The Nostril Picker (1993)

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Before I reveal what I have up my sleeve for my 50th review, I would like to introduce one of the worst films that I have ever witnessed: The Nostril Picker. This film has to be one of the most incompetent films that I’ve seen with problems from all departments of production: writing, cinematography, sound, acting, special effects, lighting, editing, everything that makes up The Nostril Picker is an example of what you mustn’t do when you make a film. The Nostril Picker was the one and only film made by Steven Hodge, the only film directed by colorist Mark Nowicki, and the film’s lead actors, such as Carl Zschering and Laura Cummings, vanished into the ether after The Nostril Picker was released, making it one of the most obscure films that resides in The Midnight Vault with very little information to it’s name.

However, I would like to give credit where credit’s due. Despite being a poorly written mess, the film has a bizarrely interesting premise that opens itself to multiple entertaining situations. The plot of The Nostril Picker revolves around a sleazy middle aged loner called Joe Bukowski who finds a way to transform his appearance into that of a 17 year old girl, which allows Joe to spy on, stalk and kill the students of a local high school. It feels that at least writer/producer Steven Hodge realized that he had no money to make a proper film, so he tried to make the film reasonably enjoyable by going for an utterly ridiculous approach to it to try and cash in on the ‘so bad it’s good’ crowd. The Nostril Picker, in a way, does feel quite self-aware of it’s own mediocrity and bizarre premise as it delves apologetically into very strange, comedic sequences throughout the entirety, such as when Joe chases a transvestite hooker around his apartment with two squirting dildos, or the ‘schooling’ sequence with shows Joe going to high-school for a month.

However, The Nostril Picker is wrought with problems that keep it from being an enjoyable film. Firstly, the dialogue is very poorly written, and it’s delivered by non-actors who don’t know what they’re doing. The editing is jumpy, unfocused and relies heavily on pointless, basic transitions between scenes that can be replicated by a GCSE media student using Pinnacle. The cinematography is very basic and very distracting as the cameraman has a hard time holding the camera still during action scenes. Worst of all, is the sound engineering.  During the entirety of The Nostril Picker, the sound fluctuates from reasonably audible, to distractingly quiet, and this doesn’t occur from shot to shot, it occurs during static shots of people talking. As someone who has had experience with film-making, I can’t possibly imagine how this was possible, especially since nearly the whole film feels like it’s been dubbed over with dialogue put in during post-production. I believe that the production crew were incredibly inexperienced and didn’t know what they were doing, thus making The Nostril Picker is a very painful film to sit through.

It may not be the absolute worst film I’ve ever seen, because shockingly there are worse exploitation films that exist, but I didn’t enjoy my time watching The Nostril Picker. The film is terrible, and I couldn’t even enjoy the film in a “so bad it’s good” way like I can with Burial Ground or Troll 2. The Nostril Picker is an obscure film for a decent reason, because it’s a bad film made by inexperienced film-makers with an immature sense of humor. I will, however, give my respect to Steven Hodge for making a feature length film with no budget nor any experience in the film-making industry, but Steven Hodge and Mark Nowicki still made one of the worst films that exists in the horror genre. In conclusion, The Nostril Picker is a film that isn’t enjoyable in the slightest. I don’t want to say that a film doesn’t deserve to be seen as it goes against my beliefs when it comes to film-making, but The Nostril Picker isn’t a film that warrants a recommend viewing.

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