Henry Rollins in He Never Died.

There’s a good premise here with He Never Died, but writer-director Jason Krawczyk can’t save this one from the junk heap.

Henry Rollins plays Jack, a grumpy loner who hangs around in diners and plays bingo for a living. Jack has a big trunk in his apartment containing a bunch of money that keeps him from having to work.

When his long lost-daughter (Jordan Todosey) comes knocking at the door, he’s required to socialize a little more than he cares to. That socializing includes talking to Cara (Kate Greenhouse), the sweet, caring waitress from the diner where he gets his hot tea. For whatever reason, Jack’s daughter is kidnapped, and he must swing into action.

That swinging into action includes eating human flesh for reasons never fully explained. It turns out Jack is very old—Bible old—and I guess he needs to eat people to stay alive or something. Krawczyk’s script never really tells us what it is. The film has a fun idea, but poor execution.

Rollins is an OK choice for the central role. It’s sort of appropriate that the character is a bit wooden and stiff, so his lack of acting skills actually works out fine. Sadly, the supporting performances around him are often very weak and overdone.

He Never Died is available on iTunes.

One reply on “Home Video Review: An Excellent Premise Goes to Waste in ‘He Never Died’”

  1. This comment contains spoilers, but if you were going to avoid the movie because of this review then please forgive the spoilers and read the comment, or read other reviews as the gist of this comment is that I don’t feel that this review is very accurate.

    I disagree with almost everything you wrote in this review. First off you say the show has an excellent premise in the title and a good premise in the first sentence, but never actually say what the premise you liked is. I assume you mean the premise of a world-weary immortal aka Cain trying to just get along when some a-holes screw up his life leading to a lot of butt-kicking and murdering. It would be nice if it was clear in your review, though.

    Second, Jack hangs around in one diner (singular) and goes to bingo to kill time, not for a living. He does these things to keep his life simple. He keeps his life simple because he has an addiction, and as shown in the movie when things get complicated he falls off the wagon.

    Third, your description of the trunk of money seems inadequate and allows your readers to draw incorrect conclusions quite easily. The trunk is a collection of items gathered throughout at least a large portion of his immortal life. Wealth is just a byproduct of working for a few millennia. Your description doesn’t really convey that. A trunk full of his (immortal) life savings that allows him not to have to work would be more accurate.

    Fourth, you say ‘for whatever reason, Jack’s daughter is kidnapped.’ This leads me to believe you didn’t watch the whole movie or didn’t pay attention. The kidnapping is a big deal, and has a really nice false reason before the real reason is revealed. Both the false reason (she was kidnapped because the gang is pissed that Jack killed one of their own) and the real reason (as revenge for Jack killing the Boss’s dad) are plausible and clear. You make it sound like a made up plot device used to move the story along when it fits and makes perfect sense.

    Fifth, you have issues with the cannibalism never being fully explained, and insinuate that it is never really explained at all. Jack is addicted to human flesh. He says that the blood/flesh keeps his mind clear, so that’s what it does, there’s no real reason to doubt him. We also see how he goes kind of bonkers when he’s ‘hungry’ so further proof that human flesh/blood keeps him sane. Jack outs himself as the biblical Cain and has the mark of Cain on his back, which is why he creepily looks at his daughter’s back in the diner to see if the mark is hereditary. Along with the mark, Cain is also cursed with immortality. Presumably, the hunger for human flesh/blood was left out of the bible, but could be attributed to the same curse.

    At the end of the fourth paragraph you say that the movie is poorly executed, but imply it is because the movie didn’t explain everything clearly (by way of the rest of the fourth paragraph). As shown in the previous point, though, there is enough information given to explain obvious questions (Why eat people? It clears my head.) and even enough info to draw reasonable conclusions about the larger questions (Why are you addicted to humans? Don’t know, but it’s probably part of the Cain curse). You may not like the movie, but to say it’s poorly executed because you didn’t get it is unfair. ‘Excellent premise, but I didn’t like the movie’ is what I got from your review.

    Lastly, you complain about the acting. Critiquing acting is largely a matter of taste, so the fact that you didn’t like the acting is not up for debate. I personally liked the acting from both the main and supporting cast.

    I’m writing this comment mostly so people don’t read your review and immediately avoid the movie. Your review is extremely negatively skewed and, whether it was your intention or not, misrepresents the content of the movie. I would just like people to give the movie a fair shake.

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