JULY 21, 2007
Actually it was intentional that I watched a movie of Dark Harvest’s caliber. While I love seeing a good movie as much as the next guy, writing good reviews isn’t all that fun. It’s infinitely more enjoyable to mock ineptly made garbage, right? And where is a guaranteed source of shit? That’s right, direct to video movies distributed by Lion’s Gate!
Actually this one was ‘recommended’ by a HMAD reader, so I thank you. I was starting to think I was turning soft, what with all the positive reviews of late. But any fears I had were quickly diminished as soon as the film began, as the production logo was missing the actual name of the company (and was bizarrely framed at 2.35:1 when the film was 1.78:1.
Our hero is without a doubt the worst, and LAZIEST actor I have ever seen in a film. Some actors make their faults more apparent by trying really really hard, but this guy settles for not even making an attempt at anything like emotion, involvement, likeability…
And, yes, he can’t even get his fucking hair right. Those shots are taken from the same scene. He stands up and suddenly his hair is not only bushy and unkempt, but frosted. That’s not a continuity error, that’s a continuity holocaust.
Oddly, the film is a LOT like A Brush With Death, only it makes slightly more sense and is roughly 4% more professional. Everything else is pretty much the same: unappealing actors, bizarre editing that never shows the character speaking in some scenes, a total lack of suspense, a ridiculous pace (our first death occurs at the 50 min mark of a 1:15 movie), etc. Sadly, the script itself is actually decent enough for this type of thing; no one wants Shakespeare out of a killer scarecrow movie. And the writer has a bit of a mean streak, as the hero’s girlfriend not only dies, but gets it worse than just about anyone else. But the production value, acting, and directing completely destroy whatever promise was on the page, so it doesn’t matter at all. Christ, even a brief lesbian scene failed to interest me.
The most hilarious thing about this movie is that there is a blooper reel during the end credits (again, like Brush With Death. Or was that Dark Fields? I can’t even tell these fucking things apart any more). But where those were genuine bloopers, these are just sort of ‘things that happened.’ The movie itself is so inept, how the fuck are we supposed to know the difference between a flubbed take or not? Some of the bloopers are actually just shots of the crew putting out a fire, or the main kid attacking one of the scarecrows with results that are in no way different than what’s in the finished product, which includes bizarrely and obviously zoomed in shots, a guy who can’t walk because he got stabbed in the shoulder, and dialogue like “If these spirits, or whatever the fuck they are, do come, seeking retribution!” (Say it aloud). Plus the film has what may be the lamest one-liner to a bad guy before killing him in cinematic history. "My name's not Baker! It's Connell!" The fact that it's incredibly weak isn't even the stupidest part: he says it to a fucking scarecrow that never spoke anything, let alone his birth name.
Also, more on the credits: they are the slowest and tiniest credits known to man (^ see?). Without the bloopers, they run about 4 minutes, for a movie with like 14 people in the cast and maybe 50 on the crew. And it’s not even a complete credit sequence, as it ends after the Special Thanks list. No song titles, no film stock information, no MPAA number, hell, not even a goddamn copyright or “this is based on fiction, nothing was based on real people or events…” thing! Does this mean the film is legally OK to reproduce or distribute for exhibition personal or private? Would anyone actually want to watch it again anyway? These are the questions that have plagued mankind for centuries (or to be more truthful: me, since I shut the DVD off).
What say you, seeking retribution?