After watching Saint Bernard (2013), the expectation that I should sit and write a narratively linear review about it is a very tall order. My brain is totally scrambled. I don’t even know where to start but I’ll try.

Here goes:

Saint Bernard is…

Um,

Saint Bernard is…

Okay, look– Saint Bernard is weird. Really weird. But saying it is really weird doesn’t even begin to impart the totality of the weirdness that it really, really is. In fact, I could fill the page with words and phrases that essentially mean the same thing as weird and it would be as accurate a description of this movie as I think anyone could make.

Created by special effects legend Gabe Bartalos (Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Darkman, Underworld), the plot of the film is, “a classical musical conductor unravels into the abyss of insanity.” Bernard, played by Jason Dugre, is a man on the run. In his white conductor’s tuxedo, he moves through the film in a fever dream of hallucinations, memories, stark realities, and skydiving chickens. In a pillowcase, he carries the decapitated head of a St. Bernard dog that he calls his, “faith.” Over the course of the film, he meets many people (and people-ish things) that do not find it strange to encounter a man in a white suit carrying a rotting dog’s head in a pillowcase.

Seriously, I’m doing the best I can. This is just the tip of the iceberg of bizarre.

At its best, Saint Bernard is reminiscent of Terry Gilliam movies, industrial music videos from the ’90s and gory horror movies from the ’80s. It is well-crafted, with excellent cinematography, sound effects, music, and tons and tons of practical visual and gore effects that make the experience quite visceral and disturbing. Bartalos is a master of imagery and everything he does here is effective, even if it seems as if his primary goal here is to leave the viewer confused and anxious.

At its worst, you don’t really realize until about halfway through that there is no snapping out of this nightmare. It is not going to begin developing a plot. You are merely inside this poor man’s head for the next hour or so, literally feeling him go insane. The lack of plot makes all the other weirdness even that much more disturbing and you come out of this movie feeling like I do right now: trying to think clearly and failing miserably.

This is the kind of film that sticks with you for a long time, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Also starring Bob Zmuda (Andy Kaufman’s writer and sometimes alter-ego), and Warwick Davis (Return of the Jedi, Willow, Leprechaun) for additional weirdness, Saint Bernard is getting a Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital release by Severin Films in May of 2019.

St. Bernard
RATING: UR
Runtime: 1 hr 37 Mins.
Directed By:
Written By: