending. You get a solid gag reel and deleted scenes for special features. Once again Bloody Disgusting Selects has found a genuine minor gem to join the ranks of the increasingly must see series of titles on their label.