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Factory, The (DVD Review)

17 Feb, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Street 2/19/13
$27.95 DVD
Rated ‘R’ for strong violence including disturbing images, language throughout, and some sexual material.
Stars John Cusack, Jennifer Carpenter, Mae Whitman, Dallas Roberts, Sonya Walger, Mageina Tovah.

Buffalo, N.Y., detective Mike Fletcher (always watchable John Cusack) is so obsessed with a serial abductor of young prostitutes he hardly realizes his own daughter, Abby (Mae Whitman), is dressing like one, among other acts of teen defiance.

His partner, Kelsey (“Dexter” smart-ass Jennifer Carpenter), specifically volunteered onto the case — the result of an apparent lifelong grudge against predatory abuse. While Carpenter’s infamous potty mouth in “Dexter” is missing here, Kelsey’s hard-boiled intuition about the culprit is uncanny (which is explained later).

Gritty thriller The Factory offers the gumshoes fresh evidence (and the killer’s identity) in the opening scenes when a transsexual hooker is stabbed to death for failing sexual anatomy 101.

The killer, Gary (Dallas Roberts), is in fact more interested in perpetuating life than snuffing out wayward young women. He sees the abduction and incarceration of streetwalkers in a basement dungeon as the first step in their redemption. Impregnating them is his (and society’s) salvation.

Pretty wacko stuff. So when Gary snatches Abby (unaware who her father is) outside a local diner where the teen had snuck off to see her boyfriend, Fletcher’s world (and common sense) goes into a tailspin.

Originally filmed in 2008 but never released by Dark Castle Entertainment, The Factory effectively juxtaposes Fletcher’s palpable desperation with Kelsey’s no-nonsense demeanor. Buffalo’s notorious bitter cold and wintry backdrop complement the perfect fishbowl setting. 

As the circle closes in on Gary’s harem, the story unexpectedly veers off a cliff into the bizarre. Hope you were paying attention.

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