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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Evil

So, Christmas Eve I was floored by the flu, and was pretty much laid out until Friday. With that in mind, pretend that this is Christmas Day, and this movie still works just fine. Now, let's all go meet beneath the mistletoe, and exchange SPOILERS...

Okay, so Christmas Evil begins with a Troma logo(!), then tells us that it's Christmas Eve, circa 1947.  Santa drops down into the chimney of a house, then washes his hands in a bowl of water as 2 children spy on him. He then makes himself a snack and a drink, as Mom joins her kids. So Santa sightings were pretty common after WWII, I guess?

He puts presents under the tree, and starts filling up the stockings. One of the boys begins giggling, so Santa finishes his work, then disappears. And so does the family, literally speaking. POOF! Crazy, huh?

The 2 boys, Billy and Harry, then argue over whether it was actually Santa, or just their father. Well, let's look at the evidence: Does Daddy slide down chimneys? Does he have warlock powers that allow him to teleport himself and others from room to room? Wait, he DOES??? Oh crap kids, your dad's Satan!!!

Anyway, still convinced that Santa's real, Harry hears a noise and sneaks back downstairs to check it out. He finds Mommy being touched and kissed in the fa-la-la's, then he rushes upstairs to calm himself down. Instead, he smashes a snow globe, the picks up a jagged shard of glass from the mess. He cuts his hand, and the credits begin.

As the movie resumes, Harry is seen as a middle-aged man with a serious Santa fetish. His pajamas are a Santa suit, his bedroom is decorated for the holiday 10 times over, and he even pauses before his morning shave to admire his shaving-cream beard.  Imagine the creepiest pedophile-guy you can imagine, then multiply the creepy level by infinite, and you've got Harry.

No wait, our pal Harry just got creepier. He went up to his roof with a pair of binoculars, and watched children through their apartment windows, to determine which ones were naughty or nice. Yeah, nothing abnormal there...Aw geez, then he writes it all down in a journal. He doesn't have a human head collection somewhere, does he?

As it turns out, creepy Harry spends his days working at the Jolly Dreams toy factory, building toys on an assembly line. And not even fun toys, but piles of plastic with no movable parts. I'd go crazy too, if I were in his place.

Harry starts to get tense and frustrated, and cuts his hand with a toy's sharp edge. At the end of the day, he decides to go to a bar called The Odd Couple Lounge, and throw back a few with Felix and Oscar.(See, kids, there was this comedy called The Odd Couple, and--oh, just go look it up!) I guess the cut wasn't serious enough to get it checked out... Before he even gets in the front door, he hears a co-worker bragging about how he duped Harry into working late. Harry rushes home to have a tantrum, then has flashbacks to his childhood, while being a peeping Tom at someone's house.

The next morning, Harry gets lazy, and watches the Thanksgiving Day parade while having breakfast on the couch. He calls his brother, and tells him that he has plans for Christmas. Then Harry hangs up on Billy to watch Santa appear at the end of the parade.

He steps into the bathroom to start putting on the Santa outfit, as city worlers are shown cleaning up in the aftermath of the parade. As night falls, he even re-paints his vehicle to look "festive", and makes an ominous-sounding "naughty" list of potential victims. Let's hope he never reads my blog!

Harry stops at one boy's home, then rubs his hands and face in either motor oil or mud, and "marks" the house by leaving an imprint of his hands and face on the wall. As the boy and his mother rush out for Mass, Harry swiftly dives into the bushes. The boy, Mark, sees Harry, and decides to get a closer look. As he nearly gets nabbed and runs back to his mother, she slaps the boy for lying. Then they leave.

Harry returns home, revealing his own "workshop", where he makes weird toys. Then he goes to the annual office Christmas party. There, he discovers that the factory is donating their cheap-ass toys to hospitals. Harry storms out, then steals toys off of the assembly line, and fills a sack with them for his role as Santa.
He fills 2 other sacks with dirt. Oh, and he Super-glues his Santa beard to his face. Watch that for his super freak-out in the mirror.

Now totally crazy, Harry goes to young Mark's house, and leaves him a sack of dirt and a silly picture. Wow, that'll show him! Oh, and he vandalizes most of the gifts beneath the tree. Party animal.

Next up, Harry visits a hospital with Mark's gifts, A doubtful night watchman won't let him in, but several staff members buy into his Santa Schtick, and he leaves them smiling.

He sees several well-to-do people leaving a midnight mass, and a few closest to him mock his appearance. Harry retaliates by killing one with a long pick to the eye, and using an ax on the other 3. Then he drives away again as the rest of the crowd screams.

Harry eventually pulls his van over to calm himself down, and decides to walk for a while to clear his head. He finds a dance going full swing, and is ushered inside by some of those in attendance. So much for a clear head.

Several children surround him, so Harry gives them gifts. Then he dances for the group. Before he leaves, he tells everyone to be good, and they'll get good presents. But, if they get naughty, he promises to bring them something "horrible", which brings a tense silence to the room. He ends with a laugh, though, so it's all good.

Harry finds a ladder, and climbs up to someone's roof. He gets stuck in their chimney, but finally manages to squeeze his way back out again. He breaks in through the basement instead, and moves through the place until he arrives in the living room.

It turns out to be the home of the co-worker who made him work late, so he suffocates the guy with his bag of toys/dirt/whatever, then stabs the wife in the chest. Loud screams send him running away.

On Christmas Day, Bill and his wife hear about the killing spree the previous night, and assume it was Harry. After yelling about how best to deal with the situation, they still have no ideas. That whole scene was useless filler.

Harry goes back to the toy factory. Why? Because he wants to run all the conveyor belts at the same time. Why??? Well, because then Harry can watch as all of the crappy toys hit the floor and break. Perfectly logical!

The police arrange a line-up of killer Santa suspects. Totally not joking, I swear. Funniest scene in the damned movie. I wish this one scene could be a movie. "Number 3, step forward. Now chuckle like your tummy is a bowl full of jelly!" "Number 5, yell out 'Merry Christmas!"

Harry calls his brother, and rants and raves. Then he sees himself in a mirror. After a statement about dying, Harry heads out again. He finds a house surrounded by flourescent snowmen and reindeer, then begins to walk around among them.

A group of children see him, and their parents realize who he is. One angry father pulls out a switchblade, but Harry gets the weapon from him and escapes as the angry adults chase him. One old biddy even pokes him in the face with a brooch.

Somehow, the group end up with torches, and it becomes a Frankenstein-style pursuit. Harry barely escapes in his van, and goes to Bill for help. Angry at Harry for the trouble he caused, Bill strangles him until he passes out.

Bill panics, the stuffs Harry's body into the front seat of his van. Thing is, Harry wakes up and gets away yet again. With everyone chasing Harry again, he drives the van off of a bridge....where it flies away toward the moon. Literally. THE END

Well, that was....different. Not really a slasher, but not sure what genre it really fits. Odd. 2 killer trees out of 5, and one of those points goes entirely to the police line-up bit. Comic gold.

And what did I learn from Christmas Evil?

-Cars can fly.

-Santa prefers basements over rooftops.

-Toys made here are cheap plastic crap. Like most supermodels!

Next on my list is something called Dark House. Oooooh, scaaaary!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Chopping Mall

Today's SAW, Chopping Mall, is also known by the title Killbots, in some regions. THE END...Wait, what? I still have to watch it? Fine. But you guys are paying at least part of my therapy bills. Oh...and "SPOILERS"!

The first scene shows a thief preparing to steal all of the treasures that Link fetched for Zelda over the past few decades. He smashes the display case to smithereens(Yay! I got to use "smithereens" in a sentence!), then grabs handfuls of jewels, and stuffs them away. He boldly walks away with a huge shit-eating grin plastered on his face, until a voice orders him to stop.

The voice belongs to a security robot, which I while now attempt to describe: Imagine Stewie Griffin's head encased in metal, KITT the talking car's red front panel as the "eyes" of the robot, and Johnny 5's body from those Short Circuit movies. That monstrosity is a Killbot, ladies and gentleman, in all of its' 1986 glory. Forget it, yer payin' for ALL of my therapy bills!

The dumbass thief shoots at the robot, but aims at the place where it would have feet. Yeah, because you wouldn't want to shoot out it's electronic eye, or its' claw-like hands. Hell, just hopping on top of it and bashing it with the butt of the gun would cause more damage than what this guy did.

The guy  runs around a corner, passing a McDonald's and a nondescript "Vitamins" store. Irony, or coincidence? The robot shoots a taser into the back of the fleeing criminal, and we discover that the whole thing was a demo reel, in an attempt to try to sell the security guard robots to investors and mall  owners.

An attractive blond steps up to a podium, and introduces the audience to the president of the corporation that developed the technology, and he in turn unveils 3 prototypes that will soon be "guarding" the local mall they happen to be using for the demonstration. A skeptical couple in the audience refer to the robots as Moe, Larry and Curly.

Then there are concerns among the crowd over how the security 'bots would know the difference between, say, a thief and an average schmoe who just happens to be working late. One of the robots is activated, and the corporate guy uses an ID tag to identify himself to the robot. He then assures the crowd that "absolutely nothing" would cause the robots to go against their programming. Gosh, is that a note of ironic foreshadowing in the script?

Then the title and theme music start up. The scenes in the credits montage show how "wacky" malls can get: the film being sped up, meals getting spilled, a guy tripping on an escalator when several beauties in bikinis travel in the opposite direction. Yup, those malls sure can be zany locations, huh?

Anyway, the story resumes at the imaginatively-named "Restaurant". There, we meet Alison and Suzie, 2 blond waitresses. Suzie is trying to convince Alison to go on a double-date with her that evening, but Alison isn't too sure about going.

We leave them for a short bit of nonsense involving the technician who switched on the security robot earlier. After several lightning strikes, he tries to concentrate on a newspaper crossword puzzle, and is oblivious over the number of times the lightning hits near the mall and the mall's power lines. Nice job,'re going to live a long, full life.

His control panel begins to smoke. He freaks out and turns around, only to realize that one of the robots "woke up", and is ready to attack. It plunges a prod through him, and he exits the movie. Farewell, generic technician guy, your work here is done...

*moment of silence*

Okay enough of that nonsense, we need to return to the movie's nonsense. As more lightning strikes try to destroy the mall and the city it was constructed within, 3 more characters are introduced: Ferdy, Greg and Mike, a trio of young fellers who work in a clothing store. They also discuss a newlywed couple who are meeting up with them and their dates for an after hours party in the mall, Rick and Linda.

Speaking of Rick and Linda, they're stranded by the side of the road, because something's wrong under the hood of their pickup truck(According to the side of the vehicle, they operate an auto repair business together...). Rick tries to fix the engine, until Linda pushes him aside, then repairs it in seconds. They kid each other about who has the best skills to do the job right, then hurry off again to meet up Suzie and the  rest of the late-night revelers.

As the mall prepares to close for the night, Mike sneaks up on his girlfriend Leslie, and gives her an embrace and a kiss. She seems to like it, but her father is less than thrilled to see them together like that. Leslie lies to Dad, claiming that Mike was going to gallantly escort her to a birthday party for Suzie, but the old man still acts like a crab towards both of them. Dagnabbit! Consarnit! Flibberty-gibberty! Get off my lawn, you kids!

After a brief, unsatisfying scene in a womens' locker room, we see a guy in a lab coat walk into the security room, looking for Marty, the guy who was impaled. This is technician Nessler, and he's played by the grossly underrated Gerrit Graham(Seriously: check him out in CHUD II or the defunct television series Now and Again. He's a very gifted comedian.), who doesn't even look up as he enters the dark chamber. After eating the remnants of a doughnut that Marty had started on, Nessler sits down at the control panel to read and hang out.

That's followed by a long bit where Nessler gets paranoid, and looks around the room. This happens about 100 times in a row. Finally,  Nessler is killed by one the robots, when a taser gets him in the back of the neck, and yanks his head backwards. Ouch.

The mall party goes into full swing, and Alison and Ferdy are introduced to each other. They get all gushy around each other, and find a nice, dark spot in which to....make small talk. At one point, they almost get drowned out by their friends having sex. Ferdy offers to take Alison home, and she responds by removing his glasses, and cuddling up instead.

One of the janitors, Walter, is then seen mopping up the floor before leaving for the night. A pair of his co-workers walk by, and tease him as they head for the exit. Apparently, past a certain time, the mall doors are sealed automatically, and anyone left inside would have to wait until the next morning to get out again. Gee, that seems like a crappy design, at least for anyone working late.

Walter continues his mopping, unaware of a security robot approaching him from behind. The machine spills his bucket of water, then demands to see Walt's employee badge. Walt shows it, then gets electrocuted while standing in the filthy water puddle. For a brief moment, you can even see a cartoony, silly image of Walt's skeleton as he gets zapped. After he falls down as a smoking heap, Mike and Leslie debate over smoking after sex. Heh.

They get somewhat dressed, and Mike goes looking for a pack of cigarettes. At a cigarette vending machine, he is confronted by a robot, and quickly shows it his ID. He gets tasered, then the robot approaches his body. Leslie shows up soon after to look for her boyfriend, and finds him on the floor with his throat cut.

A security 'bot chases her down the corridor, and her friends hear her frantic screams. Just as Leslie gets back to the store, the psychotic machine blows her head up with a laser beam. Yeah. A laser beam. Then BOOM. Only then do her friends realize that something might be wrong. The surviving group run away, and the robots shoot out the glass storefront to pursue them.

The robots use their lasers to  blow up everything in sight: furniture, counters, lamps,'s like a Seagal film, but the robots are better actors. The teens run into the warehouse area, and then hear the security doors at the entrances slam shut for the evening. They pile as much heavy furniture as they can find in front of the door, then look for another exit.

They find an air duct, and the guys help their dates to climb up into them. Suzie gets claustrophobic, and the other girls try to encourage her to keep moving, lest the robots decide to roast them alive in the narrow space. That doesn't sound like much fun!

The guys, in the meantime, decide to get some makeshift weapons from a nearby sporting goods store. they break in, and go directly over to the handguns and rifles. We get a gun montage(MONTAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), plus they also grab a propane tank. One of them fires a couple of shoots into the air, then they wait for the attack to commence.

One measly robot shows up, but between the 3 of them, they can't seem to make even a dent in it. Ferdy rolls the fuel tank into the path of their opponent, and they aim for that instead. BOOM! goes the robot!

The women hear the ruckus, and Suzie loses her cool yet again. Didn't see THAT coming, huh? She decides to turn back, and rejoin the guys. Tired of listening to her, they all go back. One of the bots hides in a dark corner of the mall to wait everyone out, while the guys load up an elevator with gasoline and weapons.

The security bot that fell onto its' side, manages to get upright again, using its' extenders and gears to push off of the floor. As the 3 men try to rig up a trap in the elevator, the hiding sentry reveals itself to terrorize the women. Suzie continues to be loud and useless, tripping and spilling fuel all over herself. The robot sets her on fire, and they all run away again.

Alison shoots at the elevator, setting off a chain reaction where a tiny explosion occurs, the elevator plummets to the ground, and a much bigger explosion rocks them around. They find a resting spot, yell at one another, then decide to go back out and start the process over again. One of the guys is launched over a ledge, but the rest escape into a large department store. The robots try to trap them by choosing several access points.

While waiting to die, Alison proposes a new plan: Gather several mannequins together, and use them as a blockade to temporarily confuse the machines. The survivors then fire at the kill-bots from behind the mannequins, before running for the zillionth time. The main robots gets fried and blows up, but not before electrocuting both Mike and Leslie(I think). Awwwwwwww!

In the dark corridors behind the main mall, Alison and Ferdy sneak around in different areas, apparently looking for trouble. A robot advances on Alison, and she screams. The sound helps Ferdy to pinpoint her location. Grady shatters the thing's eye plate, and it tries to track him by sound. Alison watches Ferdy get cornered, and he is swiftly dispatched.

Alison hides beneath a display counter, and the killer bot goes away. She makes a noise, and tries to confuse the bot by hiding in a pet store, hoping that the animal noises will mask her own. Then she changes her mind, and decides to dangle on a railing instead. Her hand slips, and Alison crashes into a display beneath the railing.

She must have been injured, because she now limps her way into a paint store. She open many buckets of paint, creating quite a mess on the floor. She waits for the bot to follow her into the mess, then she escapes and lights a flare. After flinging it, the paint shop erupts into an inferno.

Alison stumbles her way to the exit, only to see Ferdy pop up again, very much alive. They exit together. THE END.

A mediocre horror-comedy, saved by a terrific, out-of-nowhere headsplosion. And, hey, it did have an impressive number of victims. Still pretty awful as a movie, though, so I'm giving it 2.75 killer trees out of 5. Bah humbug!

And what did I learn from Chopping Mall?

-Lightning is magic.

-Mannequins are easily mistakable for human beings, what with the similar body heat, range of movement, and all.

-When going to the Mall, remember to stop at the Vitamins Store, get a nice outfit from from the Clothes Store, then finish the day enjoying your meal at Restaurant. Low-budget is fun!

No clue what my next movie will be. Hopefully, it'll be somewhat more coherent than this one was.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Silent Scream

Hey hey! Nope, I'm not dead, just been bombarded with appointments, Thanksgiving, and day-to-day hassles. It's probably just as well that The Silent Scream got pushed until after turkey per week is plenty! Anyway, on with the show, my fellow masochists! Oh, yeah, I almost forgot...blah blah blah, SPOILERS!, blah blah blah.

The credits begin by informing us that Rebecca's Balding. Now, either that's the name of the lead actress, or these are the bitchiest credits in movie history. Somebody send Becky some Rogaine, on the double!

Anyway, after the cast credits wrap up, the title splatters itself in our faces, complete with some comical, over-sized drips of blood. In the background, a police car is seen, along with another car driving close behind. In dramatic slo-mo. Yeesh!

Everybody from both cars arrive at a house that looks like it would be occupied by Holly Hobby, if she were a cannibal. They knock, then bust in and discover bodies and blood upstairs. And then they go bye-bye, with no further explanation of what we just saw. Genius.

The next scene opens on some of the butt-ugliest women of the 1970's interrogating students during a college admission/orientation day. Seriously, there was an outbreak of the fuglies when this sequence was shot! It's not all bad, though: this scene also introduces us to our lead character, a cute coed with the improbable name of Scotty Parker. Hey, even with the weird first name, I'll take her!

Scotty is told that there is no on-campus housing available, so she goes around the city to see if she can afford an apartment. After a montage of dead-ends and rejections, Scotty drives out to the beach, to look for a room at the house we saw in the opening scene. Run away, Scotty, run away!!

As she drives toward the house, Scotty nearly runs over a young man who has the same hairdo as her. Gotta love that decade! Scotty keeps taking her eyes off of the road to gawk at the house, and thankfully, no one dies. Yet...When she parks her convertible, she climbs the porch to the front door in massive, exaggerated steps, like an astronaut hopping around on the moon. Is ANYTHING in this movie normal?

No one answers the door, so she starts to leave. Someone coming up from the beach calls out to her, and we're introduced to Doris, who already has a room at the house. She looks kind of like the "Pat" character from SNL, but she seems nice enough. Oh, and Scotty also discovers that the kid on the bike that she nearly ran over is Mason, the teen son of the homeowner, Mrs. Engels.

After learning all of this, Scotty sees another car pull into the driveway. It's driven by a male student by the name of Peter, also looking for a room. They prepare to fight over it, until Mason reveals that there are enough rooms for everyone. Oh, and there's also a tenant named Jack, but we haven't met him yet.

Oh, and as Scotty looks at her new room, someone is seen peering in at her through a small vent above the bed. Jack? An intruder? Leatherface? Oh, I hope it's Leatherface! And, before I forget, Mason tells Scotty that the room used to belong to his sister. Maybe her ghost is still there...

Mason goes to his room, and removes his shoes before sitting up on his bed. He turns his television on and finds a violent crime drama to watch, then looks like he's ready to have an orgasm. HBO would give this guy a fatal heart attack.

Scotty finishes unpacking her stuff, then knocks on Mason's door to ask if there's somewhere she can put her empty suitcases. He suggests the basement, but Scotty complains that her luggage might get damp. Boo-friggin'-hoo! Mason tells her that she can put them in the attic, as long as she doesn't disturb his mother. Geez, maybe his name should be Norman...

Scotty enters the attic, which is like Ground Zero for creepy shit, and admires the view of the beach from one of the windows. She puts her luggage away on top of some boxes, and then meets Mrs. Engels, a stern-faced woman who just stares her down until she goes back downstairs. Creepy, but at least she's real!

Peter and Doris make small talk outside while waiting for Scotty to get ready for dinner, and a long-haired blond dude pulls up on a motorcycle. This is the elusive Jack, and he introduces himself to Peter. Mason watches them from the shadows, and he looks pretty angry. Then, when all 4 of the tenants leave for dinner, we get an unguided tour of the house, revealing secret tunnels behind the walls. At the end of the passageway, a hand is seen frantically trying to make an opening in the wall...and it finally succeeds. Uhhh, I'm going to predict that this is probably a bad development for our main characters.

At a local hangout, the foursome get drunk and goofy. Doris tells a funny story about how several of the girls at her high school got nosejobs from the same surgeon, who gave them identical noses. That stinks, huh? (Oh, stop rolling your eyes...I know some of you at least giggled a little, right?)

Back home, Doris and Peter have a drunken squabble on the beach, over whether or not they're going to have sex. Jack escorts Scotty to her door, and they share a kiss while Mason watches them. In a moment that has to be seen to be believed, Mason's not just peering at them through a crack in the door; no, his ENTIRE HEAD is visible when the camera reveals him. And the best part? He's making a face like the "sneaky snake" office character from MadTV. This movie is cinematic gold, my friends.

Doris and Peter realize that the tide has come in fairly quickly, meaning that they'll have to get their feet wet to get home. Doris swiftly removes her shoes and starts walking, only to realize that he's not following. She returns to the spot where he sat down to take off his shoes, but only his jacket remains.

Scared, Doris decides to make a run for the house, only to have Peter pop up and frighten her. He laughs at her, so Doris slaps him and continues to the house. Peter just laughs some more, then falls onto his back in the sand. He wakes up when the water reaches him and backs away to a dry spot, only to be stabbed in the chest several times by an unseen maniac holding a biiiig kitchen knife. The killer then hides the body beneath a large sand castle sculpture, leaving one blood-drenched arm visible.

An autopsy is performed on the body, and the 2 detectives who escorted the uniformed officers in the first scene are there to watch. The larger of the pair, Manny, looks like a portly Groucho Marx. His partner, Sandy, looks like any generic television cop from the era. They talk about the case, then Manny leaves to question the houseguests. Wait, is an announcer going to pop up and announce that this is a "Quinn Martin Production" soon?

Nope. Okay, so we return to the house. The interviews go nowhere, until Detective Sandy talks to Mason. They discuss the tenants, his mother...and his mysterious sister. Despite his creepiness, the cops leave. Then he and his mother have a very brief, tense chat. Upset, Mason opens up a chest filled with his late father's belongings, and paws through all of it.

On the college campus, Scotty bumps into Jack. They start out flirting, until Jack suggests that they go for a swim later, on the beach where Peter was slaughtered. Scotty is understandably upset by his nonchalant attitude regarding the murder, but ends up going with him. In what universe does this seem like a good idea?

On the bright side, she looks great in a bikini. Too bad Peter towels her off like he's punching a side of beef. Meanwhile, the detectives are pressured to solve the murder quickly, by the victim's father. Then Scotty and Peter make out on the beach.

Mason finds the rapiest movie on the Rape Channel to get off on, while Scotty reads before bed. After another brief cop chat about a rape, Scotty finds Doris doing some laundry. After Peter sneaks up and scares her, Marty and he decide to snuggle.

While sitting with her laundry, Doris hears a noise. She explores the rest of the basement, and hears her friends having sex via one of the air vents. Their sounds of passion cover up her murder, which makes zero sense to me. But at least we know that Jack isn't the killer!

He returns to his own bedroom after the lovemaking, and puts on some headphones bigger than his own head, to listen to music(or signals from a distant planet, if the size of them is a factor in their signal strength...) Then the crazy, not-dead daughter is shown watching her mother sleep, posing in front of a mirror, and interacting with a corpse that I think is supposed to be Doris.

Scotty goes looking for Doris, but ends up wandering throughout the creepy house in the dark. She finds the secret passage, and is assaulted by the crazy sister, which wakes up the rest of the household. Mama and Mason hold down Scotty to silence her, as Peter goes in search of the source of the earlier noise.

Peter leaves the attic to look elsewhere for Doris and Scotty, and the Engels' panic over what to do. Oh, and the sister's name is Victoria. We find out in a flashback that Victoria tried to hang herself. Oh, and that Mason is her son. Ummmm.....okay.....?

Mason freaks out, leaves the attic, and knocks out Jack. Then he grabs his grandfather's military pistol. At about the same time, our lunkheaded detectives discover the truth, and race off to rescue Scotty and Jack. This is turning into a soap opera now!

Wait. It gets better. Mason returns to the attic, but now he thinks that he's his own father/grandfather, and is dressed in the military uniform. He decides to shoot Scotty, but he and his mother struggle over possession of the pistol. Several shots are fired harmlessly around the room, but the last one hits Mason's mother.

Mason approaches the body, then his real mother stares at poor, innocent, tied-up Scotty. Crazy Mama II picks up the butcher knife she used on her other victims, and creeps toward Scotty. Then, in maybe one of the few grimly funny bits in this monstrosity, she sets her sights on Mason instead, and makes a beeline for his back.

Scotty tries to shout a warning to him through her gag("Mmmmmphnnn!"), and he turns around, but his gun is now empty. He backs away to reload it, shoots Victoria, then kills himself with a bullet to the brain.

Jack comes to, just as Scotty frees herself. Then Victoria pops up again, and tries to finish off Scotty, who just barely bars her striking knife by slamming a door between them. Victoria bursts in at the exact moment that Jack breaks into the attic, and the 3 just stare at each other for a second or two.

Then Scotty pushes her into a wall, and the knife goes into Victoria's abdomen. The cops "rescue" Scotty and Jack, and the end credits roll over an image of dead Victoria. THE END

Well. That was...a movie. Yup. Let's just give The Silent Scream a nice, average, plain 3. It was the slasher version of vanilla ice cream. I did like Scotty, though. Cute actress.

So, did The Silent Scream leave me with ANY wisdom?

-Sand castles don't cover up corpses very well.

-Horny guys will swim anywhere, even in the middle of a crime scene.

-If you want to commit a murder, wait for someone to start having sex first.

My next movie is a cheeseball movie from 1986, called Chopping Mall. Or sometimes Killbots. Whatever. It's goofy by any name. Later!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Stag Night

This week's SAW is one I've never heard of, which could be either a good or a bad sign. Of course, given how my luck's been running, let's assume the worst. On that note, let's watch Stag Night! Yay...?

It all starts with a theme song that sounds like the Halloween theme interpreted by a disco band. No joke. All while the credits are displayed over some type of grid or map. Then we get the following fun fact:

"Over 100,000 people are reported missing in New York City every year. The adults are never looked for..."

Bull. Crap. If they had listed a percentage or something, I might be willing to play along, but  don't just say "never", because it immediately sounds like you made it up, okay? Anyway, we then see a blond woman wearing a blue dress, running along some subway tracks. She's drenched in blood, and afraid of someone or something in hot pursuit.

She finds an exit, but it's barred by a locked gate. She darts in the opposite direction to use an escalator, and starts running up the moving steps. Then the power goes out, and there's something growling behind her in the darkness. She continues to limp upwards, then the escalator reverses direction. No big shock, she eventually gets pulled into the darkness, and a caption tells us that it's 3:29 in the morning.

Now we get to meet our lead characters, a group of drunken buddies having a bachelor party before one of 'em gets married in a few hours. Nice. They better move quick. Anyway, first  we meet our nervous groom, Mike, and his bride-to-be Claire. She calls to check up on him, and he assures her that everything is going just fine.

Wouldn't you know it, just as the words leave his mouth, the rest of his group emerges from a strip joint, in the middle of a brawl. There's Tony, Mike's brother, who has a bad reputation; Joe, a kind of whiny guy; and Carl, a bit of a player, who instigates the others into following him to another strip joint that they'll get to via the subway. There were supposed to be 2 strippers joining them, but Mike noticed them slipping away while he was chatting with Claire.

They jump over the subway stiles, and still barely make it into the subway train before the doors shut. Then they spot the 2 women who ditched them earlier, Michele and Brita. Carl boldly approaches Michele, so Tony tries to flirt with Brita. How does it go? Well, Carl charms Michele, while Brita quickly tires of being called "bitch" every time that Tony opens his yap. Yeesh.

Mike and Joe watch the antics, then Mike asks him to hold onto the wedding ring. He admits sheepishly that he still hasn't found a way to let his brother know that he chose someone else to be his best man. Wow, what an idiot. And, to make him look even worse, he's wondering if he even chose the right girl to marry. Can we vote to somehow kill him first?

As they continue to second-guess their future lives, neither one notices that Brita and Tony have escalated the tension to the point that she finally maces him. At the same time, the guy steering the subway train stops briefly at an intersection. They pry the nearest door open, and Tony steps off to see if some "fresh" air will help with his blurred vision. The others exit as well, which seems pretty stupid, considering that some of them should have remained on to let the operator of the train know what was happening. He just assumes that it was a glitch that made the door light come on, and shuts it before the group can react.

The train takes off again, stranding the group in the tunnel. They find exits blocked off by locked gates, similar to the situation the blond was in during the opening scene. They wonder if they should wait for help, but a newspaper informing them about the Watergate scandal convinces them to choose a better plan. None of their phones work, and they also discover that the floor tiles underneath them are pretty flimsy, revealing a nasty fall to another chamber even deeper under the ground.

Everyone decides to risk walking through the tunnel to the next stop, except for Michele and Carl. Michele is afraid to enter the tunnel because there might be rats, and Carl has opted to keep her company. He shares a joint with her, as soon as the rest start to leave.

The tunnel group, on the other hand, remind us that stepping on the third rail on the track will lead to a painful electrocution. Foreshadowing much, movie? As expected, most of the initial dialogue is more bickering between Brita and Tony. Exciting stuff.

The group then compares college and employment history(and, in Joe's case, baby pictures on his phone), and, no surprise, Tony has very little of either to brag about. Not that that stops him from mocking Brita when she says that she was a history major. They exchange a few more retorts, then a sudden cry in the distance stops them all in their tracks. They don't see anyone, but a decision is made to pick up the pace.

Carl and Michele, on the other hand, are sucking face like horny teenagers after the prom. An unseen stalker closes in on them, with cat-like reflexes and stealth. Whoever they are, they get close enough to steal Michele's money and identification before they even get noticed. Carl chases the perp, who darts through a small opening in a wall. Great, so it's probably a kid. Am I supposed to be feel bad that a homeless child is being threatened, or am I rooting against the kid, in case he's some kind of feral monster? Tell me how to react, movie!

Carl lets out a yelp, then goes silent. When Michele calls to him, then decides to investigate, Carl leaps back into view, revealing that the child bit him deep enough on the hand to require stitches. Michele treats the wound, while he just gets mad and complains. Okay, so it's fine to root against the kid. Die, Junior!

Then it's suddenly 4:15 in the morning. The group in the tunnel are beginning to get weary, so Brita shows off her history degree by telling how the term "stag night" originated.  Apparently, warriors, on the eve before their marriage ceremony, were sent off into the wild to hunt. Those who killed and brought back a stag for a feast were worthy of marriage. The one who weren't were presumably killed by their prey(...or just said "Screw this!", and left to enjoy being a bachelor a bit longer...).

Right on cue, they see a couple of guys either trashing some vending machines, or possibly assaulting somebody unseen in between the machines. A cop arrives to arrest the vandals, and he immediately gets attacked and killed.They all watch the savage killing in silence, until Tony drops something and draws the attention of the killers. The group tries to stand still and let the shadows camouflage them, but a bright spotlight comes on, and reveals them. And thus, the chase begins.

Only one of the killers decides to pursue them...the other remains behind to continue stabbing the cop with a spear. At an intersection, the frightened runners take the right-hand tunnel, which looks like it might be better lit, and hopefully lead to more people. 3 of the homeless predators show up soon after, but hesitate at the intersection as well. They eventually travel to the left.

 Back to our couple. Carl tries to force a locked gate open by kicking it, but that doesn't work. A blurry shape runs in front of them, and Carl runs after it, convinced that it's the kid that bit him. Just as he starts to relax, one of the crazy hunters leaps at him, driving 2 blades into him, and pulling them across his chest in a "V" pattern.

Michele screams and runs away, and tries to get her phone to work near some type of grating. She dials 911, but is grabbed and pulled away before she can send the call. She drops the phone right under the grate. Great.(heh, pun not intended...) Kill the 2 least annoying members of the group, and torture the audience with the remaining pathetic group.

Those other folks take a break to catch their breath, and discuss whether or not to try to go back for Michele and Carl. Excuse me, that plopping sound was my ass falling off from laughter. Then, just like Hansel, Gretel, and Goldilocks, they discover a dwelling in the middle of nowhere. Gollum probably lives there. Or Man-Thing.

Inside, numerous dogs scare them shitless, then they uncover an array of rusty weapons. The dogs alert them that someone else has arrived, and they hurry to find places to quickly conceal them. The owner of the shack looks like a mutated Charles Manson, so we'll call him MCM.

MCM looks for the frightened intruders, and even passes by Brita close enough to touch her. Right before he finds them, the other murderers return with the bodies of Michele and Carl, so MCM leaves the house to greet his kinfolk. While the guys stay hidden, Brita decides that it's the perfect time to come out of hiding, and take a stroll through the shack.

They all watch the killers play around with the bodies, then they see Carl slowly open his eyes, seconds before MCM decapitates him in gory fashion. Then they have to watch the bodies get dismembered and mutilated, and one of the crazies manages to attack Brita while she's distracted. Their struggle is heard by the other murderers, and Mikes manages to block the door before they can enter.

Tony finds a switchblade, and stabs one of the creatures in the face with it. They use the distraction to escape, although not before Joe is attacked by both dogs and human killers. But hey, he still gets away! I'm sure he's fine...

They get back to a subway tunnel, but are blocked as a subway train speeds past them. They try to scream and wave, but it's zooming by too fast for any passengers to see them. They duck through a door behind them, moments before the killers catch up to the group and try to cut through it.

The subway train passes, and everything goes eerily quiet. Then the killers stab at the door a few more times. Faced with either facing the crazy homeless hunters, or taking a creepy set of steps further down into the dark, they opt for the spooky steps. "Spooky Steps" was also my nickname at all of the school dances.

They find a sewer tunnel, and resume their hike. Then Brita sees that Joe has a  lot of blood flowing down his arm, but he tells her that he's fine. A helpful caption tells us that it's now 5:20. Wow, this is a long damn movie!

Joe whines that he should have gone straight home, like he wanted to, and Tony tells him to stop whining. During the shouting match that follows, Joe nearly blurts out that Tony is no longer the best man, but Brita shouts them all down, and the voyage resumes. If the killers wait long enough, maybe these guys will all just kill each other.

They arrive at a chain link fence and see bright lights in the distance, so Tony steps through a broken section of it. A figure shows up, so they attack the new guy, who turns out to be an elderly man clinging to a bag of old cans. After apologizing for the assault, they ask the old man how to escape back to the surface, and he replies that there is no escape. Heh, guess they should've been a little bit friendlier!

The old man then spots a small figure darting around the tracks, and Brita catches a glimpse of the figure as well. Mike figures that it's "the kid" again, but wasn't it Carl and Michele who saw the kid, after the group left them?You know what? I'm not watching this a third time to find out. Let it be.

Anyway..."the kid" and the elderly man begin to strike the tracks with blunt objects. Too late, our quartet of lunkheads realize that it's a signal to MCM and his brood to come and take away the intruders. They start at a leisurely stroll, then finally break into a run.

They try to keep their attackers confused to leaving a fake trail down a different tunnel than the one they go into, but Joe screws it all up, by leaving a nice, big bloody clue right at the entrance to their tunnel. What a dumbass.

As the tunnel reveals 2 more possible directions to take, Mike wonders how the killers keep finding them. Joe removes his coat, and shows that he is now covered in his own blood, and too weak to keep up with Brita, Tony and Mike. He tells them to run in one direction, while he leads the hunters the other way.

Joe takes off, and Brita pulls Mike into the shadows to hide while the killers go by. I assume Tony does too, but he seems to have turned invisible in this sequence. Joe actually finds enough energy to run, even though he's a bit delirious, and he barely manages to dodge one of the killers ahead of him. He somehow manages to get ahead of the one who tried to ambush him, then the screen fades to black, and the time jumps to 5:49.

Our last 3 scrappy survivors are still running, although Mike seems to be slowing down. Joe is still going too, but falls onto the tracks. He crawls until he's directly beneath a sewer grating, but his phone still refuses to work. Even when he shouts, the pedestrians right above him never hear a peep. And then our resident psychopaths show up...

As the dog starts to tear into Joe, it appears that Mike can hear him crying out.  Joe sees his child on his phone's screen, then grabs that legendary 3rd rail, frying both himself and the dog  until they're finger lickin' good! Brita, Mike and Tony see the tunnel lights flicker, and figure out what happened. To add insult to (fatal) injury, MCM finds the wedding ring, and decides to take it.

Our last 3 "heroes" finally see what looks like a an exit up ahead. They run toward it, only to realize that it's where they started. When they see the blood on the ground and finally understand that Carl and Michele are dead too, their hearts grow so heavy, that Brita and Mike crash through the floor into the area they spotted earlier through the floor. Oh, and MCM finds and chases Tony.

Tony dodges around a square column, then spots a window. Meanwhile, the homeless hunters try to find Mike and Brita, who are attempting to remain hidden by sitting still. Wait, didn't that concept already fail once? Tony makes too much noise trying to pry the hinges away from the window slats, and the killers come after him. Then Brita freaks out over a huge insect crawling around on her, and that draws the killers back to the holes in the floor. Working as a team, the killers decide that the leader will jump through the floor, while the others will corner Tony.

Tony hides in a bathroom stall as the hunters batter at the door, then they mysteriously stop. He gets unnerved, to the point that he even yells at them, but there's still nothing. Meanwhile, Brita lures MCM out into the open, where Mikes jumps onto him from the ceiling.

Tony batters his attacker(s?) with the the lid from the back of a toilet, but gets slashed from behind. Mike and Brita fare better in their brawl, especially when Brita sees their attacker drop his knife. I'm sure you won't be shocked when I tell you that she doesn't immediately grab the weapon, but instead stares at it while Mike gets his ass kicked for a few minutes.

Oh, and Tony gets slammed into a mirror, and crumples to the ground like a boneless chicken. He weakly grabs a shard on the floor, then stabs his attacker in the leg, right before he gets impaled into the wall, like a bug in a collector's display case. I don't think he's going to make it to his brother's wedding.

While that's been going on, MCM has been holding Mike in a tight bear hug, and is now lifting his head up to a hole in the ceiling to give him a deadly view of an oncoming subway car. When he drops Mike to go after Brita for some variety, Mike sees by a flashing panel on the wall that the track is about to change direction. He somehow lifts the burly killer up to the hole in the ceilingt, and MCM'S skull is crushed as the rail slices through it like an Easter ham.

As it turns out, Tony still isn't dead. He's trying to hold the blade with both hands, and his killer seems to enjoy watching him moan and squirm around. Tony shouts a warning to Mike, then is put out of his misery as his killer gives the blade a final shove that's hard enough to crack the wall tiles around Tony. Then he just leaves Tony up there.

Mike and Brita crawl back up through the ceiling, and Mike immediately thinks it's a brilliant plan to find Tony by shouting his name. Brita warns him about it, then they see a pair of figures up ahead, going somewhere and trying to be stealthy. Uh, and this new duo didn't hear the yelling a few seconds ago? Maybe they should leave the deaf homeless people alone...

Nope, they follow them. After crawling around in more dark tunnels, our not-too-smart couple are nearly frightened into an early grave by some chickens. Chickens? Yes. Mother-plucking chickens. The Dork-namic Duo emerge into the homeless version of a town square.

The homeless community finally take notice of them, and Mike asks one of them if he has a phone. Of course he doesn't but he offers to take Mike back out to the surface. That's awesome, until Mike mentions his murdered friends, and contacting the police. The stranger knocks Mike put, then everyone starts to clang their various pots, pans and other random items together, to send the signal out to the killers. Brita begs them to reconsider, then she's also knocked out cold. The clock returns, telling us that it's 6:20 in the morning.

A brief montage shows one of the killers preparing weapons, cutting at Brita's clothing, and just generally being a dangerous kook. Then Mike wakes up, and finds himself suspended upside-down from a ceiling. Brita also comes to her senses, and finds herself tied to a chair, given a haircut, and wearing the same dress that the first victim had on.

As Mike looks around, he sees the dogs in their pen, and Tony's severed head nearby. He removes his shirt, swings it over his bound legs, then swings himself up to free his legs. After removing the bindings on his legs, he stands up and grabs an ax from off the ground.

As 2 of the goons are slobbering over Brita, Mike throws a canister of fuel into a flaming barrel, and the explosion distracts the killers. The second they leave, Mike enters their dwelling, and unties Brita. Then he lingers at a window, and is somehow surprised when one of the loonies lunges through the glass to grab him. They have a duel outside, Mike kills him, and another one immediately grabs him.

As the second assailant tries to cut off Mike's head, Brita finds a pick ax. She plants it in the killer's skull, then she's stabbed from behind with a machete, and run through. The killer leaves her to die at the window, and then he and Mike have a showdown.

It doesn't start out well. Mike receives several cuts, and then the killer shoves the blade into his side. Mike almost gives up, until he sees the killer wearing the ring he had made for Claire. That motivates him to fight back, and he forces the blade out again, before head-butting his foe. With a final slash, Mikes detaches the killer's head, and leaves it attached to a wall, even as the rest of his body sits in a heap on the ground.

Mike rushes back to Brita, and tries to pick her up. She's dying, but she still asks him about Tony's welfare, and asks about his bride-to-be. Then she actually dies. The final scene shows Mike walking back to (hopefully) civilization, as "the kid" finds the head of  MCM. He picks up a spear and decides to get revenge.

Mike finally gets to an exit to the surface, and calls Claire. She answers the phone, and Mike just listens to her voice with no response. Then that homeless kid kills him. THE END

Nice, huh?

In spite of that lazy ending, the similarities between many of the killers and killing off the two nicest characters together early on, I sort of enjoyed this one. The effects were gory, the cast was decent, the setting was ominous...not too shabby. 3.5 killer trees out of 5, a dumb, but entertaining, slasher flick.

And what did I learn after Stag Night?

-Homeless murderers all look like Mick Foley.

-Some filmmakers reallllly like decapitations.

-When police officers are murdered there's probably no investigation forthcoming, so you and your group of friends should run away from any kind of escape route.

-If movie-time is reliable, then this was the quickest 3-hour movie I've ever seen!

Next up is one from the early '80's, The Silent Scream. Sounds fun!

Friday, November 2, 2012


If time travel ever becomes a possibility in my lifetime, I'm going to return to the late '80's/early '90's, to rescue several slasher franchises from doom and obscurity. So that means, if any of you have any knowledge of physics and the work of Einstein, welcome aboard! See, that would give us a shot at seeing franchises involving Dr. Giggles, Cropsey, the Cupid-masked killer, Horny the Clown, romance-despising miners, and teens brainwashed by today's baddie, Trickster. That would be like dying and going straight to Slasher Heaven!

Anyway, yes, today's movie features a villain who only ever got to scare us in 1 story, Brainscan. It's also a film that probably looked date during the theatrical run, due to the reliance on dated computers and video game gimmicks. But it might still be fun! Get ready for SPOILERS to follow....

The opening sequence cuts between a car wreck and a teenager having a nightmare. His mother was behind the wheel, and she kicked the bucket. He lived, but his leg was mangled, giving him a limp. He's getting restless as he sleeps, remembering how terrible his injury looked, then calling out to his mother.

He wakes up to the sound of the phone ringing, It's Kyle, his best bud, and he's reading about an interactive horror game called Brainscan. Oh, and our protagonist is named Michael. As Kyle reads the game description to Michael, Mikey wanders over to his bedroom window to check on the girl next door. She's putting on some makeup, then she stands up and begins to undress. Kyle yells at Michael, and it ruins the moment. Oh, and her name is Kimberly.

Michael ends the chat with Kyle, and has his PC dial up Kimberly. As she picks up the phone, he disconnects the call. Chicken! Michael cheers up by calling Brainscan, to order the game. The rep on the line is very vague about the plot, and says that the game uses your subconscious brainwaves to tailor the game just for you. Michael scoffs, and receives an electric pulse through the PC that gives him a seizure.

After that passes, the customer rep promises that the first disc will arrive very soon. Michael tries to call them again, but can't reach their office a second time. Oh well...he can wait like the rest of us.

At school the next day, Mike and Kyle are introducing an Italian horror flick to the other members of their "Horror Club", which seems to be a somewhat popular after school activity.  As their selection starts to get gory, the school principal storms into the room, and turns the video off. Oops...

In his office, the principal lectures Michael about how depraved he and his horror films are, and bans the Horror Club from school grounds. The only way he'll allow the club to reconvene, is if Michael gives him the next movie or game to preview first. Michael skulks away to go home.

Along the way, he sees a crime scene in a neighborhood somewhat close to his own. A puddle of blood makes him recall his own life-shattering car accident, until the lead detective at the scene snaps him out of it. After a few questions, the detective tells him to scram.

In the mailbox, Michael finds that Brainscan has arrived. That was fast! He boots up the game, after listening to a phone message from his dad. After putting the CD in, he tells Igor to intercept any and all phone calls. As luck would have it, Kimberly chooses that night to call him. Poor guy can't catch a break!

The game's startup screen appears, featuring an image of the game's mascot, Trickster. Trickster has bright red hair coiffed up and teased like a member of Duran Duran, fangs, and glowing neon eyes. He tells Michael to stare at the eyes while the game is calibrating, and gets angry when he cracks a joke.

As Michael settles down, Trickster tells him that the disc in his computer is the first in a series, and that each one must be completed before he gets the next one. The time limit on the first disc is 2 hours, and Trickster informs him that he needs to think like a killer to win. Sheesh, this sounds more like work than a game! And for only 2 hours of gameplay?

After all of that, Michael is prompted to click on the word "PLAY" to begin Brainscan. Duh. The monitor flickers, a countdown clock begins ticking the seconds away, then Michael's world goes spinning, like Lindsay Lohan walking a straight line. When it stops, Michael is outside, in a different neighborhood.

As Michael gets his bearings, Trickster instructs him to open the front gate of a nearby house, and then walk into the house. He has the teen grab a butcher knife from the kitchen and go to the second floor, where he finds the homeowner asleep in bed. Under the curious gaze of the man's cat, Michael waits until the guy rolls over onto his stomach, then proceeds to plunge the knife into his back several times.

With the weapon stuck between his shoulders, the man tries to crawl away, but winds up trashing his own bedroom instead. Michael is told to make sure that's he's dead, then encouraged to saw off one of the feet as a "trophy" of his first kill. The game's timer reveals that he had less than 10 minutes of game-time left to complete the task. Phew!

The next day, Michael lets Kyle in on how intense his first session was with Brainscan. Kyle asks to borrow the game, but Michael tells him that he wants to play it a few more times first. Before the conversation can turn into a disagreement, they get distracted by a squad car hurtling down the road past them.

That evening, Michael tries to boot up the disc again, but it doesn't seem to work anymore. The girl next door arrives home at that point, so Michael decides to put his libido ahead of his gamer status. Gathering up his courage, Michael  walks next door to talk to an actual, living, breathing girl. He's like the Braveheart of geek society.

Kimberly's parents act like Michael is carrying a plague or something, but let him wait for her in their living room. Her mother turns on the local news, and all 3 hear a story about a man who was murdered in a nearby house, and Michael recognizes the house from his game. Whoops! Michael panics, and quickly returns home, asking Kimberly's parents to tell her that he stopped by.

When Michael gets back home, he hears the part about the severed foot on the news. Double whoops!! Michael limps his way to the scene of the crime, where a huge crowd of gawkers has arrived. Michael sees his bike leaning in front of the garage door, but is stopped by the same detective from the other crime scene, before he can get to it.

Michael goes home again, and finds the severed foot in his fridge. He tries to call the company behind Brainscan, only to be told by an operator that the company doesn't seem to exist. They call him as soon as he hangs up. As the teen demands answers, Trickster explains that Michael did all of it himself. Then the game icon teleports himself into Michael's bedroom, building himself a body several pixels at a time.

With a flourish, Trickster formally introduces himself to Michael. He claims that Michael invited him in, perhaps hinting at a vampiric nature, or maybe that he can possess the teen, like a demon. Then he trashes Michael's collection of game and music CD's, before producing one of his own out of thin air.

After the initial nonsense, Trickster tells Michael that the murder was real, and that he did stab and dismember the victim, as Trickster watched from the sidelines. Then Trickster gives Michael his next goal in the game: to get rid of 2 witnesses. Trickster admits that he counts as a third witness, but that he could be tortured and disfigured, and would never tattle. He demonstrates his loyalty by slitting his own throat, then snapping off his fingers one by one, without batting an eyelash. Speaking of eyes, Trickster removes his own.

Michael tries to get details about the witnesses from Trickster, but is only told that the second disc has all of the information that he'll need to complete his second task. Trickster also says that only playing the entire game will provide all of the answers. Then the creature vanishes, presumably back into the game.

Michael grabs a shovel and buries the foot in the forest...or tries to, at least. A dog snaps it up and runs away, with Michael close behind. The dog gets away, but returns when Michael doesn't chase it. The teen pleads with the dog over the foot, claiming that he'll never ask for a favor ever again, in exchange for the return of the foot. This being a movie, that actually works.

As Michael prepares to bury the foot, the dog's owner shows up. Luckily, they both go away, and Michael runs in the opposite direction, Amazing how this guy can barely walk in some scenes, but manages to be a track athlete in others.

Back in his house, Michael decides to burn evidence in the fireplace. There's a knock on the front door, but it's just Kyle. Michael apparently skipped school for his little adventure, and the murder is huge news in the community. Kyle wants to come in and give Michael all of the details, but gets brushed off several times before taking the hint to go away.

Michael cranks up some heavy metal and gets into bed, but someone else rings his doorbell later that evening. It's Kim, the girl of his wet dreams! He lets HER into the house, and she reveals that she went to his teachers to get the assignments he missed that day. When Kimberly brings up his impromptu visit the other day, he claims that he was looking for some info from a class. He's then reminded that they don't have any classes together...

They both get all shy and stupid around each other, and Kim gives Michael his mail. Wait, who's stalking who in this scenario? Michael then repays her kindness by kicking her to the curb. Proving that women love a bad boy, Kim tells Michael to call her. Nice guys really do finish last. Frustrated by the way the visit ended, Michael trashes his textbooks. See that, kids? When your class doesn't have enough books, and you're forced to share with that kid with the headgear and the funky hair, now you know who to blame!

In the middle of the night, Trickster pays Michael another visit.  He admonishes the kid for not playing the second disc, until Michael confesses that he destroyed it. Giving Michael a fangy grin, Trickster conjures up an unmarked disc for him to play the game on. When Michael threatens to take the game to the police, Trickster calls his bluff. Michael gives in, and takes the disc.

Before he inserts the second disc of the game, Michael sets up a camera to record what happens during the second session. The game starts with the same tunnel thingy, then Michael finds himself still in front of his computer. The game's timer implies that he's squandered away all but the last 7 and a half minutes of gameplay.

He checks the video, and watches himself get up, mesmerized by the game, and leave the bedroom. In the freezer, Michael finds this large pendant that Kyle was always wearing, suddenly covered in blood. He calls his best friend, and his favorite cop answers the phone instead of Kyle. Michael hangs up, and has a minor hissy fit.

Kimberly drops by his house again, and looks like she was on the losing end of a brawl with her hairbrush. Michael invites her inside, and she shows him a petition Kyle had put together to save their horror club. Kimberly gives Michael a hug, and they get sad together.

On the latest news report, the detective finally gets a last name: Hayden. Then Trickster pops up behind Michael, and they argue over the definition of the word "witness", with Trickster claiming that Kyle would have gone to the authorities to report on Michael's recent bouts of erratic behavior. The doorbell rings and Michael goes off to answer it, leaving Trickster behind to channel-surf. The demonic entity settles on The 3 Stooges, and gets himself comfy.

It's Detective Hayden at the door, along with his anonymous sidekick. They tell Michael that the other kids at school thought that he was disturbed, and the detective implies that he recognized Michael's voice over the phone the night before. When they leave, both men agree that Michael's their best suspect for the killings. They also note that he was probably burning evidence in the fireplace, given that it's summer. D'oh!

In his bedroom, Michael discovers that Trickster has been busy, trashing his stuff and eating his food. They have another spat, and Trickster inexplicably conjures up the latest issue of the school newspaper, which features a front page story that Kimberly wrote, based on their visit. Trickster gives Michael the next game disc, and implies that he has 2 choices: Either play the game, or kill himself.

Trickster even starts Michael on his way by providing him with a clue: " the mud..." Michael then decides to go have a necking session with Kimberly, but she turns into the guy whose foot Michael removed. Nice.

In a funny twist, Kimberly decides to come by his house again, but it looks like he might be out. Detective Hayden's staking out the property from a distance, using a pair of binoculars. It turns out that he is home, because he hurls the school paper at her through his upstairs window. Then he cranks his music up to drown out her voice.

After Kimberly leaves, Detective Hayden quietly enters the house to investigate. He bags up some of the fireplace ashes as evidence, then he also exits, to round up a posse to hunt for the foot, and maybe more bodies. At about the same time, Michael plays the latest chapter of the game.

He finds himself outside Kyle's house, and discovers his own footprints in the garden. Michael brushes the dirt around to destroy the evidence, then realizes that a CSI guy is inside, dusting for prints. Trickster somehow calls Kyle's number(???), and tells the investigator that there's an intruder outside the house.

Michael runs away, but is spotted. A brief chase ensues, and Michael unwittingly gets himself trapped between the evidence collector and the posse of townsfolk. He dodges into some bushes, and narrowly avoids being caught by a cop with a flashlight. A sound in the bushes brings the guy back, but it's only a raccoon.

Michael tries to be more stealthy, but is ambushed by his principal. He escapes by getting a pile of bricks to topple over onto his assailant, and just manages to evade the posse by hiding in a house under construction. The nosy dog finds him again, so Michael makes a second bargain with the animal. A shootout between 2 of the posse members provides a nice distraction, and he gets to the forest.

A cop stops him, but sends him home, not realizing that he's the person they're searching for. Detective Hayden examines the victim of the shooting, and demands to know how it happened, since he strictly forbade them to carry guns. He looks around, but fails to see his prey's getaway.

Kimberly notices though, and she gets Michael's attention. He stares at her, then enters his home without a word. Trickster congratulates him for all of the mayhem that occurred, but Michael tries to ignore him. After Trickster has a somewhat amusing tantrum, he tells Michael to kill the final witness to complete the game: Kimberly.

In the morning, Michael decides to confess to Hayden, but Trickster stops him. He's given a final choice: Either he kills Kimberly, or he kills himself. Michael has Igor connect to Brainscan for the last time, and Igor bids him a sad farewell.

Michael sneaks into Kimberly's bedroom, and watches her as she sleeps. As Trickster orders him to kill her, Michael stabs the demon instead, but gets his hand wrapped up in the demonic entrails. They struggle, and begin to melt into each other, and the ruckus causes Kimberly to wake up. She sees Trickster eat Michael, then Michael reappears, but with Trickster's eyes.

Kimberly begs Michael to fight for his soul, then she drops a bombshell on him....she watches him, just as much as he watches her. She even reveals that she watches his bedroom window, and shows him dozens of pictures that she took of him. Boy, these kooks are made for each other, huh?

As they confess that they love each other, Trickster comes back. He opens the bedroom door, and Hayden marches in and shoots our would-be hero in the chest. Michael falls to the ground and dies, only to find himself back in his favorite chair, safe at home. A voice from his computer congratulates Michael for completing Brainscan, and advises him to sit and relax as he gets used to reality once more.

Michael ignores the advice, instead throwing open his window like Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas morning. He sees a huge pool party going on at Kimberly's house, and trashes his computer and all of his games in retaliation for everything he just experienced.

Outside, Kyle can be heard banging on the door. Michael rushes outside and hugs his buddy, much to Kyle's alarm. Then he tells Michael that a story on the news claimed that some kid died playing Brainscan, and that he should avoid ordering it. Wow, talk about too little, too late!

Michael decides to ask Kimberly out in the real world, but her friend Stacie tells Michael that she's inside with her boyfriend. As Michael heads inside, Kyle flirts with Stacie. Awww, everyone gets a happy ending!

Michael finds his crush-next-door, and asks her on a date. Kimberly starts to say no, but it turns into a definite maybe, which makes Michael go all soft. Then she further messes with his head by kissing him. Before he leaves her room, Michael sees that she really was photographing him from her bedroom window! Okay, why is the movie messing with our heads right before the ending?

At school, Michael gives the principal his copy of Brainscan. As the teen leaves the office, he glances back, only to see Trickster appear behind the principal's desk. They grin at each other, then Trickster glares at his next "victim" as the door shuts. THE END?

Nope, not quite. Trickster interrupts the credits to show one last scene...That pesky dog shows up at Michael's house again, and he's holding the severed foot in his mouth. The foot that only existed in the game. He drops it in front of the house, and the movie ends for real. Yeah.

Well, the ending kind of ruins it, but the premise was a fun one. I could have definitely seen this as a franchise, with Trickster's appearance and the game's story changing from player to player. Maybe they can do a remake, and change the dumb ending as well. 3.5 out of 5, with points lost for the ending and the outdated technology in the film.

And what did I learn from Brainscan?

-Life-altering injuries can be switched on and off like a light bulb.

-Voyeurism is innocent and cute.

-Dogs are dirty, rotten snitches!

Barring any further hurricanes or computer glitches, my next movie is either Stag Night or The Silent Scream. I really need to catch up!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Don't Go In The Woods/Paintball

This week's SAW is a slasher/musical, and it's called Don't Go In The Woods...not to be confused with an early-'80's slasher that had a similar title, but with"...Alone!" added to the end. Will it be music to our ears? Will it be tone-deaf? Well, let's get down to our SPOILER-filled viewing, and find out!

The very first scene shows us those woods, and there's a young woman limping through them, covered in blood. A hand grabs her shoulder, and she screams as the title comes up. There's a brief shot of her gory remains and an axe, then she goes bye-bye. Yup, now we're in flashback territory....Seriously, why do so many movies do this?

We get an extreme closeup of a pair of eyes that are so milky-looking, this guy almost looks like a corpse. There's talk of omens, and something about a place that is apparently so fantastic, "the guys" won't want to leave. Uh-huh.

A song starts up on the radio, about a country singer who fell in love with another man. It's pretty frickin' funny, even after it turns to be a song about loving Jesus. The large group of guys in this particular van start to pass around a bag of weed, but the one driving tosses it out of his window. The others look pretty pissed, even the blind one seated next to the driver(And why would they give a blind guy the seat with the best view?).

Anyway, these guys are out in the woods to write some songs, in anticipation of a recording contract in the near future. Let's meet 'em: First up is Nick, the lead singer, and the jerk who wasted the weed(oh, and he looks like Elijah Wood); Johnny, the token minority character(though he's Asian instead of black, which is pretty novel); Robbie, the blind musician; Anton, the keyboard player(who sort of resembles Louis, the creepy lab-geek on Dexter); Ahhh, they're singing again, hold on...


Okay, new plan. about 80% or so of this monstrosity is sung instead of spoken, so I'm watching watching something more slasher-y instead: a movie called Paintball, that I found under "Free Movies" on the On Demand menu on cable. The other movie was a train wreck, and the narrative would have been near-impossible to describe, given the ratio of songs to spoken dialogue(or even plot...). Plus, every guy in the band(besides the Asian) resembled Frodo after awhile.

Okay, so let's put that ordeal behind us, and watch Paintball together...

THIS STORY begins with a funny advertisement that features a pair of Russians in military garb. The one in front is pitching a paintball wargame business called Redball Woods. The second soldier, a younger female, simply glares at the camera and fidgets. Every time the male lists a feature of the business, the other one nods her head curtly. Finally, when the male soldier fires paint pellets at the camera, the female starts to grin.

Then we meet our main characters, 8 people who have signed up with Redball Woods to play at being survivalists. All have hoods over their heads, until a recorded voice instructs them to remove the hoods. Then the voice assigns each person a role in the team First, there's David, who is assigned to lead the team into battle; Iris, who is assigned to be front infantry; John, a rifleman taking rear infantry; a wide-eyed brunette named Brenda, who is on tactical support; Eric and Anna, who are assigned as recon scouts; Claudia, who looks excited to be a sniper;    and finally, Frank, who slept through the entire recording, is tasked with being a rifleman. Maybe they can tell him when he's done snoozing...

Okay, so they all start the process of gathering up their crap. Right away, this seems pretty shady...they have pellets that have gone past their expiration dates, some of the equipment and armor seems pretty flimsy, stuff like that. The recording tells them that they have one full day to find and capture 6 flags belonging to the team they're going up against. Also, there's a box at each flag that will supposedly contain items they'll need to win.

As they get ready to play, one of the women thinks that she recognizes another one from a game held the previous year. The other woman denies it, which probably means that she's lying. We'll see, but I'm betting that it'll be a plot twist at some point, that she's a pro dropped into the group. Or something like that.

Everyone leaps out of the vehicle, and they find themselves in a grassy clearing, surrounded by a forest. As a group they run for the trees, and lethargic Frank has trouble keeping up. He looks familiar, but I'm not sure why. I think that my brain is probably fried from seeing so many of these movies.

While they wait for Frank to catch up, the others plot their strategy for capturing the first flag by consulting their map. The position is about 20 minutes away, so David orders Anna and Eric to start moving up the trail, and look for any potential threats. He then asks Claudia to protect their progress with cover fire at any potential threats. Iris and John are told to flank on each side of the group, and Frank gets pissed off about everyone being ordered around. David responds that he's the only one with enough experience to correctly plot out the map, and no one disagrees.

They find what could best be described as a "car graveyard"(Whoa! Flashbacks to Wreckage!), and the enemy team fire on them as they explore the various vehicles. The enemy has them pinned down, so one of the women(Brenda, I think, although it's hard to tell, as they all have masks and goggles on) starts to climb into a bus for shelter. Her gun wasn't firing correctly, which is yet another omen that these folks are in for trouble.

Trying to locate the first flag and the first supply box, Claudia is assigned to climb a hill, to see if she can see anything from a higher position. The rest of them look beneath the vehicles, in the trunks, inside the cars...They find nothing. Even Claudia announces that she doesn't see anything helpful.

Frank, who couldn't keep up with the others a few minutes ago, is now standing on the roof of a car and whining about how little action there is. The other team gets him back by firing a ton of pellets at his position. Heh. They seem to be flanked on all sides, so David orders the team to seek shelter on the bus.

In the middle of all of the chaos, David asks if any of them were able to find the flag or the box, and there are negative replies all around. Then, they all realize more bad news: Claudia isn't on the bus. As they talk trash about the other team, a smoke grenade is hurled into the bus. David orders them to stay on the bus, so as not to expose any of them to the sniper(s?) outside.

The other team waits them out for a few seconds, then another projectile is flung through a bus window: The box! It contains a single item, a bulletproof vest. Claudia shows up, and it turns out that it was her who tossed the box into the bus. After everyone congratulates Claudia on her find, David tells them that they need to leave the bus, so as not to get surrounded. Uh, isn't it kind of too late for that?

Anna and Eric go first, scouting the perimeter as they dodge from car to car. They give the "all clear", and Claudia moves to their position next, using her rifle's scope to search for that pesky sniper. Then David joins them, and the rest follow when he gives the signal, either alone or in pairs.

The other team begins another assault, and one of "our" guys gets shot in the foot with real ammunition. Another member of the team is then shot in the head, and they all start running. That's the smartest thing they've done so far...John, who I think was the one shot in the foot, tries to keep up, but he's limping pretty badly.

John is hit again in the leg, and goes down. As he's attempting to crawl to the trees to hide, he begs his team to return and help him out. He manages to get himself standing again, only to step into a trap, a rope that wraps around his ankle and pulls him up into the air, swinging like a pinata.

While he's twirling around, another soldier is spotted crouching next to a tree. It's David, who moves in for a closer look. John is incredibly grateful, until he realizes that David only wants the vest. Wow, nice leadership qualities.

The rest of the team find a large electrified fence preventing them from leaving. They argue back and forth, with opinions divided over whether the shooters are psychos from another team, or if it's the owners of the business hunting them for sport. Apparently, none of them have seen Hostel. Oh, and Brenda has a breakdown, right before a long-dead human body is found.

John shows up then, and the others ask him how he managed to get the vest. He changes the subject, and starts to give out orders again, probably just to distract them. As they plot a course to the next flag, one of them misfires his gun, making everyone jump.

Hey, now we have a night vision sequence! The villain(or one of them, if it's a team), sneaks up on John and throws small round items at him to wake him up. As John begs for his life, the killer finds a large rock, and props a rifle up against it, directly underneath poor John. A bayonet is attached to the rifle, and the killer walks over to the tree the rope's other end is tied around. He cuts the rope, and John's head is sliced apart like a watermelon.

The other members of the team discover the first flag, but no one wants to risk dying to run out in the open and capture it. They decide that it should be David, since he's now wearing the vest. Ha! Before David can do anything, Anna(I think) offers to retrieve the box instead, with the caveat that whatever she finds belongs to her. Without any further discussion, she darts out of the woods to get the box.

Using a nearby tractor for cover, she quickly snatches up her prize and opens it.  Inside the box, she finds a bottle of some sort(which she quickly tosses away), and a machete. Immediately after, she hears a prowler in the trees nearby, and signals for help from her teammates. Run Anna, run!

As everyone starts a-running again, the enemy fires at each of them in a pretty random fashion. In the confusion, a female character is shot, and Anna accidentally uses the machete to kill a woman who was apparently on another team, as another player shows up to scream at Anna in a foreign language. Anyone else as confused as I am here??? The angry guy blows a whistle to  reveal their location, which just seems bad, no matter who he is.

David asks Anna what the second item in the box was, and threatens her with the machete when she doesn't reply. Lucky for her, Eric arrives to stop him. David then declares that they're taking the foreign guy along as a prisoner. As they march through the grass, Frank complains to Brenda  that they should have tied the stranger to a tree and left him for his group to find, as opposed to forcing him to be their hostage.

Eric tries to ask the stranger some basic questions, but he either doesn't understand, or has decided to play dumb. Brenda then asks Frank to hide in the forest with her, until the game ends. Her theory is that everyone will forget about them, allowing them to escape to safety somehow. Now THAT is the plan of a genius....

Brenda then stumbles and falls, bringing everyone over to make sure that she's okay. In the frenzy, the prisoner vanishes as well. Oh, and even though the map indicates that the next flag and box should be in the area, none of them can find anything. They even speculate that the foreign guy may have hidden things before they captured him.

After another disagreement, David decides that they should just make their way to the fourth flag. The march off in a line, but Brenda, who's last, trips yet again. She hears noises all around her and gets scared, so maybe taking off by herself isn't the best plan. The rest of the group gets further away, and Brenda starts to panic.

In the next scene, she's being shot at, and running through the trees. Uhhh, were some key scenes removed here? When did the team lose her entirely? How do they not hear the shooting? Eh, who cares? Brenda gets hit by a stray bullet, and rolls down a slight incline. Her body ain't moving after that. Oops....

Frank is the first to notice that she's missing. He shouts at the others to stop, but they just ignore him at first. As Frank continues to insist that they stop to find Brenda, Eric finally approaches him and asks him to shut up. Iris pipes up, and tells Eric that Frank is right, and that they should work as a team to find her and do a better job of protecting each other.

All of that just gets Frank riled up even more. He yells ahead to David, asking him how he really got his hands on the vest, and why he gets the machete as well. When he adds that the foreign guy is probably nearby, picking them off one by one, David ambushes him from behind a tree. David then pushes Frank to the ground, holds the machete to his throat, and tells him to stop yelling.

After David marches ahead again, Eric and Anna help Frank to stand up. They also resume the hike, but Frank runs off to find Brenda. Iris announces that she's also going solo, if the next flag is missing. Wow, David sure has some effective leadership skills!

The killer, still wearing his night vision goggles, has decided to see if Brenda is dead or not. She wakes up, sees him, and backs away, weeping hysterically as she realizes her predicament. The killer indicates that he took the box everyone was looking for, and he kicks it in her direction. She opens it, and finds an odd-looking gun, which the killer forces her to pick up.

As they face each other, Brenda tells the killer that she doesn't know what kind of gun it is, or even how to load  the thing. She also admits that she only signed up for paintball because her shrink encouraged her to "try new things". Then Brenda turns away from the killer, and anticipates being shot in the back as she slowly creeps away. When that doesn't happen, Brenda discovers the the killer has vanished. She runs into the forest, more frightened than ever.

David, sensing a threat ahead of the team, silently indicates that they should try to surround and ambush whoever it is. Then we return to Brenda. She's leaning up against a massive stone structure, and she searches the perimeter for a hiding place. Amazingly, she finds a door carved into it, and runs inside.

She yells and shouts, then discovers that the many leaves beneath her are camouflaging a floor made out of porcelain or some other smooth, shiny material. Thinking that maybe there's a structure underground, Brenda pounds on the floor and screams for help. Yeah, I'm sure they'll rush right out.

The killer locates her, and stands at the entrance to the cave. When the movie switches to his perspective, we see that Brenda is surrounded by what look like corpses seated on the floor around her, about 4 of them. She sees the killer and backs away, crashing through a door into a second room. The killer shoots her, and she falls forward, her blood spreading out over the floor, which is clear in this room.

Back to the team. The find the foreign guy, and surround him. After shooting him with paint pellets--and Iris whacking him with her helmet, which she loses by the side of the road--they question him again. He has Brenda's armband on him, and he tells them his name, which is Yurick, but that's it. He breaks loose fast enough to punch David in the face, and David retaliates by stabbing  him with the machete. Alas, poor Yurick, we knew you not at all. David stabs him a second time, this time twisting the blade.

After more hiking, they find out that their outfits are possibly "marked", even the vest. That leads to a decision by the women to remove their camouflage tops. If you ever needed a quick definition of the word "gratuitous", this scene would fit the bill. David watches them remove their shirts, and he's getting to be creepier than the killer.

They spot a flag and a black case at the bottom of a hill, and look for signs that it might be a trap. Since David is being such a whiny baby about sharing the vest, the others tell him that he needs to fetch the items himself. The viewpoint changes to night vision, and the killer stands nearby, preparing to execute David. Someone watching the killer's progress orders him via an earpiece to let David live. Damn!

When the case is brought up the hill, they find that it contains random metal tubes and other components, but no one can figure out how they go together. There are 2 boxes left, and 2 flags. They split into 2 teams, in order to get the items quicker: Eric and Anna  are paired up, and David teams up with Iris.

We follow Iris and David first, where we discover that David spells "team" with an "i". He's going at such a brisk pace through the woods, I'm somewhat amazed that he doesn't say, "Meep-meep!" every minute or so. Iris should've just gone with the others. David does finally slow down, and both he and Iris find Frank.

Yup, Frank. Iris asks David to cover her progress as she sees if she can help Frank. Frank tells her to go away because she's walking into a trap, but she keeps coming to him. The ground beneath her foot starts to tilt, but before Iris can back off, asswipe David grabs her by the head and throws her into the hidden pit. Man, I hope his death is painful...perhaps he can be forced to watch this movie about 200 times! It's shown that Frank's arm was somehow caught in a beartrap.

His arm??? Aw, c'mon movie, how does that even make sense? His foot, sure, but he would've had to have been crawling around for that to happen to his arm. Maybe he was following a trail of M&M's, Pac-Man-style.

Some of the creeps monitoring the mayhem comment that David seems to be aware that there are cameras on him at all times. Well, DUH. Gee, do ya think they know they're being hunted too? The villains decide to kill Frank next, with an explosive mine.

Anna looks like she somehow got herself lost, as she spins around, just gawking at each and every tree. Oh okay...she and Eric have found their case, and are just being cautious. Anna points out a camera positioned above them in a tree, and tells Eric that she's seen several more.

Eric opens the case, which contains more paintballs and a flashlight, but Anna observes that the pellets seem to weigh more than a paint pellet should. Eric places one in his gun, but it shatters when he cocks the gun, splashing his face with acid. Anna tries to clean the side of his face and flush the acid with water, but Eric's injury makes The Phantom of The Opera look like Brad Pitt.

Uh oh....more night vision. The killer has found Iris and Frank, but the controllers of the game order the killer to ignore them. He kills the pair anyway, laughing like a maniac when he bashes Frank's skull in. The owner of RedBall tells the others in the viewing area that the killer going rogue merely makes the hunt more interesting. Oh, and the killer is named Dan.

While Dan is on the prowl, so is David. David sits under a wide tree to remove his outer layer of clothing, then carries it over to a large fall tree, where he crouches and plans his next move. Dan finds his position, and sneaks up on him. David leaves his jacket off, but puts his armored vest on over his shirt, and waits for the killer to reveal himself.

Dan takes some potshots at the log, and David grins. Grabbing his stuff, he stands up, and gets shot in the back. Well, either the vest was a fake, or he was shot somewhere that it didn't cover. David goes for his hunting knife, grimaces, then seems to stop breathing. When Dan gets close, David tries to slice him, but the killer stands on his arm.

As David struggles, Dan puts a knife to his throat, but doesn't finish him off. He instead waits for our favorite idiot to remove another shirt and stand up. Now that both men are armed and standing, After David takes a few wild swings at the killer, Dan delivers a slice to his neck, sending up a spray of blood. Then he falls to his knees.

Dan kicks him over onto his side, as David gags on his own blood. Then the killer removes an explosive mine from his backpack, places it under David's vest, and sets it off by stepping on his chest. Then he repeats the process. Methinks that psycho Dan isn't a "people person", under any definition.

That evening, Anna and Eric get back to the rendezvous point, and get worried when there's no sign of David and Iris. Eric's face looks worse, if that's possible.Anna lies to him, saying that it looks better. Eric gets up to pace around, and gets ambushed. Anna screams his name, but there's no response. After a moment of peace and quiet, Anna hears a woman on Dan's radio, asking for his current location.

Anna follows the sound, then tries to ask the voice for assistance. The mysterious woman calls Anna by her name, then tells her to bury herself in the dirt, explaining that Dan has the night vision googles. When Anna scoffs at the suggestion, Mystery Woman explains that the barrel of her rifle can be removed and used as a breathing tube. If Anna lives 'til morning, the voice promises to give her more assistance.

Although she hates the idea, Anna does as the voice instructs her. It works, and the next morning Anna struggles back to the open air. She puts her gun back together, then the woman calls her to bsay that there's a trap directly in front of her. She finds Iris, and the mystery voice tells her to go back to each and every checkpoint, and gather every spare part from those sites. The pieces, when assembled properly, make a gun.

Anna finds David along the way, and removes the vest from his corpse. She puts the vest on and starts to leave, but her guide tells her that there's something next to David that she needs. There's a series of sequences showing Anna finding bodies and revisiting the various box locations. Several times the voice speaks up, alerting Anna whenever Dan is near her.

As she crosses a rickety-looking footbridge, Anna nearly gets shot. She grabs an overhead rope as one side of the bridge collapses, and pulls herself to the other side. She dodges around the trees, but a stray bullet strikes her backpack. Despite her terror and pain, Anna manages to get to her feet. She limps her way to a house, and begs to be let inside.

Anna circles around to the back, unaware of being observed by the people who bet on the game. The glass is tinted black on the windows and is thick enough to almost drown her voice out, even when shouting. She fires paint pellets at the windows to vent her anger, and the voice calmly tells her that there is a door on the other side of the house.

She gets in, and finds herself in a basement/tunnel area. Another black case reveals the last machine piece, as well as a series of forged death certificates assigned to each member of her team. The voice tells her that the killer is close, and suggests that she should stand in front of one of the 2-way mirrors, because he'll confuse her for an audience member if she just stands still and watches him.

Dan decides to start firing at the observers, and Anna takes advantage of his distraction to get on the floor and assemble the gun parts. Then she leaps to her feet, pulls the trigger, and....nothing happens. That one stray bullet must've damaged some of the gun parts, because it's only making a hissing sound now.

Dan pulls his trigger, but he seems to be out of ammo. Excuse me if I giggle loudly now. He draws his hunting knife, and Anna pulls out the machete. Hell yeah! 2 duels in 1 movie! That rocks. While the random shooting is occurring, the female voice reveals to Anna that one of the windows is not bulletproof. It has a red mark drawn near it, so Anna sets about trying to trick Dan into approaching it.

She shows him the fake death certificates, and he looks for his own. Anna rushes at him, pushing Dan through the window. She then climbs into the room again, using a chain that was set into the wall to pull herself up. The RedBall people give Anna her freedom, as long as she promises never to tell anyone about what happened to her. If she breaks that rule, then they'd have to murder her.

Anna removes some of her equipment, and exits the property. A closeup of the death certificate with her name on it reveals that they had planned to make her demise look like a car crash. She finds a car with keys in the ignition, but doesn't take the bait. The final scene  shows Anna on foot, afraid of pursuit. She stops in her tracks, spins around, and screams, "WHAT!?!" into the camera. THE END

Well, it was a better film than Don't Go In The Woods, that's for sure. But while the kills were varied, the characters were way too generic to root for any of them. If you're going to rip off Hostel, then you need to try to be as over-the top and memorable as possible. This just wasn't. 2.5 killer trees out of 5 for some of the concepts and gore. Aw heck, you get an extra point for not singing when being chased by the killer. 3.5 it is.

It's taken a while to watch 2 of  these, so I'm not sure when my next movie arrives. Wait and see.....