Every once in awhile, I get the opportunity to review something that allows me to broaden my horizons from the horror films I usually review. Stegman Is Dead is one of those films, a comedic crime thriller starring genre legend Michael Ironside in a major supporting role.
Stegman Is Dead is a comedy/crime thriller from director David Hyde from a script he wrote with Stephen Kunc. The film stars Michael Eklund (House of the Dead 2003), Bernice Liu (The King of Fighters 2010), Michael Ironside (Starship Troopers 1997), J. Adam Brown (Joyride 3 2014), Aiden Ritchie, Andrea del Campo, Linnea Moffat, and Stephen Eric McIntyre.
Meet Stegman. He’s dead. In this crime comedy, bizarre assassins must come together to unravel the puzzle of Stegman’s blackmail secret, and why he’s already dead on the set of his own porn film. Stegman’s secret is somewhere within the rooms of his expansive suburban seventies bungalow, and the cops are already circling. Gus and Evy, two of the central characters, must escape Stegman’s house only to discover the true nature of his secret at last, and with it, the awful realization that now… they have to break back in.
Stegman Is Dead is a film that far exceeded my expectations. Much like the work of the Coen Brothers, this film deftly combines humor, wonderful characters, twists and moments of graphic violence to make a wonderfully enjoyable film. I loved how the actors were able to easily establish the relationships between their characters. This is done with casual dialogue that gives little nuggets that allow you to get an idea for how everyone is connected, why they act the way they do, and ultimately, what they have to lose if things turn south.
Michael Eklund is awesome in the role of Gus, a career thief who does what he must to support his family. He’s cool, smart and remains calm when things go bad, always planning his next move. Eklund’s interaction with Linnea Moffat, who plays his daughter, is super cute and hilarious and was the heart and soul of the film. Bernice Liu couldn’t possibly have been more badass as Evy. She’s smart, dangerous and sexy, and she uses all of these things to her advantage to manipulate situations.
I was absolutely thrilled to see Michael Ironside in this movie, having grown up watching him in films like Total Recall, Watchers, and Starship Troopers. I was expecting him to play a minor role but was pleasantly surprised to find his role to be pretty substantial, with Ironside playing Gus’ boss Don, a man used to getting his way by any means necessary. As always, he does a great job with what he is given to work with.
Stegman is Dead is an enjoyable crime thriller that expertly melds comedy with thrills and moments of brutal violence. The film features an excellent cast who brings their characters to life wonderfully through their interactions with each other. If you are fan of thrillers chock full of amazing characters and hilarious comedy, I highly recommend Stegman is Dead.