Written by: Matt Molgaard
Directed by: Jason Krawczyk
Cast: Henry Rollins, Booboo Stewart, Kate Greenhouse
I can’t tell you how stunned I was by Jason Krawczyk’s He Never Died. Reading the synopsis provided to imdb.com might lead you to believe this is some simple cannibal film, but it’s nothing like a simple cannibal film. At all.
The great Henry Rollins plays a socially awkward gentleman by the name of Jack. Jack doesn’t get along with people so well, and that tends to lead him directly into some rocky situations. Situations that your average man might not walk away from. But Jack isn’t your average man, and Jack has more than a single secret tucked away in his treasure chest… literally.
It’s hard to press on too much without killing a few key and well-executed revelations. If you’ve hung around the site at all you know I don’t ever like to spoil a film. Nothing has changed in this instance other than the fact that I’ve got to be particularly vague in order to avoid spoilers. Sorry folks, that’s just the way this one has to be.
Venturing into this one blind is the way to go, because you’re going to be stunned by the final product. The film looks great and illustrates a lonely man’s life seamlessly. Expect a steadily flat image, with few loud colors. Notice the simple but stellar cuts and transitions. And then contemplate the brilliance of Henry Rollins, who handles dry humor like a lifelong comic. No joke, the man kills, in more ways than one. You stuff all of that, along with a slick screenplay and you’ve got something very special.
I love this film. I love the late biblical references, and I loved the action sequences. Everything is very in your face aggressive, except the perfect point of contrast, Jack, who just wants to be left alone to blend into the background and let time pass. It’s a clever decision depositing a passive personality in a world of abrasive thugs and violent acts.
He Never Died made a successful festival run in mid-2015 before hitting a wider audience to close the year out. It was one of 2015’s absolute finest, and it’s now catching on with a lot of fans in 2016. I say good for Jason Krawczyk and Henry Rollins, who are the two crucial pieces of this beautifully humorous and truly horrific picture.