Home Sick


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Home Sick is an home-made, absurdist splatter film, or maybe a grotesquely funny parody of a splatter film. Hard to say. Imagine if Troma or Herschell Gordon Lewis decided to do an interpretation of an Ionesco play, and you'll have the general idea.

As the story begins, a girl returns from California to her home town in Alabama, and reluctantly attends a party with some of her former acquaintances. The film immediately sends a message that it is in Loonytown by portraying all of the characters with dark circles painted under their eyes, as if they were characters in a zombie movie and were just about to turn into the undead. Making matters stranger, the actors recite their lines like the walk-ons in a high school play.

The party does get a lot livelier when a fellow named Mr. Suitcase shows up, uninvited. He evokes Burt Lancaster in The Rainmaker, or Robert Preston in The Music Man - a glib, affable Midwestern con man with neatly trimmed hair, and a perpetual false smile full of artificially white teeth. He is wearing crisp white pants, a bow tie, and a clean and neatly pressed powder blue sport coat. His appearance, however, belies his agenda. He opens up the suitcase which lends him his moniker, and reveals it to be full of razor blades. He headlocks one the girls, grabs a blade, and asks everyone at the party to tell him who they hate. Somebody volunteers the name of a local drug dealer. Mr. Suitcase then brings the razor blade close to the neck of the women he's head-locking and cuts ... his own arm. He repeats this ritual for each person at the party, but as soon as they all reveal the name of someone they hate, he promptly leaves with the same air of Dale Carnegie faux good cheer that he started with, apparently unfazed by the experience except for the rivers of blood covering his new clothes.

Mr. Suitcase doesn't hurt anyone at the party, but the hated people named by the partygoers soon start dying in grotesquely sanguine massacres. The party-goers are a trifle concerned, not because they have charitable feelings for their fellow man, but because one dickhead at the party told Mr. Suitcase that he hated "everyone else at the party." Oh, he was probably being sarcastic, but can they rely on the fact that Mr. Suitcase appreciates a refined sense of irony? Probably not. The answer changes to "definitely not" when one of their group gets murdered. The only way they can defend themselves is to get armed and that requires the services of Uncle Johnny, a crazy local redneck whose only loves are the Confederacy, good chili and good guns. Johnny supplies the kids from his generous armory, but once they get guns in their hands, they cannot be counted on to use them responsibly.

The ending degenerates into a multi-sided battle in which ... well, I'm not sure who was trying to kill whom and whether they succeeded, but I'm pretty sure that it doesn't really matter.

Home Sick is a film festival cult favorite that has been kicking around for years in various edits. The director filmed it when he was 19 years old. It has now come to DVD in a definitive release, with deleted scenes, commentary tracks, and various other special features. It's strictly for those movie-goers who appreciate a truly weird, underground, micro-indie vibe, and who love the Troma style of gore, the kind which is exaggerated beyond scary and into silly. There is no dramatic tension, there are no sensible characters, and the situations are ludicrous, but the film does have kind of a crazed Grand Guignol appeal for those who like movies FAR from the beaten path. As for me, I got a kick out of the appearance of Mr. Suitcase, but soon got bored with the rest of the movie. The consistently poor line delivery is a constant reminder that it's just a movie, and that factor alone eliminates any chance the film might have had to involve the audience after the early departure of Mr. Suitcase from the film.


* widescreen anamorphic

* whatever







There are no major reviews online, or anywhere that I know of, but several genre sites have reviewed it and those essays can be found through the IMDb link.


5.9 IMDB summary (of 10)


No theatrical release



  • Tiffany Shepis shows her breasts
  • X-Zanthia shows her breasts and Melissa George (not THE Melissa George) shows a thonged bottom in a lesbian scene.


Web www.scoopy.com

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


It isn't good, but it is watchable in a train wreck kind of way if you think of it as a genre parody. It's so demented and incoherent that it can be unintentionally funny, and in some parts it succeeds in creating grotesquely funny scenes on purpose.