FEBRUARY 15, 2009
I know I swore off this type of obscure nonsense, but I actually had a good(ish) reason to rent On Bloody Sunday, as the plot had a killer using Myspace to lure victims. I had an idea for a comedic horror film about a guy who was killing off everyone in someone’s Top 8, but it was really just an excuse to make fun of Myspace and the like for 90 minutes*. So I wanted to see how this one fared, and make sure they weren’t too similar before I bothered developing my idea any further (which, for me, means just sort of writing down the idea and adding in unhelpful notes like “sequel - 16”).
Luckily, none of their movie seemed like anything I would put into mine, because I wouldn’t intentionally develop a boring and poorly made movie. And Myspace barely even factors in, the girl figures out that the killer is posting events and killing whoever comes, but that concept is more or less dropped halfway through. It’s mainly about a girl from the school newspaper investigating the killer, who is killing those who he deems immoral. In the name of God, of course.
And before anyone says it, yes, the movie DOES address the whole “God wouldn’t want you to kill people either” problem. And by address, I mean a victim points that out to the killer, and he doesn’t answer. Good enough, I guess?
In actuality, it’s not even the worst idea ever (beats yet another "prank goes wrong and 10 years later the guy gets revenge" movie), and in the hands of a capable filmmaker, working from a good script, it would totally work. But writer/director/producer Christian Sesma is NOT a capable filmmaker, by any stretch of the imagination. We learn this early on, as a drunk kid is shown peeing on his own shoes. The problem is - he’s “peeing” on the tongue part, which means the dude would have to be pointing his penis TOWARD his own body (that or he has a vagina). Also, we cut away from the kid peeing to show some (non)ultimate fighting going on in a garage (with Danny Trejo as the ref - his only scene in the film). Three or four minutes later, Sesma cuts back to the kid, who is just now zipping up. It’s a common problem during the film; later on a girl is running toward a car from a shack, a distance of about twenty feet. Sesma cuts to a fight going on inside the shack, and then 30 seconds later, the girl is STILL running toward the car!
It’s also just terrible on a technical level too. Haphazard crosscut editing, blurry footage, nonsensical color filtering... it’s all here. Plus the audio is a mess - not only is the film much louder than average (I had to turn my receiver down about 20 notches), but dialogue comes in two varieties for the most part: muffled or badly ADRed. Even the soundtrack is all over the place, we go from folky stuff to rap to metal with nary a moment to breath.
The script is a wash too. None of our characters are even remotely interesting, and the killer is just a bland “cult” guy in a hood who rambles out Bible passages. There are actually a couple of killers, but only one of them is someone you actually know (an obvious “twist” anyway), which means the “reveal” of the other guys is about as anticlimactic as possible. And it’s repetitive as all hell; the heroine more or less figures out what’s going on pretty early on, leaving just a bunch of recycling scenes to fill up the movie until the finale. Sesma is seemingly obsessed with extreme sports and the like, so enjoy endless scenes of dirtbike racing, ultimate fighting, etc. Not to mention a rave sequence. Even though the movie’s only 80 minutes long, I felt like I was watching it for hours.
The commentary manages to make the movie even MORE boring. Sesma is the sole participant, and thus there are a lot of gaps. In the first four minutes, all he manages to say is his own name and the name of a few of the actors. Bizarrely, the movie itself is muted throughout the commentary, with the exception of one line just past the hour mark. It was actually the only scare the movie delivered; suddenly, without warning, I was listening to the shitty dialogue again. He also never once addresses any of the movie’s faults (like, “wow, it’s a shame this shot is so blurry”), which is annoying as well - at least explain why your movie looks so flat and ugly instead of sitting there in silence for minutes at a time. There is also a making of, which has a somewhat charming blue collar, laidback attitude, but also way too many film clips. And Sesma seems like a nice enough guy, but ultimately he, like so many other filmmakers I’ve “discovered” via HMAD, doesn’t have either the skill or the resources to deliver a film that can stick out in a world filled with (obviously) a glut of indie horror movies.
What say you?
*Oddly, Dimension announced a similar movie this week, in fact on the day that Blockbuster sent me this disc, which I had queued like months ago. Weird.