AUGUST 7, 2007
I miss the old days, before I was born, when movies like The Devil’s Hands could be 71 minutes long and no one would complain. Now the average length of a movie is like 1:50. And most of the time, the running time is padded. Luckily this year is seeing a sort of resurgence in shorter films. Shoot Em Up and The Kingdom both clock in under 1:40 with credits (and along with Hatchet, are my favorite movies of the year. Coincidence?)
This one’s pretty fun, and in fact I would be all for a remake, since the film was apparently a tad under budgeted. For starters, most of it takes place in about 3 ugly rooms. We also never get much insight into the cult the whole movie focuses on. There’s a subplot about a reporter getting the dirt on them, but what the hell could he possibly report? “Tuesday. We sat around and listened to the leader blather on about Gamba again.” Come on, sacrifice a goddamn goat or something.
The doll usage was also a bit underdeveloped. The cult uses voodoo dolls made in the members’ images, but again, they barely use this device for any storytelling purposes. Instead, most of the film is given to the lead character looking totally bored by the cult he has just thrown his life away to join (his primary reason for joining is, of course, the ability to fuck the blonde member he is smitten with).
Dammit, this movie should be a half an hour longer!
The transfer is pretty bad, even for Budget Pack standards. There are a lot of missing chunks of frames, resulting in some hilarious jump cuts (at one point, someone says to another character “You should leave” and then there’s a jump cut, and now she’s right by the door). But the transfer can’t be blamed for the other odd editing decisions sprinkled without, such as the music that cuts along with the film (not jump cuts).
And what the hell did Associate Producer Mike Newberry do to piss off the title sequence creator? While all the other credits last for about 4-5 seconds, poor Mike gets about 20 frames.
Anyway, it’s a decent enough little movie; a good idea trapped in somewhat lazy filmmaking.
What say you?