In writer-director Jason Krawczyk’s new film He Never Died, Jack lives a nonchalant, quiet life of bingo, long walks, and flesh. Driving into this sober neo-noir-comedy, we follow Jack (Henry Rollins) as he casually goes about his daily routines as the world around him seems to spin in a weird turmoil.
From the very first scenes we understand that this film knows where it stands and plays with its humour to hit the right notes at the right time. Jack showcases his superhuman strength and capacity to withstand the most serious wounds while still looking like nothing happened and from the very first scene, we already know we just don’t want to f*** with Jack.
Deadpan is in almost every scene he is seen in, making Rollins the perfect casting choice. For a character that has been through a life of hardship and pain, the expressions he barely displays and the look of fatigue add much to this character. Never raising his voice but for one tiny moment in a bar, Jack just can’t be bothered with people and that’s obviously because he likes eating them. Because of this, his life is secluded away from it all. Every moment of silence indicates that he is haunted by his past, with blood boiling screams and what can only be the sound of flesh being torn apart as the only score to be heard. The gore that the writer/director lets us see is so well executed to display exactly how our character feels about blood at the time.
Somewhere within the complex past of our character, he encounters a woman named Chilean – a woman we never see – which leads us to the turning point of this story as a 19-year-old daughter of his shows up with more than one issue. As crime genre films would have it, Jack is also pursued by some low class mafia or some kind of underground gang, and along with mixing in Jack’s favourite waitress Cara, the plot gets going. With an interesting cast of characters and a setting that looks like old Manhattan but is actually Toronto, this movie has many elements going for it.
Henry Rollins has an even greater role in this movie than we could have imagined as he helped write parts of his own character. “If I’m going to lick blood off the floor, I want to be a producer in this,” is what Krawczyk tells us at the Q&A. The director spoke about the film’s premieres worldwide, and also revealed big plans for continuing Jack’s adventures in a TV miniseries.
The film will be available on Netflix 90 days after the July 26th premiere at Fantasia.