Ham On Rye (2020)

Tyler Taormina directs Haley Bodell, Audrey Boos and Gabriella Herrera in this teen mystery where a community of kids meet up for an annual tradition… a dance / ritual / pairing off at a local deli that has life changing consequences.

Taking the hazy puppy fat vibe and mega ensemble mosaic storytelling of Dazed & Confused, then slowly dripping in the creepy paranoid elements of Picnic at Hanging Rock, Stephen King and The Wicker Man. I’m not sure if any of those three sources are actual direct influences but they give you an impression of the dark, spiritual turn the movie obliquely takes at the midway point with little further explanation. To call it a horror would be over egging the pud, but the night time world we are left in of drop outs, burn outs and left behinds has the same threatening ennui of Linklater’s little seen adaptation of Eric Bogosian’s Suburbia. The movie is healthier company when hanging out with innocents… we quickly share their unspoken fears and hopes. Unsure which of these gawky kids will find romantic success at the big predestined meet-up. Taormina’s brooding timeless atmosphere is recklessly borrowed from better cinema, but you do want to rewatch this strange little dream again soon. Try to fathom the warning signs; the over anxious parents, the open door community that just lets random roaming kids use their toilets on this special day, the loaded hand gestures that seemingly define the rest of their existences. Certainly one of the more fascinating releases that has garnered extra attention because it was released during COVID lockdown, one that might have easily faded into little seen obscurity in a normal release calendar… Also this has nothing to do with Bukowski’s best novel.

7

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

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