AUGUST 11, 2007
Here ya go, After Dark; a quote for the TV spots or maybe the DVD release:
“Skinwalkers is After Dark’s best film yet!”
Now, anyone with half a brain knows that means entirely nothing, but hey, spin is spin. Besides, this is a company that added a scene of a cute little puppy being shotgunned in the face in order to ‘improve’ their last film, so why put anything past them?
The only original thing in the entirety of the film comes during the opening credits. Rather than a full credit list at the top, they only list the production companies and title. This isn’t anything new, films have been doing that for ages (and if you ask me, all of them should save the titles for the end of the film). But while they save the cast, director, producers, music, etc for the end, the writing credit is placed at the front. Considering that the script is the film’s biggest problem, you gotta wonder why they would single the writers out. It’s like they are saying “Look, if you want to know who directed this fucking thing, you gotta wait til the film ends! But to be fair, the guys responsible for all of the awful and clunky exposition-filled dialogue you’re about to hear are James Roday, Todd Harthan, and James DeMonaco”. Thanks?
The script, which steals every idea from movies like Underworld, Night Watch, Near Dark, Blade, certain episodes of Buffy, Terminator 2 and 3, etc., isn’t the only sign of ineptitude though. Both Rhona Mitra (the only reason to watch the film – she gets hotter and hotter as it goes) and the bad guys enter the town from the same road, passing the same sign. But in their respective next shots, they pass the same coffee shop from opposite directions. The obvious editing to make the film PG-13 is also horrendous, as several awkward or just plain confusing edits are employed to hide whatever bits of violence or gore that had to be excised to allow kids of all ages to be bored along with everyone else. It’s like, USA version of Friday the 13th 5 bad, particularly in the climax. They might as well have titled the film Offscreen. I got so bored at one point that when a guy came into the theater to look for something he dropped during the previous screening, I watched him look around for a while and even contemplated helping him.
You also gotta hate a movie that casts Kim Coates and then doesn’t give him anything to do. Coates is fucking amazing, and should be as ‘famous’ as your Peter Stormares and John Glovers. He’s that great. But here he’s basically an anonymous henchman, and I can’t even remember how he died. Shameful.
And what the fuck is with people writing movies about werewolves that never stop fucking shooting each other long enough to use THEIR GODDAMN CLAWS AND TEETH! We literally have ONE goddamn scene in the entire film with the werewolves actually doing anything before the climax. Everything else we see are just poorly shot gunfights.
Speaking of the gunfights, there’s an amazingly hilarious scene early on when the bad guys meet up with the good guys. First the bad guy draws his gun. Then an old lady draws hers. The other bad guys draw, and then a few folks run out of various stores with their own weapons, including a mailman brandishing a shotgun. This is partially explained later, but I wish it wasn’t, I’d probably elevate the movie out of crap if they just tried to have us believe that everyone carried around weapons for the hell of it.
I also had another odd case of Movie ESP (see my Dead Calling review). At a certain point in the film, a few characters check into a hotel. The motel clerk is a creepy looking guy with balding dark hair, so I said to myself, “What, was Julian Richings too busy?” Then, in the very next scene, someone knocks on their hotel room door. And who is it?? The actual Julian Richings!!! I was dumbfounded, amused, scared, and still bored, because it was Skinwalkers.
Nice shots of the foliage though. That’s about all I miss about New England weather, so thanks.
What say you?