By Thomas R. Prince
A future cult classic horror film has been born right here in Rockford. Plastic Age Productions, honoring the city where this movie was produced, presented the world premiere of Raymond Did It—a horror film written and directed by Travis Legge—Friday, Feb. 11, at Sullivan Theater, 118 N. Main St.
Kyle Hoskins, in his first full-length feature film, portrays Raymond, the unfortunate older brother of the accidentally-killed Bryce. Adolescent fear of punishment by those who witnessed Bryce’s demise compels the clique to frame the developmentally-disabled Raymond for murder.
Raymond’s motives for the coming horrors derive from his being falsely imprisoned as a result of the fabrications of those responsible. Raymond escapes from the county mental hospital six years later, and the blood splattering commences. Every “idiot savant” has a specialty. The Rain Man can count, whereas Raymond can kill.
Elissa Dowling, who has starred in many B-movie horror films and in Syfy Channel made-for-TV movies, plays Paige, who caused the death of Bryce in the first place. Paige, who intimidates her clique, came up with the plan to blame Raymond.
Lindsey Felton, who starred in the Nickelodeon television series Caitlin’s Way, plays the teen-age Tammy, the protagonist of the film, if this film can be said to have an unblemished character. Tammy is Raymond’s only friend. Jessica Palette, who uses the talents she honed in VH1’s Scream Queens, co-stars as Jayme, who stumbles upon the corpse of her boyfriend. He has suffered the most demeaning of fates that a man can suffer. I’ll leave the details up to your imagination.
The male actors are all relatively new to the screen and are outclassed by the three starlets, but they hold their own, regardless of their inexperience.
Ty Yaeger undertakes the role of the bong-smoking Simon, who is not part of the original cover-up but becomes complicit out of loyalty to his domineering lover, Paige.
The creative use of household appliances is employed as tools of Raymond’s warped imagination, or more truthfully, the imagination of Legge.
Legge describes his and other slasher movies as “morality plays.” Raymond wasn’t inherently evil, but he was driven to aggression by the untenable situation he was forced into. “(Raymond) had pretty good motivations,” he said.
Every splatter movie is funny to some degree, and this film had the requisite absurdity to be interesting. The first few minutes were actually dedicated to character development, so it becomes understood that in his mind, Raymond was justified in his actions. Although not as gory as I anticipated, the bloody scenarios were unique enough to satisfy even the most avid splatter fans.
Raymond Did It is an unrated film. Legge believes his low-budget movie would have received an NC-17 rating, even though there wasn’t full-frontal nudity.
If you are an aficionado of slasher movies, Raymond Did It is a must-see flick. The expression “Mom’s pretty mad at me” just might become a catch phrase.