Warning: This film is recommended only to viewers ages 17 or older.
Sadly, we can sometimes spend months if not years looking for great entertainment only to find ourselves just frustrated more often than not. It can be a bit overwhelming when you have many options & so few reliable sources which differentiate between great cinema & mediocre or abysmal films. If you're anything like me & you're finding most films a bit too cliche or formulaic these days, you're definitely in need of fresh air & hopefully I've a great option just for you.
Perhaps what strikes a nerve with me (even as I'm writing this review) is the mere fact that Payton Collins seems frighteningly real & some of us may even go so far as to wonder whether or not we've ever encountered a real Payton in our own lives. It's a disturbing & truly hideous notion that such monsters exist in society but the film is a constant reminder that we are, indeed, lucky to not have crossed paths with the "Payton Collins" of the world.
I'll begin by telling you that Brent Collins makes a splendid Payton & I tip my hat to Toby Ross for making this excellent choice. Not only is Brent Collins attractive in every traditional sense of the word, his eyes are literally as cold & haunting as his facial expressions which undoubtedly will leave chills down your spine. Without question, Brent Collins is now joining ranks with the late Joe Spinell who left us scared out of our minds when he played Frank Zito in the Grindhouse classic Maniac. If you're NOT just a tad bit fearful of the dark after watching Payton, you're probably already dead. Needless to say, it would be quite interesting to see what roles Brent Collins will accept or audition for in the future. As for me, I will always remember him as the serial killer known as Payton Collins.
Naturally, I love dark films of all kinds and do literally go out of my way to watch even the most extreme ones. Even though Payton Collins could never be considered extreme per se, Ross has crafted a character that not not only take you out of your comfort zone but a true human being that we can, at times, feel sympathetic for. Whereas most people would want to indict the man for his heinous crimes against men & some women, very few people realize that monsters aren't born monsters. In fact, most of us are merely bi-products of families that inflict pain upon us or a society which is as cold as it is uncaring. Having said that, we can never truly bring ourselves to hate Payton nor completely condemn him as it's crystal clear that he came from a troubled world which did nothing to foster his overall well-being.
What begins as a well-developed pseudo-documentary which would make an excellent film in itself becomes something more than what any of us could've expected or even hoped for. Payton Collins not only succeeds in being a study of a deranged mind through fictitious interviews (which go into great depth) but also the film unfolds into a terrific psychological film as we are allowed access into the mind of what would seem to be a true psychopath. At the end of the film, I'm left feeling much different than I was in the very beginning. Toby Ross has a way of taking such isolated incidents, testimonies of those who knew Payton, & an interview with Payton himself to unveil the utter madness of a man whose dark desires were the catalyst for unspeakable crimes. Toby rolls the dice & wins!
Although there is quite a bit of nudity & aberrant sexuality, the adult material is never prolonged for the most or overly graphic. In fact, I wouldn't say that every viewer who engages in viewing Payton Collins will find the material titillating given the disturbing subject matter. Nevertheless, the cast of young men are extremely attractive irregardless of whether or not they are undraped or engaged in sexual activity.
I would definitely recommend Payton Collins to lovers of psychological thrillers, dark erotica, or pseudo-documentaries. Toby Ross has made an indie masterpiece which is worthy of great praise & definitely one that will stick with you long after the initial viewing. Without question, Payton Collins is truly worthy of repeated viewings as our fragile minds aren't likely to comprehend everything during the first go around which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Lastly, go out & get yourself a copy or buy one for somebody you love. Don't go hunting around Redbox or Netflix for some inferior titles as you'd bwasting precious time. Get the reel deal. You can either purchase it here on Amazon, Amazon Marketplace Videogods (offers the exact same thing only less expensive), or visit the Hornbill films website directly where you can support the film. Either way, you don't want to miss out.
Oh, one more thing lest I forget. If you like this film & would love to see others in the same vein, I suggest purchasing The Darkotica Series which is also available for a reasonable price. Should you chose to go this route, you also acquire "Live for Sex Die for Love", "Like a Moth to a Flame", & the all-new documentary "The Night at the End of the Tunnel" in addition to Toby Ross' latest "Payton Collins: Serial Rapist". For less than $50, you can own them all.
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