OCTOBER 20, 2007
One story I’ve never shined to is Sleepy Hollow/Headless Horseman. Didn’t care for the book much as a kid, or any of the various cartoons/after school special Halloween episode type things about it, or even the Burton film. Like the Phantom of the Opera story, I just don’t find it particularly compelling or exciting. A guy without a head riding a horse is just too dumb for me I guess. So I’ll stick to Shocker.
That said, this is at least an enjoyable time-killer for the most part. Two hot girls (including Trish Coren, aka the hot one from Boo, which was also directed by Anthony Ferrante) and some crowd-pleasing gore gags help immensely. Unfortunately, the “comic relief” character is the least funny person in the film, and his constant Deliverance/inbreed jokes grow incredibly tiresome, yet he manages to live quite a while. There’s also a town local gal who cannot act worth a shit, and since she gets a lot of exposition to deal out, this poses a problem for my being interested in the explanation scenes.
Like I said, the gore gags are great. Everyone gets beheaded, and Ferrante and co-writer Zachary Weintraub are smart enough to make them all different and visually interesting. One particular favorite was when a guy hiding in a trunk peeks his head out – the Horseman jumps on the lid, slamming the trunk shut as the guy’s head goes flying. Hahahaha nice. Also there’s a pretty brutal death to the film’s most engaging character. I think any body count film where you actually go “aww!” for one death is pretty successful, especially since it’s so rare you give a shit about anyone in these types of movies.
Also, there’s a great joke that flies over the heads (drum sting!) of the audience – after the guy in the trunk loses his head, the local girl goes “It’s Headless!” and the group’s resident airhead replies “Seth was not an ‘it’!” Hahahahaha. The same joke was in Hatchet but I don’t care, it’s still funny.
I should also point out how great Alan Howarth’s score is. The main theme is just as memorable as any big budget horror movie, and the rest is no slouch either. Most of my familiarity with Howarth is limited to the Halloween sequels and John Carpenter collaborations, so it’s nice to see him do something totally original and on his own. Really nice stuff here.
I saw the film at Screamfest, but I think it’s premiering on Sci-Fi (it was NOT made for Sci-Fi, which is probably why it’s not all that bad – the production value alone is vastly higher than anything I’ve ever seen from the network) this week before hitting DVD. I’ll probably never go out of my way to see the film again, but if it was on I’d more than likely leave it on. Hell, Coren alone is worth watching the film for.
What say you?