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Jug Face – 6

Director – Chad Crawford Kinkle

Cast – Lauren Ashley Carter, Sean Bridgers, Kaitlin Cullum, Larry Fessenden, David Greathouse, Katie Groshong, Scott Hodges, Alex Maizus, Daniel Manche, Chip Ramsey

Release Year – 2013

Reviewed by John of the Dead

I had been avoiding Jug Face for many months because I just did not trust it. I saw plenty of good reviews, but for some reason I felt like this would be one of those hyped indie films that just does not cut it for me. After viewing this piece I can now see why many in the genre heralded it, as I myself was pretty impressed with what it accomplished. I did not love it and it has flaws here and there, but Jug Face was much better than I expected and was a very visually appealing experience.

In a backwoods community that worships a creature in a pit, the pregnant Ada is desperate to escape when she learns that she is next to be sacrificed.

The biggest reason behind why I took my time getting to Jug Face was that I did not understand the purpose of the jug faces. It seemed stupid to me, and in a way it still is stupid to me, but it at least makes more sense now. Basically, Dawai, who is a confidant to Ada, is a “gifted” man who creates jugs of faces from clay. When a jug’s face is the same as a member of the community, that person must be sacrificed to the creature. It’s as simple as that. I personally wanted the jugs to have a scarier purpose, but the film never went that route. When Ada sees her face on the newest jug, she hides it from Dawai and he covers for her, which causes very bad consequences for everyone else in the community. Normally the pit chooses a sacrifice on rare occasions, but due to Ada’s transgression a sacrificed is being called for every day, so the folks of the community know that something is very wrong. Before all of this, though, Ada is arranged to be “joined” to a boy from another family, which happens around the same time that she finds out she is pregnant with her BROTHER’S child. Her family holds her virginity very highly, as does the family she is arranged to join, and they would surely flip out if they learned she was pregnant – even more so with her brother’s child. Ada has plenty of reasons to leave the community, but leaving will be harder than she anticipates.

I enjoyed the secluded setting and the feeling that despite free range all around, there is pretty much no way for Ada to escape her fate. With death all around her there are plenty of kills for the viewer to enjoy. The first one comes about 27 minutes into the film, and from then on out they are spaced pretty evenly. I never found myself bored thanks to this, and also thanks to how graphic some of the kills were. Writer/director Chad Crawford Kinkle gave us plenty of live gore to enjoy, although I personally would have liked to see more on-screen footage of the kill sequences. On top of this, there is a major issue I found with The Pit that definitely held back the film and the level of horror it could have provided. Speaking more on this would amount to a spoiler though, so I will leave it at that. The directing execution was not always positive like it was during the kill scenes. There are scenes where Ada has some pseudo hallucinations and his execution at these times was pretty poor. This could be a budget related issue as these were also the only scenes to involve CGI, but these scenes were so bad they need to be mentioned. Kinkle does deliver on some very good visuals though, employing amazing scenery with crystal clear quality that left me in awe at this being an independent film. The acting performances are also superb, and not just for an independent film but as a film in general. Kinkle’s direction showed great promise at times and it is obvious the man has talent if he employs live gore, great cinematography, and achieves great acting performances, so I will definitely be looking out for his future works.

Overall, Jug Face is an indie experience that at times will wow you, and other times it will fail you. The story overall is a very unique one unlike any other I have seen in the genre, but the subject matter may not be interesting to all viewers. There is a fair amount of horror and as mentioned earlier we are given lots of live action gore, but the execution is not always so great, making for a borderline-positive experience in the end.

Rating: 6/10

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