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Friday, March 4, 2011

Blood Harvest

How often can you say, "Hey, I just watched a slasher flick starring that goofy musician Tiny Tim? In my case, only once. The film is called Blood Harvest, and also has "Six Feet Under" star Peter Krause in a small role. Did it make me tiptoe through the tulips? Read my SPOILER-heavy experience to find out!

The film starts out with Tiny Tim's character, The Marvelous Mervo, singing in his high falsetto voice about Jack and Jill. Except that his version is about "Gary and Jill", and he is dressed as a clown. Great, another psycho-clown film. Fate, why do you hate me? As Mervo keeps singing, we see a dead guy getting hung upside down in what may be a barn of some sort.

In the rain, an ambulance arrives to take away the body. The next scene features an angry mob of farmers at a foreclosed home auction, then cuts back to the hung body, back when he was alive. A hand holding a knife draws the blade across the upside-down man's throat, and he dies. Y'know, showing these scenes in order might save some time...

Okay, so our story so far is largely nonexistent. That's always a good sign. The next random scene shows a woman walking along a lonely road. As she walks, we hear her have a phone conversation with her mother, concerning her returning from college to visit her hometown. She stops off at the bank to find her dad(apparently, he's a banker...gee, I wonder if he was the guy we saw getting killed earlier?), but is told that he hasn't been in. She then decides to walk to a nearby diner.

After another random change of scenery, we see Mervo watching the local news. As he hears about all of the local foreclosures, he puts his hands up to his face. At the diner, Jill sees an old friend, and gets spit on by a local who blames her father for the town's financial troubles. She wisely decides to head home.

The house she grew up in is covered in red graffiti("BITCH", "SCUM", stuff like that). Jill runs to the front door, but is greeted at the door by a scarecrow that resembles a charred corpse. She creeps around to look for intruders, and finds Merv in her kitchen, grinning creepily and holding flowers for her. Jill tries to question him, but he just blathers on and on about the friggin' flowers.

At that point, we meet Gary. Gary is Merv's brother, and he immediately tries to calm Jill by telling her that he spoke to her father earlier in the week. Merv interrupts to sing to Jill, shove the flowers at her, then make his grand exit. Gary tells Jill that Mervo is getting crazier every day, then he also leaves. Wait, wasn't Gary the other name in the song Pervy Mervy was singing when the film started? Hope he has his life insurance paid up...

Jill unpacks in her old bedroom, and gets a threatening phone call, followed by a brick thrown through her window. When she goes outside to investigate, Merv peeks out at her from a nearby barn. Others are watching her as well, presumably angry farmers who are hiding in the woods to frighten her. She sees one of them ahead of her, and tries to hide in the trees, and gets shot in the forehead!

Aw, it's only a paint gun. The people hiding in the woods turn out to be local teens playing military games, and one of them offers her a ride into town to have her head looked at by the town doctor. He asks Jill out, and when she refuses, he offers to settle for a one night stand instead. What a charmer.

At Sheriff Buckley's office, Jill tries to lodge a complaint against the teens, and also reports the phone call, brick and spray paint since she'd been home. Buckley has a softball game he'd rather be at, but Jill won't back down. He leaves the office with her to begin his investigation. He even straps his gun on over his softball uniform, making him the most lethal baseball player since Lou Gehrig(Oh, lighten up! You expect a guy who watches slasher flicks for fun to be politically correct?).

Mervo steps into a crudely built room, where we see a woman tied to a chair with a noose around her neck. Merv talks to her, and his hand begins shaking. At the same time, Jill brings Sheriff Buckley to her family's home. The spray paint on the outside of the house is entirely gone, and all of the vandalism inside is cleaned up as well, including the dummy that had frightened her. The sheriff laughs, and accuses her of making her story up for attention. Uh, who the heck was the lady Mervo was with in the previous scene?

Mervo goes into the local church to sing and pray while no one's around. Once again, he's crying his eyes out. He probably read the script. Hell, we're only 17 minutes in, and I'M bored to the brink of tears! I should watch something like Dr. Giggles or Blood Diner, just to have something batshit crazy to comment on. (Note to self: add those to my queue....)

Okay, so back at Jill's childhood home, she's putting some clothes away in a bureau. Opening the drawer gives us the cheapest of cheap thrills: a cat-scare. Seriously, someday I'm going to build a time machine, find the screenwriter who wrote the first horror movie cat-scare scene, and obliterate him 5 minutes after his birth.

After the random cat runs away, Gary shows up. He hugs Jill, then tells her that he was the person who cleaned up the house. He then tells her that it was the farmers who did it. Then he drags her outside to run through a field. While Gary and Jill are filming a feminine hygiene commercial, Mervo is crying to a priest in a way that looks an awful lot like a confession.

Gary takes Jill to a treehouse, apparently one that they shared as children. I hope they'll be very happy up in that tree, because I'm starting to think that this isn't a slasher film at all. The dialogue is like this:

GARY: Whose idea was it to build this treehouse anyway?
JILL: Oh yeah? Well who found the tree?
GARY: Who brought the wood?
JILL: Who brought the hammer?
ME: Who hid the gun? I really want to shoot myself, before I see another pointless minute of this soul-sucking, mediocre, crap-filled snoozefest!

(That last part wasn't in the case you were wondering. But the other stuff was almost verbatim, I shit you not.)

Gary tells Jill that he always had feelings for her. Then they discuss the fact that his parents died under strange circumstances. Oh, and they run through the freakin' flowers again. Jill tells Gary that she's engaged to her college boyfriend, and Gary leaves. As the scene ends, Mervo sings the "Gary and Jill" song again, twice. Yay. He starts talking to himself and singing, and none of it makes a damn bit of sense whatsoever. Man, why didn't I do drugs when I was younger? Killing a few thousand brain cells might have made this movie watchable.

Jill calls her aunt, but no one seems to know why her parents disappeared. She then gets naked, and something happens that shocks me: I actually start to pay attention to this terrible movie. In the basement, a mysterious figure tampers with the water, and makes it dangerously hot. Jill emerges from the scalding shower and reveals that women 25 years ago didn't believe in trimming, if you know what I mean.

She runs to the kitchen, and discovers that there's no water coming to the sink. The mystery stalker then fixes the pipes, so that a loud gush of water in the faucet startles her. Mervo watches Jill from outside the house, then enters her kitchen unannounced. She offers him some coffee, but Merv insists on making it for her.

He starts cackling, then tries to grope her. When Jill tries to refuse his advances, Mervo tells her that he has needs, just like any man. Then he leaves. We then see some random chair. Of course we do. And still no one dies a horrible death, unless you count my inner child.

That night, Jill wakes up due to strange noises coming from outside. She sees what looks like Mervo sitting on a swing on her front porch. She calls Sheriff Buckley, and he promises to stop by her house. The phone rings immediately after Jill hangs up, but it's not the stalker or Buckley: it's Scott, Jill's boyfriend. She begs Scott to help her, then panics when she thinks someone is trying to get in the house.

It's Buckley. I have no idea how he got there so fast, he must have the same teleportation technology that Jason Voorhees uses. Sheriff Buckley drags Mervo into view, and Jill doesn't press charges. Dumbass.

Later still, ANOTHER intruder shows up. He slips in through her bedroom window, and chloroforms her in her sleep. He starts to undress Jill and ties her to the bedposts, before photographing her body. He brings the photos to his "lair", and puts them on the wall.

The next morning, Jill is woken up by some dweeb in dark shades. she throws him to the floor, then realizes it's Scott. Really, movie? Scott, her boyfriend, is Max Headroom's stunt double? Seriously???

Apparently so. She and Scott start speaking the language of love, which sounds an awful lot like---well, whatever it sounds like, it's awful. Jill makes Scott chase her into the living room. Oh, by the way, we're 35 minutes into the movie at this point. In 35 minutes, we've seen 1(maybe 2) death scenes, several scenes of Tiny Tim being his usual weird self, a Massengill moment, and 2 scenes of partial nudity. If this thing doesn't start having a point soon, I'm mailing it back unfinished.

Jill lets Scott undress her on the living room floor, while Gary watches from a nearby window. It plays out like a cheesy porno(wait, isn't that redundant?), until the phone rings. It's me, asking where the killing scenes are.

Nope, it's not me, it's Jill's friend Sarah. Oh, and Scott turns out to be Peter Krause. He leaves after her phone call, and Jill starts dirty dancing by herself. Before Scott leaves, though, he spots someone running through the backyard. Scott gets out of the car and chases the figure into a barn. The killer whacks Scott in the face with a baseball bat, and Jill continues to do the world's most unchoreographed dancing scene.

Gary shows up at her front door. She tells him about her relationship with Scott over a cup of coffee. Why does every scene these 2 share end up looking like a commercial??? Mervo disrupts the conversation, and Gary drags him inside to apologize for scaring Jill. Another person shows up at the front door: Jill's friend, Sarah, who arrives to pad the film's running time a little more. God, this movie is annoying!

Jill and Sarah discuss boys, then Sarah realizes that she needs to go to work. Jill cranks up the radio, for the sole purpose of not hearing her friend getting attacked by the stalker. He chases her away from her car, then into the same barn that Scott was killed in earlier in the film. Sarah leans against a post to catch her breath, and the killer shoots an arrow at her, pinning her hand to the post. As Sarah screams, the killer rips her blouse open, hangs her upside down, then removes her pants. The killer then slits Sarah's throat while Jill plays with a stuffed animal.

After yet another brief scene where Mervo acts like a loon, Gary stops by to visit Jill. He tells her that Mervo has vanished, and she decides to call Sarah, who recently passed away. The film cuts to Nervy Mervy, who is feeling sorry for himself. Jill has no luck finding either Sarah or Scott, and Gary jokingly suggests that they ran off together. The he finally leaves. Alone at last, Jill cries herself to sleep.

Once Jill's finally asleep again, the stalker chloroforms her once more. Hey, I have an idea: how about, every time someone in the movie does something they already did in a previous scene, we take a drink! The killer brings Jill to the barn, and begins to undress her in front of Scott, who's dangling upside down about a foot above where she's sleeping. The sheriff's deputy arrives, and the killer quickly brings Jill back to the house. While the deputy looks around the yard to see if anything looks suspicious, the killer sneaks back to the barn and slits Scott's throat.

The following morning, Jill wakes up on the sofa, and staggers into the kitchen. She opens the fridge, and a bucket of blood spills on both her and the kitchen floor. Gary pops up in her kitchen to calm her down, and he carries Jill to the shower. Stripping Jill naked, Gary cleans her then begins rubbing her in other ways. He brings her back to the couch, where he proceeds to kiss every square inch of Jill's chest. Then he covers her with a blanket and watches her fall sleep. Oh, and he decides to remove his clothes while watching her, before eventually raping her in her. If you look up "sleazy" in the dictionary, I'll bet you'd find a picture of this movie.

Jill wakes up, and she immediately asks Gary to stop. He walks away, still naked as a jailbird. Then we see Mervo mumbling to himself, "I gotta do it, gotta do it...", while Gary sits in the dark and sobs like the bitch that we all know him to be. That's right Gary: yer a bitch. Deal with it.

Mervo enters Jill's house and asks her to go someplace with him. When she presses him for details, he merely tells Jill that he has something important to show her, and she actually goes with him. I think it's safe to say that my suspension of disbelief is long gone. Outside, Mervo takes Jill to a small house in the middle of nowhere. She reads a suicide note that her mother wrote, then finds several pictures of dead people. Mervo tells the horrified girl that his brother did all of the killing and stalking, and blackmailed him into silence by threatening to send him to a mental hospital for the rest of his life. When they both hear someone outside, Mervo covers Jill's mouth to keep her quiet.

It's Gary. He asks Mervo to release Jill, and the brothers start to fight. As Jill tries to find a weapon, Mervo gains the upper hand, so Jill finds a pistol and shoots him. Then Gary reveals that Mervo was telling the truth, and he reveals that his plan was to eliminate everyone she depended on, until he was the only person left for her to turn to. She pretends to want to be with Gary, but she gets upset and runs away when he doesn't seem to be buying it.

There's a brief chase, then Gary puts a stocking over his head and starts to go after Jill with a knife. He corners her in the barn, and Jill sees all of her dead friends and family hanging from the rafters like sides of beef. Gary corners Jill and reveals that he blames her for his feelings of loneliness and isolation. She tries to make him believe that she wants to run away with him, but when she starts to run away again, he kinda figures out that she was lying. She buys some time by pinning Gary to the floor with a pitchfork through his arm and starts to run away yet again. Isn't this like, what, the 3rd chase in as many minutes?

The chase is stupid. He manages to keep getting ahead of her, she screams and runs away, he pops up again. This happens several times, until he traps her in his lair. Jill gets cornered beneath a slaughtered pig, and it bleeds all over her face while Gary drones on and on. He holds his knife in his good hand, slowly circling her. then he leaps at Jill. They tussle in the hay, until Gary ties Jill up and brings her back to the corpses of those she loves.

He prepares to kill her, but Jill is rescued at the last second by Mervo, who shoots Gary with a shotgun. Mervo staggers over to Jill to untie her, and the pair leave the crime scene together to report the murders to the authorities. As the camera shows Gary one last time in the hay, his eyes open wide. THE END?

Eh. As painful as it was, I've seen worse. I guess. Still, every kill was more or less botched, and the pace was verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry draggy. Plus, we never saw all of the bodies: did the writers forget to add a scene showing what happened to Jill's mother? This movie could be improved a thousand times over by a gorier remake, with 99.999% less goofy musical numbers, so somebody who has experience writing scripts, get working!

And what did Blood Harvest teach me?
-It's impossible to create a good slasher flick involving a scary clown. Can't be done.

-If your former flame still has a treehouse, RUN! And don't have some twithead conversation about how the friggin' thing was built!

-Small-town lawmen take softball games very seriously. Crime can wait 'til after the game.

Next week, hopefully, either Blood Song or Splatter University will arrive in the mail. I had surgery Tuesday, so I'm still kind of playing my schedule by ear, until I can figure out how I'm really feeling. Hopefully, I keep feeling as good as I do today! Happy slashing!