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Thursday, August 30, 2012


Well, don't ask me how, but it looks like I somehow managed to mail back this week's SAW entry without ever watching it! While I wait for my next one(and put the last one back on the list), I'm watching a movie on Netflix Instant called Wreckage. It's a fine night night for SPOILERS....

The movie starts off with a prologue depicting 2 young couch potatoes watching a cartoon while their white-trash mama yells at them to turn the volume down. Ah, just like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting. As the mother smokes her 1,000th cigarette of the morning, a thug wearing a grey wool cap and more tattoo ink than actual human flesh comes marching into the happy household. Honey, I'm home!

The walking billboard, named Jimmy, gives the mother some drugs, and she wanders into another part of the house while he sits on the couch with the kids. He sees the cartoon, and demands the remote from one of the kids, who refuses to give it to him. Being the calm, reasonable type that most drug dealers must surely be, Jimmy attacks the kid.

Well, the good news is that the boy gets away, and runs off just as the mother comes back. The bad news? Jimmy has focussed his anger on the remaining child, who looks like the little boy from Jerry Maguire could beat him up for lunch money. This little tyke, Ricky, whips a gun from out of thin air, and gives Jimmy a massive new tattoo that looks a lot like a hole in his chest. The mother tells the other child, Wesley, to call for an ambulance, and he looks fairly disinterested in the whole deal. Then Ricky fires the gun a second time, and we get to go bye-bye.

There's a brief scene showing someone escaping from prison(Gee, I wonder who it might be?), then we see a cute dark-haired girl sitting in a car that's stranded by the side of the road. A young guy happens along and offers to look under the hood for her, but she tells him that her boyfriend will be by soon with a tow truck. He charms her with his smile, and she eventually lets him look under the hood.

He tells her that her battery is gone, and she reveals that she knows a lot about cars. He tells her his name is Kane, and she tells him that she's Savannah. He offers to drive her into the nearest town, and she once again refuses. Just like before, he keeps insisting until she gives in. Anyone else creeped out by this guy?

Then we hear an APB, detailing the events surrounding Wesley's escape from prison. As the cops discuss it over the radio, Wesley is scene furtively scurrying around some train tracks, as a train speeds by. Did he hop on? Was he just passing through? Sadly, the scene doesn't really tell us much.

As Savannah and Kane sit in his car and make small talk, a news report on the radio tells them about the prison break. Run Savannah, run! As she looks at her "rescuer" nervously, he reassures her that he'll protect them both with a hunting knife that looks like it would take down King Kong., Savannah!!! and don't stop until you find yourself in a nice romantic comedy!

As they continue to give each other an uneasy glance, Kane reveals that he fully intends to rape Savannah. Then he tells her that the sounds of both an orgasm and a murder are remarkably similar. Wow, did I call it right on this guy, or what? I think watching one of these a week may have made me somewhat psychic. Werll..."-ic", or "-o"...same diff.

After Kane delivers his creppy little speech, Savannah immediately lunges out of the parked car, and runs down the road. Kane rolls his eyes and tells her not to make him chase her. The "chase", which lasts all of about a minute ends at an automotive junkyard. Hence, I assume, the title.

Kane finds Savanna hiding almost in plain sight, crouched next to a car sitting next to a small building. He taunts the poor girl, then waves his gigantic knife at her...right before somneone bashes him in the back of the head with what looks to be a heavy rock or piece of concrete. Kane tells her that it's her "lucky night", then blood starts streaming down his face. As Savannah runs away, screaming for help, the title appears onscreen.  The credits alternate between rusty walls, and various disassembled/wrecked cars.

After they run out of rust and wrecks, the movie restarts itself at a police station. State, not local, from the look of the uniforms...unless they're arming Boy Scouts with firearms now, and i haven't been told. A young officer reads a fax about Ricky, but the ink is all messed up, so most of it ends up being useless. Hey, maybe it's a metaphor for the genre!(Oh relax, I'm kidding....)

The officers sit around trying to guess which killer might have escaped, and it pretty much amounts to nothing. Then one officer makes fun of the other one's appearance. Again, the scene is useless. I didn't even get their names.

Then we transition over to a new location, where we meet our cast of soon-to-be victims: Rick, a sarcastic loner with a girlfriend who drives him crazy; Jessica, the aforementioned girlfriend who seems to despise Rick; Jared, an Army vet; and his girlfriend-now-fiance Kate. Jared, while looking at Kate's car, has just proposed to her, which leads to some huge tension between Rick and Jessica.

And did I mention that they're all about to be crammed into a car together, on their way to some kind of drag race? That'll be a fun ride! Maybe they'll save the escaped killer some time by killing each other during the journey.

Back at the sheriff's station, the sheriff tells the eager young rookie who intercepted the fax to ignore it. The younger man looks dejected, but agrees. Okay, back to the plot...

We watch the race, already in progress, and Jared is trying to outrun a preppie-looking jerk driving a much nicer car. Jared's vehicle sputters and dies, and the other car easily wins the race. As Jared looks under the hood, the prep comes back for his prize money, and to taunt Jared about his car.

Then, even though they're out in the middle of nowhere, the rest of Jared's friends show up. Magic teleportation! Why would they need cars? The jerk leaves them all stranded(which shouldn't matter, since they have magic....), and they all discover that their phones are getting no reception. Y'know, that's quickly replacing "I thought I heard something, let me go have a look all by my lonesome" as the most annoying horror movie cliche these days. That, and using cell phones as flashlights. Filmmakers, please start makiing movies that are set pre-mobile phones...or let these characters make their damn calls, and come up with something new to be an obstacle.

Jared reminds them that the nearest town is only 4 miles away, and that they can just walk there. Jessica refuses to do that, because apparently she's forgotten what fresh air and exercise feel like, so Jared tells Rick to wait by the car with her, while he and Kate make the journey. BitchFace also objects to that plan! Sheesh.

They compromise when Rick mentions seeing an auto yard a mile down the road. Jessica still whines about having to walk, but they all just ignore her. they start down the road, hoping to find a new fan belt for Jared's car, and a gag for Jessica's mouth.

They get to the junkyard after nightfall, and Rick mocks a sign on the gate, warning trespassers that a dog is guarding the property. To prove his point, he even yells and screams for the dog to show up, and nothing happens. Jared makes fun of him for not climbing the gate, so Rick does it to prove his point. As they wait for him to open the gate for them, he scares the trio by pushing the fence and making snarling noises.

Reluctantly, they all climb over the fence to join Rick....well, everybody except Jessica, who, for some reason, seems to be called "Patti" in this scene. How much pot went into the making of this film? JesPat throws her high heels over the fence at them, then climbs over to join the group.

While Jared starts his search for parts, Rick tells the girls that the junkyard was built over an old Indian burial ground. Well, that certainly sounds original, right? Anyway, Jared tells the girls that Rick is just teasing, but he insists that it's true.He even claims to have been friendly with the old Indian who used to own the yard(who either was killed by someone else, or committed suicide...he can't remember which).

Rick wanders over to a trashed trailer and peers into one of the windows A dog inside jumps up and barks at him through the thin screen. He gets mocked for being wrong about the sign in front, then they all just wander away to look under more car hoods, for the correct parts. Uh, how did the stray dog manage to get inside the closed trailer?

Rick then finds a truck, and tells the group that it was in a horrible accident. A family was kiiled while they were out driving: The driver, the husband, who was decapitated; the wife, whose legs were crushed, and she was pinned there as the truck burned around her; and their son, who was with the mother. And they all lived happily ever after?

Rick takes out a gun, and fires a round at the truck. When everyone else jumps, he laughs and shoots again. A third shot goes wild, and it strikes Kate, who falls to the ground. Jared finds the wound, puts some cloth over it, and tells Jessica to hold the cloth firmly on top of the wound. Then he announces that he's going to run to the nearest town to get help. Jessica yells insults at her boyfriend, and every time she puts any emphasis on a word, you see her arm shove downward. Kate must be lovin' that!

Jared runs through fog, trees, alternate dimensions(okay, not really), and finally reaches the cops. He quickly tells the sheriff and deputies what happened, and they give him a ride back to the junkyard, along with an ambulance. I wonder if Jared made them climb the fence?

When they get inside the gate, Jared takes them to the spot where he left his friends...but now it's deserted. Strange...They do find a big puddle of blood on the ground, though, so the officers stop accusing Jared of playing a prank on them. They agree to split up and search for the missing group.

Jared, the smart-alecky deputy and a blond paramedic make up the first search team. The deputy asks Jared why the teens were at the scrapyard in the first place, and he avoids telling them about the drag race by only saying that he needed a new fan belt. Then they hear some faint noise.

Using movie logic, Jared and the cop check out the noise, while the paramedic goes off on her own. Why would she do that? Why??? I mean, she knows they're going to need her for the injury that Kate sustained, right? So how does this make any sense? Anyway, it's quickly resolved...they all starty yelling out their locations to each other, and Faye(the paramedic) alerts them to her position.

While wandering off, Faye finds a significant quantity of blood in one area. She follows the trail with her flashlight, coming face -to-upside-down-face with the suspended corpse of Jessica. The deputy runs over when Faye screams, and their shouting summons the other searchers to the spot as well.

The doctor who accompanied them examines the body, while the sheriff and Jared debate over whether Jared is hiding his involvement in the violence. The sheriff eventually believes that the teen is telling him the truth, and calls HQ for more backup. He proposes that they return to the entrance to wait for the reinforcements to arrive.

Jared has other ideas. He heads back toward the danger, more determined than ever to rescue his friends, and Faye goes along with him. The sheriff steps in, tells them that he, the deputy(apparently named Walter), and Jared will search together, all armed. He then gives a gun to the women, and tells them to use it to defend themselvs against any threats.

The men set off, slowed down by the advanced age of the sheriff. He has to stop every so often to catch his breath and rest. They find themselves back at the trailer where the teens were scared by the dog, only to find that the trailer is now wide open. Whoops!

Who let the dog out? Who? Who? Who? Beats the heck out of me! But he's out, and he's not very happy! The dog zones in on Deputy Walter(NO! I just learned his damned name. movie!), and chases him around first, snarling and nipping the entire way. The deputy leaps onto the hood of a clunker, but the animal bites at the cuff of his pants, until the sheriff shoots it down.

Now that the dog crisis is over, the two officers focus on something sinister going in inside the wrecked taxicab that the deputy was standing on. Oh crap, the meter is still running!?! Nope, there's someone inside! Walter opens the door, and finds a weary and bloody Rick sitting there,  barely conscious. He tells the men that a person was stalking them after Jared left, and that this guy moved so fast that Rick couldn't even aim his gun at the person before they attacked.

Then the ambulance siren goes off, and the 3 armed men rush back to the entrance of the scrapyard....but not before Jared promises his friend that they'll return quickly. Yeah, and so will the stalker, if I know my slasher cliches. Hell, I'm halfway surprised that there's no thunder and lightning, or a random cat leaping out at them from atop a pile of debris. Oh, and Rick sort of collapses when they leave, so he might be dead now....

Back at the entrance, there's a guy so nerdy, he makes the nerdiest person you can imagine look gangsta. He's nearly wetting his pants, because Faye has her gun pointed right at his face. The guys get Faye to lower the handgun, and they ask the trembling, scrawny man to identify himself.

He tells them that his name is Frank, and that his uncle, John, owns the automobile junkyard. He claims that he came down to the junkyard because a burglar alarm was triggered. The sheriff goes off with Frank to turn on the floodlights at the generator, while Jared returns to Rick with Faye and who knows who else.

The elderly sheriff has Frank walk ahead of him, while he aims his police revolver at the whiny-voiced redneck. They arrive at a shack, and Frank declares that the panel to switch on the lights to the property are inside. When the sheriff tells him to enter the shack and flip the power on, the younger man nervously asks him to go in as well. The sheriff asks him why, and Frank replies that, in many jokes, he's heard that it takes more than a single person to turn on a lightbulb. Then he looks back and asks the cop if he's Polish.

Meanwhile...Jared and Faye return to the wrecked taxi, but Rick is nowhere in the vicinity. Jared gets upset, then tips the stretcher over and tells Faye to use it as a barricade to hide behind, while he searches for his friend. Yeah! Just TRY to get past this flimsy mattress and metal frame, Forces of Evil! I dare ya!

At the shed, Frank yells at any would-be killers inside that he has a gun...then asks the sheriff if he can borrow his gun. I confess, everything this guy says has me in stitches. They should do a prequel just about Frank. He could be like a weakling version of Ash from the Evil Dead franchise.

Anyway, he unlocks the shed, and nothing attacks him. Frank gets all of the lights on, and Walter celebrates by shouting, "Let there be light!" There's a very brief moment where we watch Jared nearly have a heart attack over a rat the size of s small city...then Walter asks the young paramedic behind the wheel if she wants to screw around in the back of the ambulance. Did they drop the slasher stuff completely, in favor of a goofball comedy?

Jared searches a few other vehicles before returning to Faye, just as the light all go out again. Walter gets out of the ambulance to investigate, although the young female paramedic doesn't like the idea very much. Oh, and Frank tells the sheriff that the lights must have blown a fuse. When the sheriff asks him where the fusebox is, the young hillbilly points in the opposite direction, and implies that it's about 100 yards away. Awesome.

The young paramedic gets nervous in the ambulance, and calls out to Walter. He comes back with a weird expression on his face, right before coughing up a quart or so of blood. A person wearing overalls and a welding mask smashes the window and grabs the young paramedic, dragging her to the ground. The killer then flings her around until she loses consciousness, and drags Walter over to nthe ground on the other side of the ambulance. At least we can see him still breathing...

Uh oh, not for very long. The young, cute paramedic comes to briefly, and she and the killer look at each other. Then the maniac ties a noose around Walter's neck, and attaches THAT to a winch on a tow truck. He goes around the side of the truck and pulls down a lever, dragging poor Walter on the ground just as he wakes up. He tries to pry the cable off of his neck, but it gets tighter as it gets pulled toward the truck, and poor Walter dies pretty fast.

Then we get a short break, as the movie returns to the sheriff and Frank. Frank is telling a tale about his first experience with oral sex, and the sheriff decides that he can live without hearing the ending. They get to the even tinier shack where the fusebox is, and Frank nearly electrocutes himself when he examines the fuses. Then the killer sets off the ambulance siren again, and everyone rushes back to the entrance. Deja vu, anyone?

He switches the siren back off just before they all arrive, and the group quickly comes upon he body of Walter, who may be breathing, if only a little bit. Swinging into action, the sheriff lifts the dying man's legs up to loosen the tension on the cable, and Faye rushes to grab some cable cutters from the police car. Once Walter is on the ground, she does CPR, but it's too late.

As they all stand around staring at the body, the other young rookie comes in with his gun drawn. When the sheriff demands an explanation for why the backup hasn't arrived yet, the nervous younger cop tells him that a fire over in the next county has most of the surrounding area's emergency personnel involved in the events there.

That's the breaking point for Jared. He rushes over to one of the police cars to find a better weapon. The sheriff tries to stop him, but Jared only wants to rescue his girlfriend and kill the threat, maybe even in that order. This movie will get an instant pass from me if Jared teams up with Frank to carry out his plan.

Ah, instead we see the young paramedic trapped in the front seat of a vehicle. She struggles to free herself, and machinery around her comes to life. Amidst all of the sparking metal and loud noises, she screams. The others hear her and Frank claims to know where the ruckus is coming from. Here comes another rescue attempt!

The car is getting itself flattened and crushed down like a metal pancake. Jared tells the crying woman to get on the floor of the car, but she may not be able to hear him. Lucky for her, the sheriff figures out the control panel, and stops the crushing process.

They get her out of the wreck, and she's a mess of tears and babbling. Sadly, she can't give them any useful details about the killer's clothes, face, voice or any other distinguishing details about him. How about "Look for the only guy wearing overalls and a cracked welder's mask", for starters?

As they walk back to the others, she DOES remember something. It must be pretty big, because it stops her in her tracks. She tells Jared and the sheriff that the killer had something distinctive about his shoes.  Before she can explain any further, a car suspended above her crushes the poor paramedic. They decide to return to the others to report that young Faye died. Wait, Faye was the young one? Then what's the name of the older one??? I'm making a pledge right here and now: If I ever write a slasher flick, every character will be wearing one of those dorky "Hello! My Name Is ____" tags.

They inform the rest that Faye died. Everyone is shocked by the news, especially the older woman, because SHE thought she was Faye as well! See? It wasn't just me! Oh, and we get a pretty nifty twist in the plot:  The young, nervous deputy announces that the dead body of the esacaped convict was found! So that means the killer is probably someone we've already met....hmmm....and there's something strange about their shoes....

The sheriff blows his top when the rest of the group decide to stay and wait for the reinforcements to arrive, He starts a-yellin' and a-cussin' up a storm, and gets even madder when the group starts helping out Jared by giving him supplies. Then Frank steps up, claiming that Jared needs his help to find his way around the junkyard. Awesome! Please, oh please, let there be an awesome montage showing Frank arming himself!

No montage, but they do give Frank a rifle. Then he and Jared step into 1800's London, amidst a fog so thick, it needs a knife to cut through the stuff. Seriously, where'd all the fog come from?

As they move around from car to car, Frank asks Jared what nhe did for military work. Jared reveals that he was a Ranger in the army, and was discharged only because he was shot in the leg. Then they both hear a scraping sound, and crouch down. Within seconds, a car gets dropped a few feet in front of their hiding place. Well, I guess the killer knows where they are...

They start running, and a few random gunshots are fired in their general direction. Jared has Frank cover him as he changes position, and the gunfire draws out the killer. When the psycho realizes that Jared is probably better at gunplay than him, he tries to escape by running across several automobile rooftops.

Jared nearly cuts off the killer's escape route, but the mystery man vanishes. As Jared looks for any signs of movement, Frank yells that he thinks he might have found the guy's body. Jared rushes to his position, and, sure enough, there's a body on the ground by Frank's feet. Hey, it's Rick!

Jared tries to send up the signal flare to get the others, but the flaregun won't fire. Frank gets a firework and sets it off, as Jared tries to ask Rick where Kate is. As the others leave in the ambulance with Rick, the sheriff offers to help Jared find his girlfriend. Before he can answer, a stranger emerges from the darkness, carrying the body oif a woman.

It's Kate! Jared demands that the new guy put her on the ground and back away, and the guy does as he is instructed. He protests that he didn't harm her, but even the elderly lawman isn't about to take any chances.  The new guy says his name is Peter Dobbs, and that he found Kate in the woods while he was out for a walk before bed. They decide to put Kate in the police car, and take Peter with them to the hospital.

From the car, the sheriff calls his deputy, and tells him to have the hospital ready with a stretcher for Kate. Then the deputy tells him that the body from the fire wasn't the escaped convict, meaning that a killer is still on the loose.  At that point, Good Samaritan Peter whips out a knife and stabs the sheriff in the leg.

The sheriff manages to pull the car off the road, but the killer has already made a run for it. Jared hops out of the car and pursues him into the woods. They eventually have a short scuffle, and Jared easily outmatches his opponent, stabbing him in the gut. When Jared asks the wounded criminal why he killed so many people that night, "Peter" claims that he didn't kill anybody. Jared doesn't want to believe him, but as the convict points out, he's dying: why would he lie?

Jared emerges from the forest back at the car, and the sheriff asks him if the convict is dead. Jared nods his head, and the sheriff seems to accept it. The following day, Jared and Rick are at the hospital. Rick is sporting a bandage on his neck and holding flowers that are probably for Kate, and he asks Jared about the confrontation with the escaped prisoner.

The thing is, Jared actually believed the guy when he claimed to be innocent. Rick tells him not to dwell on it, and then he apologizes for shooting Kate. As he does that, we see Kate in a hospital room, having a dream about being shot. She remembers Rick shooting her, then recalls Rick and Jessica arguing in the aftermath. As the fighting grew more intense, apparently Rick shot his girlfriend as well!

Of course, that's the point at which Kate wakes up. She also clearly remembers somehow escaping into the woods, which caused Rick to start panicking to the nth degree. At that point the flashback stops, and Rick enters the room. Kate gets hysterical at the sight of him, and Jared rushes past Rick to try to calm her down. Kate tells them that she "dreamed" that Rick shot Jessica, and that it seemed like reality, not a dream. Being the dumbest hero in a movie thus far, Jared leaves them alone together while he runs off to get Kate a glass of cold water.

Alone together, Rick starts to grin at Kate. He tells her that it wasn't just a dream, then he starts to smother her with her own pillow. Down the hall, Jared finally realizes how stupid he is, and rushes back to Kate's room. He pulls Rick away from the bed and pushes him up against a wall, holding his arm against his best friend's throat. When he asks Rick why he did it all, Rick merely responds with, "Why not?"

Jared wounds Rick, then rushes over to hug Kate. The final scene takes us to an asylum, where Rick is sitting in a padded call, reading a letter. We discover that he and the escaped convict were brothers, and were actually the young boys from the opening scene. Rick was the younger sibling, the one who shot the drug dealer and then his own mother. The older brother was telling the truth when he told Jared that he never killed anyone...he took the fall for his kid brother.

That's pretty much THE END, except for a scene during the credits. We see Frank standing over the dead body of Deputy Walter, and he takes his gun and badge away. Then he makes the corpse hold some fireworks and he puts on a "show" for the dead man. I kind of assumed that Frank would probably get himself killed misusing the gun or the fireworks(or both!), but no, the scene ends after he lights up all of the explosives. Still pretty funny, in a very macabre way.

Well, as you can see, I was fairly entertained this week. The movie had enough twists to keep it interesting, while the humor was a welcome bonus to the plotline. I sort of was figuring that either Frank or Rick had to be involved in the killings(and I was glad it was Rick...), but the added twist about the escaped convict took me by surprise as well. Good stuff. 4 killer trees out of  for Wreckage.

And what did I learn from Wreckage?

-Dogs can open the doors to mobile homes.

-Supporting characters can be the best characters in the movie you're watching!

-Even a simple welding mask can be a damn cool look for a seriual killer.

My next movie will not be as much fun, I'm going to predict that right now. It's the third film in the I Know What You Did Last Summer franchise, and the only person who bothered to return was the Fisherman. Except that now he's a zombie. Yeah, it sucks. See ya next week!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Ruins

Well, after the complete lunacy of Jack Frost 2, we're back to the usual grim, mostly humor-free stuff we usually watch together. it's unfortunate too....this week's movie, The Ruins, is pretty damned bizarre, with a killer twist that's hard NOT to do as a comedy! Without ruining the surprise(yet..), let's just say that it was pretty funny when Rick Moranis did it. Anyway, SPOILERS are "dead" ahead...

It begins at night, with a frightened young woman huddled on the ground, in a poorly-lit area. She looks skyward, then shouts for help several times. As she fiddles around with a cell phone she's clutching in one hand, it appears as if something drags her away off-screen. Hmmmm...

Then it's bright and sunny and green, tra la la la la. The faint sound of the female screaming can be heard again, then the scenery changes to a resort. 2 college-age kids, Jeff and Stacy, are playing Gin Rummy by the pool, and Stacy proposes that they play War next. When Jeff responds that War is just a game of luck, a girl named Amy reminds him that they had decided that the winner gets to pick the next game. Compelling stuff.

A second young man, Eric, brings over some alcoholic beverages to share. Oh, and Jeff's dating Amy, while Eric's with Stacy. Okay, we all on the same page now? Groovy.

As the drinks are being passed around, Amy discovers that one of her earrings has fallen off. A scruffy-bearded dude on the other side of the pool watches them search for it as he sips a beer. He then saunters over and introduces himself as Mathias, Finder(or, more likely, Absconder) of Lost Jewelry. Amazingly, nobody in the group ever questions how a guy who was nowhere near their side of the pool when they began their search, managed to get his hands on the earring.

As they share a drink with him, Mathias reveals that he's with a group on an archaeological dig at a Mayan temple. He invites them to tag along when he leaves for the site the next morning, and they all agree that it sounds like a fun adventure. Yeah, go off with some strange guy with a German accent, who stole something from you and wants to lure you into a jungle. That sounds safe!

They all remain on the beach until the sun sets, and play a silly game where they have to continue a story, one sentence per person. Then Stacy mentions that Jeff is studying to be a doctor, and the topic seems to make him uneasy. Oh, and just to add to the confusion, a couple of new characters show up, referred to as The Greeks. *cue ominous music*

Amy takes a huge swig from a bottle, and Jeff tries to coax her into calling it a night. Smashed out of her gourd, Amy falls over, and tries to pull him down with her. When Jeff declares that he's heading back to the hotel room, Amy remains behind and tries to flirt and dance with Mathias. Then Eric and Stacy talk about how Amy is behaving like a loon, because Jeff's med school will take him a couple-thousand miles from her.

As they watch Amy stagger-dance around with Mat, they place a friendly wager on whether or not Amy will kiss their new friend. The winner gets oral sex from the loser. Right before it looks like Stacy might lose the bet, she rushes over to Amy, and asks her friend to dance with her instead. Aw, cheater!

The following day,Jeff finds Mathias mapping out the travel route on a map for The Greeks to follow. *cue ominous music* Jeff tells them that he can get the others ready in half an hour, and they agree to meet up at the hotel.  While that discussion is going on, Eric tries to "collect his winnings" from the bet he made with Stacy. They also debate over whether to tell Jeff that his girlfriend kissed another man. This is quickly becoming a soap opera....and a dull one, at that!

As Eric promises Stacy that it'll be quick, there's a segue to Amy puking in a toilet. Pretty funny, if you think about it. I guess this film's got more humorous touches than I remembered. Anyway, Amy tries to remain behind in the room, but Jeff won't hear of it. She lets him talk her into going on the hike.

They all take a bus to a poverty-stricken village, and try to figure out if they can hike the rest of the way or not. as nthe girls take pictures, the guys approach a local in a truck, to ask if he can drive them at least partway there. A dog in the back of the truck nearly scares them shitless, as well as me. Geez.

The guy in the truck agrees to drive them, but seems to want to take them to a different temple ruin. No one in the group seems concerned about that though, and they all pile into the back of his pickup. They speed off down the dirt road, going God-only-knows where. Seriously, are they all suffering from head injuries or something? These folks are dumb, even by typical horror movie standards!

The driver takes them, well, "somewhere", and they all jump off the truck. At this point, there isn't even a basic dirt road, it's all just grass and trees. None of them think it's weird, and one guy even goes so far as to announce that he thinks it looks like they're in the right place. Hell, it's not even a PLACE!

The driver hurries away, and they all begin to panic as they wonder how they're going to get back to the village. Mat announces that he has a "world phone", whatever the heck that is, and they also find his brother's vehicle parked near where they were dropped off. Okay, problem solved!

Even as they follow the map, the journey gets to be fairly strenuous. They stop to take a break, and spot some local Mayan girl silenly watching them. The girls try to communicate with her, but she either doesn't understand, or doesn't want to speak to the tourists. It's probably a little bit of both. I guess maybe they don't feel the jungle love, oh wee oh wee oh!

A path is found, but it's been covered up by leaves and branches. They argue over whether or not it's the right path, considering that someone went to pretty extreme lengths to conceal it. In the end, they decide that it must be the route to the temple, as no other path seems to exist in the vicinity. I hope they all paid their MENSA dues this month!

The path leads to a clearing, and they do indeed find a massive temple. Mathias spots what looks like a tent at the top of the structure, and the girls take more pictures. Then an old man comes charging into the clearing on horseback, and yells at them in words they can't comprehend. He has facial hair that makes him resemble a capuccin monkey. I'll bet he's down with the sickness.

Another pair of Mayans arrive with more horses, and both of the new men are armed with bows and arrows. Amy takes photographs of all 3 men, and the Mayans don't seem bothered by it, until she steps backwards into some bushes. Then all Hell breaks loose.

The trio of Mayans suddenly all start shouting at the same time, and reaching for their weapons. Dimitri approaches Amy to grab the camera, thinking that it's what set the Mayans off, but it wasn't. One of them shoots off an arrow into the young tourist's shoulder. As everyone stares at the arrow in shocked silence, the older man shoots a gun right at Dimitri's face.

Terrified by the sudden turn of events, the remaining students climb the temple to get to the safety of the tent. They immediately observe that the site is set up, but no one from the dig seems to be there. This leads to more fighting and fear, as they wonder what they've gotten themselves into.

There's an opening into the temple, and a rope-and-pulley system. They shout into the temple, but there's no response. Mathias steps over to the edge of the platform and stares down at the crazy Mayans as they settle in to wait the students out. Then he sees something  nearby, covered by a vine, and examines it closer. It's the body of one of the dig crew. Not only was it concealed by plants, but the vines were clinging and growing over the body, and even in the corpse itself.

Jeff decides to take over, and begins by rationing their water supply. He also suggests that they conduct a search for food, to buy themselves some time as they wait for The Greeks *cue ominous music* to show up and save them. Then they faintly hear a ringtone, and it appears to belong to Heinrich, the brother Mathias mentioned.

Working together, they get Mathias straddled into the rope-pulley device, and lower him slowly down into the darkness. The phone in the ruins keeps ringing the entire time. As he gets closer, the rope snaps, and poor Mathias plummets into the darkness.

A quick rescue plan is agreed upon, one that involves sending Stacy down to rescue the injured man. She is lowered down the shaft(wait, isn't the rope broken now?), while Amy tries to get help from the Mayans. When she fails to make them understand, Amy gets  frustrated, and throws a balled-up pile of the vines at the Mayans. The vine hits a boy, and the adults murder him(another gunshot to the face...these guys have a face fetish), then threaten the teens again.

So, Amy gets to join Stacy down in the temple, with a makeshift gurney for Mathias. Good thing too, because Stacy was hearing a cell phone in the dark and freaking out while sitting around. They disagree about moving him or not, but to leave him there would be a death sentence. Working slowly, the set up the gurney, then try to figure out how to lift the injured guy without making it worse.

In a shocking plot twist, amongst much screaming and agony, they lift Mathias onto the gurney. Presumably, they make things much worse. Jeff has everyone check the tents for anything that can be used to treat Mat's wounds, but it doesn't look good. Jeff figures that the injured legs will be what kill the poor guy.

That night, while Amy tries to slepp, Stacy makes a production out of giving Eric a handjob under their sleeping bag. Glad to see that a little thing like "impending doom" hasn't dampened their spirits. Eric, by the way, just lays there like a lump.

Early the following morning, Jeff finds Amy sitting outside, and he decides to take a piss on the vines. He detects movement in the vines near his area, and finds a decaying corpse underneath. Amy walks up behind him, and gives Jeff a reassuring embrace.

Stacy is the next one to wake up, and she doesn't feel quite right. She feels something under the sleeping bag with her, and pulls it back to reveal that her legs are now covered with the vines that they've seen surrounding the area. She gets upset, and she and Eric work at pulling them off of her legs. It's not as simple as it strand of the vine has somehow burrowed INTO her leg, requiring Eric to tug and tug at it, until it comes out.

I'll bet you thought that was the end of the morning fun, right? Nope! Mathias is awake, and complaining about something being wrong as well. Amy approaches him, pulls back the covering over his lower half, and discovers that his legs are completely bound up by even more vines. Amy and Jeff work at getting the vines off of him, and the legs are a bloody, grisly mess. What's left of them, anyway.

At that point, they all hear the ringtone in the temple again. Amy and Stacy get sent down together, and are armed with makeshift torches doused in alcohol. They are told to remain together, and work together to locate the mysterious phone. They pinpoint the location of the sound at a vine-covered wall, and discover the body of (I'm guessing) Heinrich, the brother that Mathias mentioned earlier.

They search his body for the phone and quickly locate it, but there's a problem: the phone is cracked and broken. Then they hear the ringtone yet again, still coming from the wall. Amy leans closer to look, and sees red flowers on the vines opening and emitting the sound of the ringtone. Then the vines try to grab her, and more bodies fall away from the wall in the process.

Yup, killer vines and parrot-flowers. I'll bet you never saw that plot twist coming, huh??? Of course, that now technically disqualifies this as any kind of slasher, but since there are humans causing their deaths too, I'm going to soldier on. It's no dumber than a killer made out of electricity or dreams, right?

Anyway, the vines latch onto Stacy, but Amy comes back to help her to her feet. They return to the rope, and shout at the guys to pull them up. The vines try to grab at them the entire way, and both girls scurry out of the opening when they reach the top. Jeff asks if they found the phone, and they tell him that there is no phone, which requires a much lengthier explanation.

When both women are calmer, they describe what happened. Neither Eruc nor Jeff believe them, but Amy and Stacy both insist that they saw the vines making the ringtone sound, then attacking them. Eric springs into action, and decides that he needs to try to make a run for the vehicle, but Jeff points out that the Mayans now outnumber them, by 60 to 4(not including Mathias, who is busy becoming plant food). They decide that the best course of action is still to wait for either a search party, or the arrival of The Greeks. *cue ominous music*

They gather to take their ration of water, and Jeff brings some over to Mathias. He examines the progress of the leg wounds, then returns to the others, and announces that he has to amputate the legs in order for Mathias to survive beyond that day. Boy, I'll bet Mathias is really regretting grabbing that earring, huh?

Eric opposes the plan, mostly because Jeff has next to no experience in medicine. When he asks Jeff what he plans to use for anesthesia and a scalpel, Jeff holds up a piddly little knife that looks like it would have trouble slicingn through bread. As for a numbing agent, Jeff reveals that the vines have eaten the skin right down to the bone, and that he thinks it might be relatively painless. Yeah, sure it will. You try it first, Jeffy boy. Let us know how that works out.

It devolves into a situation where they all have to vote, and it comes down to a tie. Then Mathias speaks up, and also votes for the amputation. Having made the decision, Jeff gives Mathias a heavy swig of alcohol, then tells him that he's going to begin by breaking the bones first, and then cutting them off. Fun!

Hey, guess what? Jeff was wrong! It's incredibly painful, and it's also time-consuming! After Jeff removes the carnage that used to be a pair of legs, he cauterizes the stumps with a frying pan that was held in the fire. This is going to be the most epic "How I Spent My Summer Vacation..." essay ever!

The girls emerge from their tent again, and start up another disagreement with Jeff. They remind him that he claimed that Dimitri wouldn't feel a thing...but then he did. As the anger rises, they almost miss seeing the vines sneaking toward Dimitri, and dragging away the bloody severed feet.

Later that night, Eric shows an image from one of the phones to the girls, and he doesn't look too pleased. Meanwhile, Jeff is pacing the temple roof, and watching the Mayans bring in more fires and tents, as they move closer to the ruins to watch the teens better. Amy finds Eric sitting by himself, and she asks about Stacy.They talk about how bleak it all looks, then end up comforting each other with a hug.

Stacy then wakes up, convinced that they're screwing behind her back, because the vines are making moaning sounds near her. When she gets up and confronts them, she tells them that she heard them having sex, with lots of groaning and moaning. Jeff also wakes up, and all 3 try to calm Stacy down. That just makes her yell louder.

As they all work out the problem, Mathias is getting cocooned by the killer vine. They all hear his cries and struggles, but far too late to actually help him. I hope he's in a better place...and that his legs joined him as well in that place...

Anyway, the gore and killings have pushed Stacy right over the edge into LooneyLand. She grabs the knife and begins an attempt at cutting the vines out of her body. When her friends try to take the knife, Stacy backs away and screams, "You're not listening to me!"

That phrase catches the interest of the vines, and the red flowers shout it back to her as a taunt.The humans all look fairly disturbed by the sound.Amy and Jeff get some alone time, and both apologize for how they reacted. Then they hear Eric, asking them both to come look at Stacy for a moment.

She's covered in the vines, beneath her shirt. Knowing no other way to get rid of them, Jeff offers to cut and pull them out by force. He starts with her leg, pulling out a lengthy strand of the plant, with Stacy yelling with the pain and shaking. The next one, attached to her back, is much worse. He pulls several handfuls out of that area, and the pain becomes unbearable for her.

After the procedure, Stacy sits with the others again. She starts out by saying that they didn't get all of the vines, because she can still fell them moving inside her. She even claims to feel one in her head, and the others look pretty scared. She suggests more cutting, but Jeff tells her that it wouldn't be safe.  When she tries to cut herself, Jeff makes sure that she can't have the knife.

 At dawn, Stacy wakes up before her friends, and silently searches for the knife. She limps around the campsite, and then announces to the plants that she's going to get them out of her. Yeah, she's now a lunatic. Poor Stacy.

The others wake up, find that Stacy has left the tent, and find her at the edge of the roof, with her back to them. They attempt to speak to her, and she turns around, revealing that she's bleeding pretty bad. Jeff and Eric come up behind her, and Stacy stabs Eric in the chest.

She watches him fall and die, then screams his name. Amy tries to soothe her, but Stacy gets even more agitated when she sees the vines start to drag poor Eric away. Jeff fights off the vines, while Stacy begs Amy to kill her. Jeff picks up the knife, and either hacks away at poor Eric, or kills Stacy. Either way works for me.

The next scene shows Jeff covering Amy from head to toe with blood...but is it Stacy's or Eric's blood??? Jeff has an escape plan, but it looks pretty strange. He gives her instruction about the car and the path, and insists that she must follow the plan exactly for it to work.

Jeff picks up Amy, now drenched in blood, and walks down to the clearing. With the Mayans watching, he places her gently on the ground and kisses her. Then Jeff faces the Mayans, tells them a little bit of his background, and hers as well. The entire time, he's getting further and further away from Amy's "corpse". Then he screams her name, and she gets up and begins running into the jungle. Sadly Jeff is shot full of arrows.

Amy runs through the dark jungle, and only stops when she hears a gunshot. It was the elderly Mayan, who finished Jeff off with a bullet to the face. This dude really enjoys placing bullets into faces... Hey, let's rewind, and take a drink every time someone is shot in the face!

That motivates Amy to move again, but her trackers are catching up. They shoot at her a few times, but miss. Then she gets to the jeep, and it starts, letting her speed down the road. As she gets away, it's revealed that a piece of the vine is crawling around in her face, just under her eye.

The last scene features The Greeks! *cue ominous music* They arrive at the ruins, calling out to Dimitri... THE END

Yeah, pretty somber, for a premise that usually isn't so serious. Terrific kills, though....Dimitri's death, in particular, was grueling to watch. And like I said earlier, most of the deaths in the film were related to things the humans did, not the plants. I'll give it 3.5 killer trees out of 5, just for the crazy subject matter and numerous deaths.

And what has The Ruins taught me?

-Well, avoid the plants in Mexico!(See, and you thought it was the water that would harm you...)

-Mayans make terrible neighbors.

-If you want folks not to trespass, some kind of sign would really help!

-Having a couple of characters in a movie, and not naming them, automatically makes them scary!

No movie this week coming up(Aug 19-25), as I have 2 surgical procedures within days of each other.  The following week, I'll be watching a movie called Body Parts. Now go off and watch something happy this week!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman

Most of these slasher flicks can be real downers. But every now and then, I find one that is just apeshit insane, and downright funny. That's the case with Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman, a sequel to a movie I know I've seen, but couldn't find in the SAW archives. I must have though, because I distinctly remember how surprised I was to see American Pie's Shannon Elizabeth in the film. Anyway, maybe I saw it before I started this blog, in which case, I'll have to watch it again someday. Prepare for big, snowy SPOILERS, matey!

The movie starts out with the hero from the first movie, a cop named Sam, talking to his shrink. He provides a nice recap of the first film, so I'll sum it up for you: See, Sam arrested a serial killer named Jack Frost, who was later sentenced to death. A collision during a snowstorm caused Jack's DNA to mix with some experimental chemicals and snow, causing Jack to be reborn as a killer snowman. Yeah, that's seriously what happened in the first one.

Anyway, while Sam is recalling Jack's murder spree, the doctor's receptionist and other folks in the waiting room are listening in on the session through the intercom. Sam doesn't realize that, of course, even after they start laughing. Sam describes how he finally brought Jack down(with antifreeze), and even the shrink is trying to hold back his giggles.

When Sam is asked where the evidence is, he says that the pile of antifreeze was buried someplace that is secret, to prevent anyone from ever bringing Jack to life again. Right on cue, we see a country bumpkin(well, his feet, at least) showing a mysterious stranger where the antifreeze was buried. The stranger shoots the redneck for his trouble.

In some type of laboratory, a pair of scientists are fiddling around with beakers of multicolored liquids, as a Christmas song plays over the opening credits. They keep failing with their experiments, as evidenced by a handy "PASS/FAIL" checklist that we see repeatedly on a clipboard. Wow, Exposition For Dummies.

After the credits, the scientists go home for the night. One of them leaves his coffee cup near the experiment area, and a janitor who comes into the lab to clean the floor knocks the cup into the vat of antifreeze. A cloud forms in the tank, some cartoon DNA comes to snowy life, and the tank fills with snow. Yay!

The befuddled custodian turns around, just as the tank explodes. A massive shard of glass severs his mouth, and a puddle of water yawns and starts mumbling as it trickles down a drain to freedom. Jack's back!

...And Sam's leaving. He's at the airport with his wife Anne, waiting for his best friend and deputy Joe, and Joe's new bride(and secretary at the Sheriff's office), Marla. They're all headed for a Pacific island, where Joe and Marla can enjoy a nice honeymoon, while Sam tries to get over his traumatic memories of being stalked by a living snowman. Oh, and Sam had a son in the first film, but he's "staying with relatives" while the adults go on vacation. I guess his trauma while nearly being killed by Jack didn't matter as much.

Anyway, the foursome are greeted at the island resort by the Colonel, a wacky British coot who runs the place with the help of his cohorts Bobby and Captain Fun. Wait, did I slip into a fugue state and start watching Club Dread again? No wait, that was Sam, the Fun Police. Man, I've seen WAY too many of these dumb things!

The Colonel also introduces us to our other victims: we have Rose, Ashlea and Paisley, 3 cute young ladies who've come to the resort to party; Sarah and Cindy, 2 models who've arrived to be in a bikini photo shoot; and their homosexual photographer, Greg. After the Colonel greets everyone, Sam surprises Anne by announcing that the trip also serves as their second honeymoon, complete with their own bridal suite.

Jack washes in with the tide, I guess. I did some snooping online, and found out that, since Sam was injured by Jack in the first movie, he supposedly bled into the snow and had some of his DNA mix into the toxic goo that makes Jack come to life. This is supposed to give Jack the ability to "track" Sam to any long as there's water, I would assume.

Well, I guess Jack hasn't come ashore just yet, because now we're meeting 2 new characters, a pair of idiots who are stranded in the ocean on an inflatable raft. They're annoying as Hell, to each other as well as me. As they argue about being hungry, one of them finds a carrot in a small cooler.

They start to fight over the carrot, and one throws the other one overboard. He loses the carrot as well, and leans over the side of the raft to snatch it out of the ocean. When he does, Jack makes an icicle and stabs through the underside of the raft, impaling the guy. Then he thanks his victim for the "nose", and takes it as he continues to the island.

That evening, the resort has a "wild party", mostly consisting of extras who couldn't fake-dance their way out of a paper bag. No one is on the beach to see the carrot wash up onshore, and begin crawling its' way toward the resort. Yes, a carrot is crawling along a beach, looking for people to kill. Makes sense to me!

The trio of single girls are at the bar, ordering drinks and looking for hot guys to seduce. The bartender points out a pair of young men eyeing them, and they all greet each other with brainless "heys". Good lord.

Everyone else is in a conga line, save for Sam, who is staring out at the sea and having flashbacks. Captain Fun distracts him, and proves just how annoying "fun" can be when you really work at it. Then Captain Fun suggests karaoke, and we discover that whoever wrote the script, he had no idea what karaoke actually was. Instead, the main characters get roped into a singalong of Christmas carols, which isn't actually karaoke at all...although Marla is at least holding a prop microphone, trying to fake like it's on. Nice try, stupid movie.

At the end of the night, Sam and Joe are stinkin' drunk. Joe makes the mistake of bringing up how nice the weather is compared to back home, and that sets Sam off on a drunken rant about snow and killer snowmen again. Talk about a 1-track mind!

Fortunately, we switch back to the trio of cute drunk girls. They're on the beach, waiting for those dimwitted "hey" dudes from the party, but it looks like they changed their minds. Jack Carrot slides in their direction, eager to claim more victims. Sure enough, Ashlea leaves the others, because she wants more charcoal for their measly fire.

In a happy coincidence, Jack Frost also wants some charcoal, to remake his face(why he wants charcoal, before he has any snow to make his boy is anybody's guess...Maybe he's making a sand-man this time?), so he stalks Ashlea first. She finds several pieces of charcoal in the sand, next to a couple of palm trees. As she bends down to retrieve them, Jacks tries to stab her several times by dropping sharp icicles down from the treetops, but he keeps missing his target. After a few attempts, he crushes her under an anvil that looks like it's made out of snow.

The remaining girls, Paisley and Rose, begin to worry about Ashlea when she doesn't return with the coal. As Paige goes to see what's taking her so long, Jack impales her with jagged icicles that he forces up through the sand. When it's time for Rose to die, he simply stabs her in the eyes with a pair of tongs.

Early the next day, Sam and Anne are disturbed by Captain Fun, who somehow managed to get into their bungalow and has jumped into the bed between them. He's somehow even creepier than a killer snowman! Anyway, he wants them to take part in his silly activities, and he seems to have trouble taking "no" for an answer.

In the "other" honeymoon bungalow, Joe and Marla are sleeping in different beds, like a couple from a sitcom in the 1950's. Joe hates it, but Marla doesn't seem to care. Pretty much sums up marriage, doesn't it?

Bobby sets up a tropical buffet, under the watchful eye of the Colonel. The Colonel samples every dish down the length of the table, and has recipe suggestions for every single damned dish. Wasn't there supposed to be a movie in here, at some point along the way? This is even more dull than my OWN vacation movies!

They hear a scream, and the Colonel runs off to investigate. Bobby, being smarter, stays behind at the buffet. Bobby must have seen his share of slasher movie as well, to prepare for being in one.

The Colonel finds the screaming tourists, who have discovered the bodies of the three girls from the previous night...or they discovered parts of them, at least. The Colonel covers up the incident by bribing the couple with free accommodations for the remainder of their stay. Then Bobby arrives, and the Colonel tells him to fetch their head of security, a "scary dude" named Manners.

Cool! Manners was Agent Manners in the first film, until Jack Frost ripped out one of his eyes. Now he's working for the resort, and he still treats every crime like it's a case file. Manners is one step ahead of the Colonel, having found another corpse on the beach. The Colonel wants to pass the deaths off as shark attacks, until Manners shows him the tongs with eyeballs attached to them.

At that point, Sam shows up. The Colonel, Bobby and Manners all block his view of the body parts, but then Sam recognizes Manners.Manners tries to deny that they know each other, but Sam keeps insisting that they do. Finally Manners loses his cool, telling Sam that it took several surgeries to fix what Jack did to him. Unnerved by his intensity, Sam agrees to back off.

Once they're alone with the corpses again, the Colonel tells his employees to help him with the fake shark attack story. Manners doesn't like the idea of covering the tracks of a killer, but Bobby disrupts their debate by announcing that the phones are out. This is getting more and more like Club Dread by the minute! If a guy named Machete Phil shows up, I'm turning it off.

Oh, and as they leave the room, Jack's voice seems to come out of a snow globe, as he talks to himself about the vengeance that he has planned. Uh, sure. An air-tight snow globe. That sure does seem logical to me.

Bobby and the Colonel use a toolbox to open up the control panel to their satellite dish, and the box is waterlogged. Bobby suggests that they let it dry out and wait for a supply ship to arrive the next day, and the Colonel agrees. Then Captain Fun and the other staff members are told some of what's going on, and ordered not to reveal anything to the guests.

While they're having the meeting, Sam's group is at the bar wondering why no one's there to take their drink order. Back in the kitchen, Manners suggests that they interrogate the guests until someone confesses. Captain Fun disagrees, and the Colonel takes his side. When the meeting finally ends, Bobby discovers that the resort guests have opened the bar themselves, and a large, rowdy crowd is the end result.

Meanwhile, we finally get an eyeful of the photo shoot with the swimsuit model named Sarah. About time! Jack swims underwater in that direction, humming a song that is a weird mixture of the theme from Jaws and "Jingle Bells". As Jack tries to move closer for a better view, Sarah can hear him somewhere behind her.

Greg announces that Sarah's breasts seem to be drooping in the heat, so he asks her to get 'em perky again with an ice cube. She opens up a cooler, and several ice cubes, speaking in "chipmunk" voices beg for her to pick them for the job. That's actually pretty funny. When Sarah's done, she throws the ice cube away in the sand and dirt.

That pisses off Jack, but he gets his revenge soon enough. Greg grabs her a bottled ice coffee from the cooler. Sarah drinks it(and some of Jack) down rather swiftly, and Jack makes her head explode. Then Jack murders Greg, which is shown in a series of Polaroids. Again, pretty funny.

At an archery contest(what is this, summer camp?), Sam hears(or thinks he hears) some of the attack. He can apparently sense when Jack is around, similar to the way that Jack can track him. Sure he can. He probably has organic webshooters too, and the ability to climbs vertical surfaces.

As the others run to the targets to admire their archery skills, Sam is approached from behind by Manners. The retired agent wants Sam to meet him later, so they can discuss the murders. When Sam asks him why they can't just meet right now, Manners admits that he needs to pee first.

Sam goes to the rendezvous site, where Manners admits that the story of the killer snowman got him fired from the FBI. He also has Captain Fun with him, and he says that Captain Fun's whole discussion at the staff meeting was just a ruse. Sam reminds Manners that he wasn't in that scene, and the former Fed is dumbfounded--with special emphasis on the "dumb".

Anyway, Captain Fun has a plan to capture the killer. He wants to make the killer think that no one suspects anything is wrong, then throw a party. In all seriousness, that's the actual plan. At the party, Captain Fun reveals that "a party" is his solution for every problem. Again, as dumb as it is, I still laughed.

When Captain Fun and Manners mingle and lose themselves in the crowd, Sam hears Jack Frost taunting him. He runs outside, followed by the other 2, and sees a flash of movement as he searches for any sign of Jack. Sam grabs an oar to use as a weapon, then spots the carrot on the sand. When he reaches down to grab it, a snowman comes at him from behind, and Sam whacks the snowman with the paddle.

It wasn't Jack, but the Colonel, wearing a costume. Luckily, he was merely knocked out, and is soon revived. He announces again that the supply ship will arrive the following day, and that they can call the authorities when the ship arrives. Then the Colonel tells Sam and Manners to stop panicking the other guests with their strange antics.

Sam stares at the head of the snowman costume, and a clue clicks in his brain. He realizes that the head has a carrot nose sewn on it, but that he had found a carrot in the sand right before the incident. Even as his wife warns him not to over think things, Sam can't rest until he knows why the carrot was on the beach in the first place.

Jack grabs his nose back, and Sam returnsto the bungalow, while his wife tries to calm him down. Sam admits that his obsession with Jack is unhealthy, just as we see Jack prowling around the resort, looking for another victim. He soon discovers a very attractive woman in a yellow bikini, who I think might be Cindy, the second swimsuit model who came for the photo shoot.

She decides to have a late-night dip in the resort's pool, and chooses to go skinny dipping even. She dives in and makes her way to the other end of the pool, then goes underwater again. The third time, Jack arrives at the edge of the pool, dips one of his snowy hands in, and freezes the surface water into ice within seconds.

Cindy tries to come up for air, but she can't break through the ice.She sees Jack above her, and drowns when she screams in terror. Jack then finishes freezing the water in the pool, before also freezing the bar and the immediate surroundings as well. At the end of the scene, the swimsuit model is seen in a lounge chair, also being frozen over. When the heck did he unfreeze the pool to drag her out???

Jack then sneaks into Sam's bungalow, and pulls his blanket up over his shoulder, even giving him a friendly little pat. Sam wakes up, and walks into the bathroom, then sees that there's snow falling outside. He calls over to his wife that he thinks he's having one of his nightmares about an endless winter, except that he's wide awake.

Captain Fun then scares them both by lobbing snowballs at the couple. Sam and Anne step outside to see that snow is covering everything, and everyone is outside, playing in it. Even Anne seems to finally believe her husband, although their honeymooning friends don't. Sam goes back inside, presumably to come up with a plan to defeat Jack.

A couple of idiotic stoner-types find a frozen metal pole. One challenges the other to stick his tongue to the pole, and offers to pour his warm beer down the pole to keep his friend's tongue from being stuck. Being dumbasses, they agree that this sounds like a really awesome plan. Sheesh, I wonder if these are the "hey" guys from earlier?

As soon as the idiot sticks his tongue to the pole, his buddy takes off. Then Jack arrives. He puts both of his hands on either side of the poor kid's head, then yanks....causing his tongue to be wrenched out of his mouth in gory fashion. Ouch!

Captain Fun is busy passing out snowballs to folks, then he scurries away to make more Our protagonists are all back inside, when Sam gets another telepathic message from Jack. The snowman implies that something terrible is about to occur outside, so he and his friends watch the snowball fight with (club?)dread.

Jack makes the snowballs into projectiles of solid ice. When the first one is thrown, it knocks one man's arm off. Blood from the stump starts spraying everywhere, even smacking one poor woman right in the face while she screams. Another victim gets a snowball lodged in his mouth. Then there are a series of icicle-related deaths: eyes gouged out, impalements, throats torn get the idea.

Sam's group decides to venture outside, and Sam spots a snowman in the middle of the mayhem. He steps forward to confront it, even as the others try to tell him that he's being silly. How are they not seeing everyone getting killed around them?

Well, it turns out that the others were right(for once). As Sam splashes the snowman with antifreeze(which he wore in a vial around his neck, like holy water), it turns out that the snowman was just a decoy, designed to draw him out into the open. When Sam turns around to face his friends, the real Jack pops up behind him.

Just in time, Manners shows up to save the day, with his gun drawn. Jack vanishes into the snow, sparing Sam's life. Sam's wife and friends are shocked to see Manners, and they all start questioning him and Sam about what's going on. Manners searches for any sign of Jack, while urging the others to go back to the safety of the bungalow.

Once inside, Sam reveals the psychic connection that he and Jack now seem to share. Marla still has her doubts, until Sam asks her how many other psychotic, living snowmen she has any knowledge of. Sam reaches beneath the bed, and reveals that he brought a stash of antifreeze, caulking tubes and other tools along on the vacation, in case they needed them. Why doesn't he just hide porn under the mattress, like most husbands would?

Armed, Sam and Manners announce that they intend to hunt Jack down and destroy him again. They ask Joe to stay with the women, which is what he wanted to do anyway, so that worked out great. Then Manners, armed with a squirt gun, asks to be called "Agent Manners" again, and they leave the safety of the bungalow to begin their snowmanhunt...but not before the 3 others come out to give Sam goofy "pep talks".

Manners and Sam make their way to the main building, and start their search for either Jack or other survivors. They get pelted with frying pans and other kitchen implements by Bobby, the Colonel and Captain Fun, who mistake them for dangerous intruders. Are there any heroes in this movie who aren't utterly incompetent?

Sam tells the resort workers a dumbed-down(ironic, I know) version of the story of Jack. When he gets to the part about the antifreeze, Captain Fun reminds them that they're in a tropical paradise, with not a lot of access to antifreeze. Then Bobby pipes up, and reveals that the secret ingredient in one of his most popular drinks is a coolant, or similar enough to antifreeze to do the trick. Nice. Anyone thirsty?

Manners and Sam grab the chemical, then the group of men work to make a huge batch of the stuff to use against the killer snowman. Well, most of them help...Captain Fun is too busy making snow angels and dipping his head in the snow to be of much use. After creating the stuff, they build a huge, fake field of snow-like mashed potato flakes over it, and wait for Jack to step into their trap. Then Sam volunteers to be the bait to lure Jack there.

As they wait for Jack to reappear, Anne is seen watching out the window for any sign that her husband is safe. She hears the bathroom faucet dripping, and decides to check it out. Oddly enough, nothing happens to her. What a missed opportunity!

Oh well, Jack decided to approach Sam directly. Sam's squirt gun goes dry, but he turns out not to need it: Jack stumbles into the trap all on his own. He quickly melts, and everybody rushes out to congratulate Sam for not getting himself killed. Then Jack returns, reformed out of a different pile of snow, and yells at Sam about how much getting melted hurts. Shooting more antifreeze/chemical coolants at him has no effect, because Jack claims that he's now "new and improved", which explains nothing.

Jack then poops a snowball and escapes into a pile of snow. Joe and Marla stay behind to examine the snow-poop, and gingerly pick it up with a pool net. Manners, alone in an unlit section of the island, spies a second snowball. He flattens it under his shoe, then grins like a maniac.

Back indoors, they all stare at the snowball Joe and Marla captured. Not only hasn't it melted, but now it's glowing with a bright light. As they try to figure out what to do with it, the snowball hatches, revealing a baby snowball inside.

Captain Fun thinks it's cute, and begins babbling baby-talk at it. The snowball responds by sticking an icicle through his eye socket, and killing him. Yeah, how cute. Marla picks up the pan containing the snowball like it's a tennis racket, and flings it against a wall. Then the tiny snowball chases them all around the room.

Bobby squashes it with a pot, but the snowball simply resumes its round shape with no difficulty. Then they work to trap it under another pan, and fling it into a blender. It squeals and shrieks as the blender reduces it to a watery mess, but when they switch the blender off again, the living snowball simply retakes it shape and declares, "That was fun!"

They debate different ways to destroy the thing: pouring salt all over it, heating it up on the range, cooking it in a microwave, wrapping it in a towel and steaming it...Heck after about 3 years, I think a slasher movie has finally suggested a montage I wouldn't mind seeing!!

But they denied me that one pleasure. No, instead of watching a group of people attempt to kill a snowball monster in dozens of wacky ways, we get more scenes of Manners traipsing around outside. He goes back to the supply shed, where he comes face-to-face with dozens of baby snowballs. Can you imagine how great this movie would be if we were high right now?

As Manners picks up one of the babies to examine it, Anne calls him on his radio, warning him not to pick any of them up. Awesome. As he attempts to slowly back out of the shed, one of the snowballs bites his finger off, then dozens jump up and attack him. He falls to the ground, and a pool of blood seeps out of the shed.

The group in the kitchen, meanwhile try shoving the snowball into a waffle iron. It reassembles again, covered in waffle-marks, and says cheerfully, "Mmmm, toasty!"

Sam is still a shell-shocked looney, so Anne puts herself in charge. She orders the others to gather as many jars, bottles, boxes and other lidded containers as they can find. Then she dons a bicycle helmet, pots-and-pans armor, and arms herself with a dustpan and a large jar. Rambo-ette lives!

She meets up with the Colonel and Joe, and they agree to split up and search the building, one room at a time. Then we see that the snowballs have taken over the bar. They're spinning around on the turntable, getting drunk, forming conga lines...for psychotic mutants, they sure do know how to have a good time!

Several of the snowball monsters are seen dragging away a severed arm to snack on, while the Colonel is sneaking around in the same general vicinity. Other snowballs are munching on fingers, innards, get the picture. Sam and the others are briefly shown, and Marla threatens to kill Sam herself if he doesn't pull his shit together.

Joe finds one of the snowballs hiding in a Christmas tree, and traps it with a vacuum cleaner. He then transfers the little monster into a jar and seals the lid. While Joe's feeling pretty victorious, the Colonel is hidden in some tall reeds, and chatting with himself about past hunting victories. One of the snowballs climbs up a bamboo shoot and gets in his line of sight, distracting the Colonel long enough for other snowballs to surround him(including one with an icicle Mohawk) and make scary noises. Frightened, the Colonel runs away.

Anne explores an area that looks deserted, but then she hears something behind a table. She flings an object at the table to surprise whatever is back there, and discovers a female tourist named Amanda. Amanda was enjoying the snow with the other guests, until the massacre started.

Anne offers take her back to the kitchen hideout, but then an army of snowballs fire themselves at poor Amanda, knocking her to the ground. The sudden commotion reveals about 6-7 more survivors, who were apparently also hiding. And none of them heard or saw Anne trying to rescue Amanda?

Anne manages to defend herself fairly well against the creatures, but then she flings a mixed drink at one of them and it blows up. Anne brings the drink back to the kitchen, and asks Bobby what it is. He identifies it as Bobby's Island Daiquiri, and it turns out that the explosive ingredient is bananas. We discover that Sam has an allergy to them, and the mixture of his and Jack's DNA must have given the snowballs the same weakness.

They quickly gather as many bananas as they can find, and make a liquid that they can squirt at the snowballs. Then we get an exploding snowballs montage, complete with "Taps" playing during the sequence. They should name this sequence "Saving Private Snowman", or maybe "Full Winter Jacket".

After the completely bananas massacre(sorry...), Jack reappears. He sees the carnage, watches one of his "babies" die, then vows even more revenge, after a single cold tear rolls down his face. Sweet.

The Colonel and Bobby discuss how to clean up the resort and cover the massacre up, and then Jack shoves an icicle through the back of the Colonel's head, until it emerges out of his mouth. Then Jack slits Bobby's throat open, and rushes away to finish off the others. Joe and Marla are seen cleaning up the mess in another room, and Marla mentions that it's after midnight. They're supposed to be getting married in a few hours.

Jack pops up as they share a kiss, and the couple run back into the kitchen, screaming like banshees. They run past Anne, and Jack surrounds her with his own body, which he reshapes into a box. As the walls close in on Anne, icicles start to appear around her, and it looks like she's doomed. Then Jack resumes his snowman shape, and cackles with evil glee.

Sam pops up, holding a bow armed with a banana-tipped arrow. He fires it at Jack, and the snowman explodes, sending gory red slush everywhere. Sam realizes that he may have arrived too late to save his wife, and he crawls around in the red, slushy snow to search for her.

As he's getting more and more upset, a hand rises out of the slush, and waves weakly at him. Sam grabs her, then wipes all of the crap off of her face. They embrace, and he carries her out to the beach, so that they can wait for the supply ship to rescue them.

Normally, that's where I'd type THE END, but there's one more scene in the credits. The supply ship, which turns out to be from Japan, arrives at the island. The crew sees that the resort is now covered in snow, and then a gigantic carrot hits the ship from above, sinking it. Yup, Jack Frost is now....Snowzilla!!! THE END

Man oh man, this movie is exactly what I needed. After seeing so many grim, serious slashers, a goofy one like this is a nice change of pace. Plus, there were some really inventive kills, and several genuinely funny bits throughout the film. Sadly though, it looks pretty unlikely that there will ever be a third movie in this series, as the actor playing Sam passed away. It's too bad, because I could watch these dumb things over and over again. 4 killer trees out of 5. Rest in Peace, Sam.

And what did I learn from Jack Frost 2?

-Carrots can really get around!

-Snowballs can hatch monstrous baby snowballs.

-When you mix your DNA with another person's DNA, it gives you a psychic link to that person. So every time you have sex or a blood transfusion, you're psychic!!!

Next up: The Ruins, a grim affair about a group of young people being picked off by Mayans and a killer plant. And no, it's not as much fun as it sounds, it's grim. Really, really grim.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Perkins' 14

This week's movie(...well okay, LAST week's movie), Perkins' 14, was a part of one of the After Dark movie collections. That means it's either a great scary movie, or total crap. The AD films don't tend to be middle-of-the-road experiences, you either wind up loving an AD movie or hating it. I hope this one ends up being one of the good ones....Get ready, it's SPOILER time....

As the film begins, someone is driving through the countryside. The scenic journey is interrupted every so often by quick flashes of grainy footage, showing a dreary looking building, in which a large group of children are being kept in cages. The images from this place start out looking washed out and dark, then gradually color starts to get into the images. A bald man is dreaming these pictures, and they show him having a picnic with his family. Then he wakes up, and gets ready to head to work.

Before he leaves the house entirely, though, he stops at an empty bedroom, belonging to a child. There's a chess board set up on a small table, and our guy has a flashback to having played chess with his son. Then he stops by another bedroom, belonging to his daughter, who is having a gossip-fest with her best friend. He nearly enters the room to say goodbye before heading to work, but changes his mind.

Instead, he enters the kitchen to have a quick breakfast...which turns out to be leftover pasta. Sheesh. The girls come downstairs, and we at least learn their names: the daughter is Daisy, the friend is Sammy. When Sammy leaves, Baldy asks his daughter about some test she took at school, then informs her that he arrested the boy she likes because he was carrying drugs. Ah, so Baldy is a cop. And a fun dad!

As he gives his daughter the third degree, his wife Janine walks in on the chat. Baldy finally gets a name, Dwayne Hopper....I liked him better as Baldy. Oh well. It turns out that it's not morning, it's actually evening at the Hopper household. Dwayne works the graveyard shift.

He inadvertently eats Daisy's dinner, then has an awkward discussion with his wife over using the family car. Janine also brings up a business venture that she wants to begin, and Dwayne insults her by calling her career plans a hobby. Wow, Dwayne's not just a great father, he's also a terrific husband.

He leaves for work finally, and asks a fellow officer about the few people in the jail that evening. One's a local hooker named Felicity, the other's a guy who attempted to run away during a traffic stop. The other cop checks out for the night, and Dwayne begins cracking open beer cans as soon as he's alone. Great, let's add "Cop of the Year" to Dwayne's growing list of accomplishments.

While getting his beer buzz on, Dwayne falls asleep at his desk. He has a dream about his family, and the day his young son vanished. Apparently, there were 13 other children who also went missing...Hey, where have I recently seen an ominous-looking 14?

Anyway, Dwayne wakes up, and goes through a series of keys, doors and files that make the door sequence on Get Smart! look like a walk in the park. After passing through Middle-Earth, Area 51, and, quite possibly, The Forbidden Zone, it turns out that Dwayne just wanted to visit the holding cell area. No wonder he has no hair, the poor guy probably tore it out whenever he got lost in that maze.

The drunk chick is sleeping it off,but the guy who tried to evade being questioned at a traffic stop is wide awake. He leans forward in his shadowy cell, until only the lower portion of his face is revealed, then reveals a smile only Gary Busey would love. The mysterious Mr. Perkins then speaks to Dwayne, who didn't realize that he was being observed.

After Dwayne has a minor heart attack brought on by simply being spoken to, Perkins asks him if he can make a phone call. It seems that he has several kids at home, and needs to have someone look in on them. Gosh, wasn't there something that happened about a decade earlier that involved "several children" suddenly disappearing? I'll bet the 2 items are completely unrelated.

Dwayne refuses politely, telling Perkins that he'll need to wait until morning to make his call. Perkins gets upset, then asks Dwayne for his name(which is on display right on his uniform, but whatever....), and they officially introduce themselves. Then the drunk chick asks them both to shut up, so she can sleep.

As the 2 men discuss their children, Dwayne sees that Perkins is missing a couple of fingers on one hand. He asks about the injury, and Perkins says that he lost the fingers while trying to fix a lawnmower. Dwayne expresses sympathy, but again tells the man that he can't bend the rules for him. He says goodnight to Perkins and Felicity(who gives him the finger...but probably not one belonging to Perkins), then returns to his desk on the other side of the maze. They should at least give him a piece of cheese when he has to make that journey!

Dwayne goes over the conversation in his head, and apparently Perkins gave him the heebie-jeebies. Dwayne scours through the arrest report and decides to see what other information he can dig up on the guy. This somehow leads to another flashback or dream sequence, where Dwayne and his kids are woken up one night by an intruder. Yeah, because why would we want to get the story going forward, when we can go backward instead?

Anyway, he gets his kids back into the bedroom, then decides to try to sneak downstairs. There's the usual "creaky stairs" moment, and he freezes to see if the intruder heard him coming. Dwayne finishes his trip downstairs, and sees a curtain billowing, implying that either a window or sliding glass door was left open. He looks to his right and left then goes to shut the window.

A slight noise alerts him that the intruder was already upstairs, just waiting for him to leave. He runs back, but by the time he gets there, the wife and daughter are clinging to each other, and the son is missing. Wait, how does that work? Weren't the kids together when he left them? And if the mother was there, how did she manage not to keep track of her son? This doesn't make sense! And why didn't the kidnapper just take the daughter too?Ugh, this movie gives me a headache! But at least the flashback is finally done.

Dwayne returns to the holding area, perhaps slaying a Minotaur or 2 along the way. He holds up the printout that details Perkins' personal history, and angrily points out that the paper says nothing about Perkins having any children. Felicity, the hooker with a heart of syphilis, gets upset about the outburst, but Dwayne tells her to shove it.

When Perkins expresses surprise that his file was opened, Dwayne reminds him that he was trying to help him out. Perkins says that he's been a resident of Stone Cove for his entire life, but Dwayne finds it suspicious that they had never met before that evening. Really? Really??? I've lived, more or less, in the same city for my entire life, and I sure as heck don't know every person here. You don't see me accusing every stranger on the street of a crime spree, though.

Then Perkins makes some reference to Dwayne's daughter, and Dwayne claims that he never told him that he had a daughter. Now, I know they talked about their kids, but I don't recall if anything specific was said. Also, I don't give a crap. We have an hour left to endure, and the whole movie thus far is about as compelling as Amish porn.

Dwayne goes back to his desk and has a hissy fit. Oh, and he drinks some more. A LOT more. Then he fixates on Perkins' big ol' teeth. That pushes the cop over the edge, so he does a drunk'n'dial. He calls the cop who finished his shift earlier, and tells him that he thinks that Perkins is a killer. He makes numerous connections between Perkins and the child abduction("He's missing fingers! He wears glasses! He's a killer!"), and comes across like a wing-nut.

When the other cop asks Dwayne if he's been drinking, Dwayne ends the call. He drinks some more, then places a call to a medical center, looking for any medical records pertaining to "Ronald Perkins". While he waits for them to call back, he examines the clothing and items Perkins had on himself when he was arrested. The hospital calls back, and reports that Perkins has absolutely no medical history in the community.

Dwayne hangs up the phone, then decides to go through the car that Perkins was driving at the time of his arrest. He finds a few large storage containers in the back of the vehicle, and starts opening them up. He finally comes across a sealed plastic bag, filled with pill bottles. By the way, this is only 20-30 minutes into this movie. Anyone else feel like we've been watfching this thing for a month?

Dwayne receives a fax, and places another call. He presents all of his "evidence" to a judge...or tries to, but the judge won't listen.He's either a friends of Perkins', or he owes him a huge favor, because the guy orders Dwayne to stop making trouble for the guy. When Dwayne mentions the evidence from the car, and the possible connection to his son, the judge is shocked that Dwayne conducted a search without having a warrant. Wow, at least SOMEBODY in this film knows the law! That's impressive. The scene ends with the judge ordering that Perkins be released, and that Dwayne should report to the judge on Monday. Ooh, someone's getting fiiiiiiiiired....

Hey, have you been itching to know what Daisy Hopper's been up to, while her dad's been screwing around with a perp? Yeah, me neither. But the movie decides to switch over to her anyway, so I guess we should pay attention. On the bright side, it can't be any more dull than watching her dad at work making phone calls.

She's hanging out with her stoner buddies, in a place that looks like a graveyard designed by Salvador Dali. The particular guy she's into looks about twice her age, and is a terrible singer. After a few pointless arguments, Daisy and FrankenGoth decide to wander away for some good ol' fashioned statutory rape. Isn't being a teenager magical?

Dwayne calls his off-duty pal Hal again, and lays out all of his theories and evidence. He begs the off-duty officer to run by Perkins' house and check it out. Hal reluctantly agrees, but tells Dwayne that he's losing his mind, and probably his job. Yeah, we know.

Dwayne goes downstairs to handcuff Perkins, then takes him back to his desk to question him about the abductions. As they play a verbal tennis match, Hal radios in from the house. That finally rattles Perkins, and he and Dwayne listen as Hal explores the property. He hears a noise coming from the basement, and tells Dwayne that he's going in to take a look. Perkins, begs Dwayne to call him off.

Hal breaks a chain over the bulkhead with some bolt cutters, and descends into the basement. Perkins just keeps saying, "He can't do that, he can't do that...", before begging Dwayne to get Hal out of the house again. Dwayne continues to ignore him.

The basement looks like a museum. Seriously, I've never seen such a clean basement before, right down to all of the weapons--uh, I mean, "tools"--hanging on the walls. Who the heck hangs a shovel up like it's a trophy? I mean, besides the superhero The Shoveler.

Behind a shelf of old nails and screws, Hal finds a false wall. He moves the shelf and, sure enough, the wall behind it opens into another room. We've gone from Hannibal Lecter to The Hardy Boys in about 30 seconds of investigation. That makes logical sense, right?

Hal finds himself in the same area we saw during the opening credits. He sees a gigantic lever on one wall and flips it, expecting it to turn on the lights. Come on, man! It's the same kind of lever Frankenstein would pull before bringing the dead back to life! You honestly think it does something as simple as switching on a lamp or 2?

Of course it doesn't. It controls the doors of all the cages we saw during the opening credits. As the doors all slide up, the fake shelf slides back into place. Hal, being completely clueless, keeps on exploring, right up until a feral monster-child leaps on him and decides to eat his face off.

When Hal no longer responds on his walkie-talkie, Perkins pulls an I-told-you-so out of his ass. Yeah, that's helpful. Then Perkins sheds some light on the situation. See, when he was a younger man, his parents were murdered. He put the blame squarely on the police officers and authority figures who failed to catch the killer, plus he lived in fear of something terrible happening to him. So he kidnapped the children of those he felt were responsible, gave them constant, regular doses of PCP, and kept 'em caged up like undomesticated Kardashians.

Okay, my brain is officially trying to ooze out of my ears after that. This is, for now, The Stupidest Horror Movie Ever...until I see something even dumber, that is. Probably in about a week.

Anyway, Perkins reveals that his mother was stabbed 14 times, and his father was shot. He talks about how he was expected to "move on" with his life, and there are scenes depicting how Dwayne can't move on after his son's disappearance. But eventually, Dwayne gets tired of hearing the smug lunatic talk, and tells him that they're going to his house. He even shows Perkins the paperwork the judge faxed over for his release, which was issued several hours ago.

Again, right in the middle of something happening, the scene changes. Daisy and her misshapen boyfriend, Eric, are in Eric's cozy, romantic Rape Dungeon. Ain't Young Love just grand? Daisy sees past most of his bullshit persona, but still lets him seduce her.

Luckily for her(and us), the scene ends right there. Dwayne and Perkins are doing the "good cop, sociopath citizen" routine, and have arrived at the Perkins home. Be it ever so humble! Dwayne leaves Perkins in the back of the vehicle, grinning like The Cheshire Cat. Dwayne, not nearly as jovial, begins to look for poor Hal.

He finds him soon enough, hanging upside down from the basement ceiling. He examines the bloody body, then manages to look away long enough to explore the rest of the basement. He follows a blood trail into the secret holding area, and finds the empty cages where the children were kept...well, mostly empty: one cage holds a corpse that looks older than Moses. Maybe the film should have been called Perkins' 13 instead. Dwayne also finds shelves of drugs that were used on the children, as well as numerous videotapes. Dwayne snatches up one of the videos to see what Perkins was recording.

That one particular tape shows that Perkins was stalking the Hopper family, and presumably all of the families of the missing kids. He somehow managed to get close enough to film them having a private picnic, without any of the Hopper clan spotting him. Dwayne goes completely bonkers at that point, in an epic montage of reaction shots that would make William Shatner envious. Throughout the sequence, he looks constipated.

He hurries back to his vehicle, and punches his smug captive into La-La Land. When Perkins wakes up, he reveals that Dwayne's son was the one who bit his finger off. Yum! He also says that he wanted the parents to feel as helpless as he did, and that he made the videos for Dwayne to find someday. When he continues to taunt the cop with awful stories, Dwayne shoots him at point blank range, blowing his head apart. So much for the buddy cop routine. Then there's more "emoting", and Dwayne proceeds to hit the corpse several times, just to tenderize the meat, I guess.

Dwayne heads back to the car, and calls in the murder as "an officer down". The dispatcher asks if the "officer" is dead, and when Dwayne says that he is, he's told that the call will have to wait. As Dwayne listens, he realizes that the town is in complete chaos, and that he won't be getting any further help from his fellow cops. He gets back on the radio, and announces that he's going to rescue his daughter.

Yup, that means that we return to the stoners again. Lucky us. One of the Perkins' escapees approaches the group, even as Dwayne races to get there in time. One of the male teens(not Eric) approaches the maniac, and the drug-fueled rage monster(ummmm....the one who escaped from the cellar, not the pothead) cuts the innocent boy's head off with a machete. Where the heck did Perkins' zombie-kids get weapons from? Aren't they all supposed to be mindless drones?

Oh, I recognize the blade...he got it from the basement wall. Okay. He raises it again, and there's a close-up of Daisy's friend Sammy . It looks like she's almost grinning. Man, this is dumb. Can I get a refund on something I watched for free? No?

After a murder and the sound of the police vehicle pulling up, Daisy asks Eric if he heard something. *sigh* I miss the days when slasher movies didn't make me wish for a swift lobotomy. The noise level must have been acceptable, because Daisy and Eric have gone back to fooling around.

Dwayne finds the dead kid with the slashed throat, but no one else is around. He shouts his daughter's name, but gets no response. So....Daisy has bat-like hearing, but can switch it on and off as the script demands it? Nice logic and consistency there, movie. Oh, and as Dwayne continues to scream and shout, there's someone with a certain blade lurking around in his vicinity...

Daisy finally hears the noise, and she and Eric go outside to see what the commotion is all about. While Daisy and her father are distracted by each other, the Perkins kid emerges, and slices several fingers off of one of Eric's hands. This movie has a serious severed-finger fetish! As the killer kid goes after Daisy next, Dwayne shoots him 4 times.

In a scene that's probably not meant to be hilarious, Dwayne hugs his daughter and asks about her condition, all while Eric is howling in the background and holding up his now-stumpy fingers. As Daisy remembers her boyfriend and rushes over to his side, Dwayne momentarily points his gun at the guy. Seriously, am I the only one who finds this to suddenly be funny as Hell?

While Daisy and Eric start to make their way to the police vehicle, Dwayne points his gun at Perkins' 2.(I'm considering the poor kid who died in captivity to be Perkins' 1...I'm numbering them as we see them, so that it'll be less confusing.) As they all pile in and Dwayne starts the engine, Perkins' 3 shows up, also armed. As he raises his weapon overhead, Dwayne slams into him, and rams the guy into a display that looks like paper-mache fangs, or maybe icicles. Bizarre.

They drive away, so I guess if the other kids survived, they are just shit out of luck. Nice. Dwayne looks at his daughter and Eric in his rear view mirror, with one of his patented glares. Over the police band on the radio, they all hear various reports of chaos and violence happening throughout the town of Bay Cove.

As they round a corner, a utility pole is blocking their path, and throwing out a shower of sparks., right in front of a wrecked car. Being a dumbass in a horror film, Dwayne exits his car to check out the scene. He approaches the car, and shines his trusty flashlight in the windows, to check for survivors. Then, not content to survive that quick search, he decides to climb into the backseat.

Daisy watches this, dumbfounded, and orders him to get back to his own car. He ignores his daughter, and sees 2 people on the other side of the crashed car, on the ground. One is either attacking or eating the other. He sees Dwayne and leaps into the car, and Dwayne just barely has time to slam the door on his side shut.

But wait, it gets worse. He recognizes Perkins' 4, because it's his son! Oooooooh! The deranged young man breaks through the sunroof to attack his father, and another police officer arrives on the scene. When the other cop draws his gun on Perkins' 4, Dwayne yells at the guy not to shoot his son. That gives Perkins' 4 the distraction he needs to attack the other cop, and drag his body off into the night. So, yeah, cannibalism. Fun.

Nope. The son just decides to bash the other officer into a pulp with his own flashlight. Much better, right? Dwayne finally decides to listen to his daughter, and they take off again. Back the way they came, I'm guessing, given the mess that blocked their way.

Oh hey, Janine's back in the movie now! Remember her? No? Well, I don't blame you--other than quick flashback scenes, we haven't seen Dwayne's wife since the start of the movie. She's at some seedy motel, getting her brains screwed out by a guy who actually looks shadier than his surroundings. He hands her a bottle of champagne, and proudly declares that it has "a cork and everything!" Sheesh. His brains were screwed out 7 movies ago, it would seem.

Janine comments on the fact that the bottle is warm, and Dumbass reveals that it's been sitting in his truck for quite some time. Boy, I'll bet she can't wait to drink THAT! To get away from the dolt, she grabs the ice bucket and offers to get enough ice to let the champagne get chilly again. As she leaves the motel room, she catches the attention of what I assume is the evening desk clerk. Or maybe he's just the world's nosiest night owl.

The music gets scary, and a figure lunges at her from out of the darkness. Oh, it's just the numbskull lover again, proving how inept he is at even walking up to her. There's a quick glimpse of one of the Perkins' killers(complete with, for some reason, glowing eyes), then we get returned to Dwayne with his lights and siren going full blast. Yeah, because why would you want to try to be stealthy and subtle in a town overrun by killer teenagers who attack anything that moves?

They talk about where to go, and somehow the conversation turns to dear ol' mom. Daisy confesses that Janine is having an affair, and that she's currently at a motel. Wow, add in a mud pit and a few more psychotic killers, and this could be hosted by Jerry Springer!

Janine returns to the room, and shoves the champagne into the ice bucket. She and her himbo decide to have another round of sexy playtime, and he pulls her shirt up over her eyes while fondling and kissing her. Then Perkins' 6 somehow gets into the room unseen, and kills him with the champagne bottle. Yay!

Janine realizes that something went wrong, and pulls her shirt back down to have a look. She manages to slide off the bed, just seconds before the maniac jumps on her lover, and bash his skull apart with the bottle. Literally, this one doesn't stop, until his face is gone. Perkins' 6 sees her horrified reaction, and slams the bottle down even harder, just to watch her expressions. This one should see Dwayne's face if she likes reactions....that guy is the king of ham.

Being a genius, Janine just watches her lover getting demolished. No running, no reactions, like crying or screaming, she just sits there and watches him get destroyed. When Janine finally reacts to the danger she's in, she gets chased into the tiny bathroom. Perkins' 6 pushes her weight against the door to get to Janine, and Janine finds a shard of porcelain on the floor. She grabs it, and shoves it through her attacker's eye.

Janine slams the door on her, and crawls to the opposite side of the room. Perkins' 6 scratches at the door until her nails literally start to snap off. Ouch! Whatever she leaves on the pillow, I'm betting it won't be a mint.

Dwayne sees flames up ahead, and a guy who looks like an aging hippie flags him down. They let the dude into the back seat with Eric, and he starts to freak out when he realizes that they're going to pick up Dwayne's wife before escaping Bay Cove. The hippie attempts to take Eric hostage with a knife to force the issue, but Dwayne threatens to drive back the way they came if he doesn't calm down.

When the hippie calls the attackers "monsters", Dwayne tells his passengers what Perkins did to make them that way. Needless to say, the 3 listeners are shocked by the details of the captivity and brainwashing. Even the hippy shuts up, which is nice.

Dwayne stops the car and gets out, followed closely by his daughter. After hearing the hippie whine some more, Eric also asks to be let out. Heh, it looks like we all now have a unified front against the new most-annoying character in the movie. Groovy.

They cautiously approach the motel, and Dwayne orders the young couple to wait outside. Daisy can't resist looking into the room anyway, and sees her mother's boy-toy on the bed, minus his face. She cries and leans against Eric for comfort. Uh, how about comforting him? How many fingers did Daisy lose so far, huh?

Dwayne sneaks over to the bathroom, and hears his wife inside. He finds her cowering on the floor, and he gently gets her standing. She hugs him, then he carefully helps her put her shirt back on, taking care not to further injure the hand she wounded when she picked up that jagged piece of porcelain. Boy, I'd love to sit in on their next couples' therapy session!

Dwayne hugs her again, and covers her face as they exit the motel room. As the foursome start their way back to the car, they see that one of the drones(probably Perkins' 6, although we only get a brief glimpse) has somehow found a way into the police vehicle, and has killed the hippie. Yay!

Dwayne sees someone approaching from behind them on foot, and realizes that they may be trapped between 2 maniacs. He tells them to leave, while he creates a distraction, then he has a confrontation with the maniac wandering around. It's his son again, and he chases Dwayne while the others sneak away.

The trio get back to the Stone Cove/Bay Cove/whatever police department building, but the front entrance is locked. As Daisy realizes that several of the escaped killers are in the area, she loudly begs whoever locked the entrance to let them in. Genius. It's not exactly a shock when her shouts get the attention of the nearby killers.

A cop inside hears them, but he's a bit of a chickenshit, so he hesitates to do the right thing. By the time he finally grows a pair, the psychopaths are nearly at the door themselves. He quickly ushers the group into the building, then slams and locks the entrance doors again. The killers outside don't seem too happy about it.

They get settled in, and Janine starts trying to dress Eric's wounded hand. While that's going on, the deputy who let them in is pacing the room, ranting like a wild man. Then Janine tries to use the phones in the office, but the lines are all dead. They always are, right?

Daisy asks her mother about Kyle, her abducted sibling, and the resemblance he had to Perkins' 4. Janine tells her that she's wrong, and that Kyle is probably long-dead by now. Nuh uhhhhhhh...

Of course, that's more or less when the power goes out, and one of the brainwashed monster-kids manages to get inside. The group decides to make a break for it, and they head for the exact area that the Perkinsbot came in through. Awesome.

As they make their way down the corridor, Eric is dragged away by the brainwashed kid. Eric clings to a wall to keep from getting dragged away, and the others either watch him screaming, or just stand around looking uncomfortable. Nice group you guys have...I hope you all get eaten alive.

The deputy finally works up enough courage to take a peek around the corner, and sees Eric getting his entrails pulled out. And eaten. See? I knew they were cannibals! It's like this movie had a cliche checklist, and just keeps checking them off as we go. I'll be genuinely shocked if a cat doesn't jump out of the shadows at some point.

The deputy is attacked next, possibly by Kyle. I say "possibly", because the lights are strobing in an annoying way, and it's hard to tell what's happening, with all of the MTV-style quick-edits. But yeah, the deputy is definitely attacked next.

Suddenly, a shot rings out! *cue dramatic music* Dwayne's back! He blows away the mindless killer, so I guess it's not Kyle. What does that make this one, Perkins' 7? 6 maybe? A number should flash up on the screen every time one of the drones is picked off. Or maybe Perkins should have bought them sports jerseys, with little numbers on them. That would have been pretty funny to see.

While Dwayne and his wife try to console their daughter about her dead boyfriend(It would have been great if one of them had said something like, "It's okay, there will be other boys..."), that other deputy(wait, didn't he get attacked? Why did he get to live, dammit?!?) claims that he can hear someone. Sure enough, when they all listen, they hear what sounds like a female voice calling out in distress.

Dwayne goes off to check it out, and finds Felicity in her holding cell, right where he left her. Felicity, the foul-mouthed, drunk hooker with a heart of coal! Yay! Dwayne rescues her from the cell, then brings her back to the rest of the group for a meet'n'greet.

Oh, and apparently she's not an intoxicated, Felicity is some kind of granola environmentalist, with a specialty in vandalizing construction equipment. Nice. Would have been better to stick with a drunken hooker, though. There aren't enough of those in horror films these days.

Felicity sees one of the prescription bottles of PCP on Dwayne's desk, and suddenly she's the resident PCP expert in the group. She tells them that it makes the user stronger than any normal human, supposedly able to withstand even a large vehicle hitting them. Oh yeah? Tell that to the one who was rammed by Dwayne's car earlier.

The lights in the hallway flicker some more, and we see one of the killers running around looking for more folks to munch on. We see Janine approach her husband like he's some new species of wildlife, and he tells her that their son is out there, still alive. Then he blames himself for not looking for Kyle more, for giving him up for dead too quickly.

Daisy asks him to stop talking about it, but Dwayne's on a roll now. He claims that Kyle's condition is revenge for the way they moved on without him, and that his rage stems from being forgotten. Janine hilariously decides that this would be the best opportunity to discuss the fact that she was found in a motel room with a guy whose face was removed. Like I said earlier, this is going to be the best marriage counseling session ever. Hell, even Felicity's ears perk up!

But Dwayne doesn't want to discuss it. He's too busy brooding. Realizing that there aren't going to be any fireworks, Felicity announces that she's going to go to the bathroom, and she leaves the happy group. She finds a toilet stall that's monster-free, does her business, then writes on the bathroom wall "I was here". Yeah, but not for much longer...

She hears a noise on her way out, and decides to go back in to check it out. That kooky deputy starts a loud argument with Dwayne and his wife just to be an ass, and the noise is pretty much there just to distract them from what happens next. What happens next? Felicity is pulled up into the ceiling by one of the crazed killers, and she's mauled to death. That's what happens next!

The others finally hear the attack, but not in time to do anything useful. Dwayne and the other deputy go check it out, and find Felicity hanging from the ceiling, with only her blood-soaked legs showing. As the other deputy leads the charge, he's attacked as well. Dwayne readies his shotgun, and blows a hole in the attacker that nearly cuts him in half at the waist. The guy still tries crawling after the deputies, though, and his top and bottom halves split apart. Awesome effect.

Another one is seen shambling down the hall, and it turns out to be Kyle. Dwayne begs him not to attack, but Kyle starts sprinting at his father with mucho gusto. Dwayne just barely manages to get back into the room with the others, and lock the door in time. The other deputy insists that they need to kill every one of the escapees, including Kyle. Dwayne, being a reasonable human being, shoots him.

After his wife and daughter stop screaming and crying and realizing what a creep he is, Dwayne tells them that he has a plan. Does it involves sacrificing them to Kyle and getting away by himself? Somewhat to my surprise, no, it doesn't.

Dwayne points out Perkins' car on the security monitors, and mentions that it was impounded when Perkins was arrested. Since the area is inside. it could be relatively secure for them to escape to, as long as they're careful. The problem? The keys are in the evidence room, which involves going back into the hallway and avoiding Kyle to get there and grab the keys. Yeah, great plan, Kojak!

Dwayne decides that he'll be the one to go, but his wife insists that she'll be the next human sacrifice. Well, at least now we know who dies next! Her voice was kind of getting on my nerves anyway, so it feels right for her to be next.

Dwayne escorts Janine to a set of stairs, and she makes him promise to take care of their daughter when she's gone. They hug, then she goes off to die in some improbable, absurd manner. At least, that's my guess. Janine goes up the set of stairs, as her daughter watches her on the monitors, and Dwayne just stands there, being useless. Why doesn't he go with her? He has a gun, at least!

Ahhh, I give up trying to make this movie sound like it makes sense. Janine rounds the corner, and finds a ladder. She uses it to climb up to the ceiling, so she can open up an air duct and crawl to the evidence room from up there. While she does that, you see someone in blurry shadows walking the halls toward her location. Kyle? Dwayne? Another killer drone? Cujo?

She pulls herself up into the tunnel, just as the figure passes by, and then does her best imitation of John McClane from Die Hard. Janine crawls through the narrow tunnel like a snail, to try to avoid making too much noise. She passes over another room at one point, and sees a couple of the drones ransacking the place. One of them has those glowing eyes, which still doesn't make any damned sense.

The creature senses Janine, but doesn't spot her hiding place. As Dwayne and his daughter watch the monitors, Janine tries to resume her journey to the evidence room, but she makes a noise that alerts the predator she just saw. Janine keeps going, unaware that one of the drones has climbed up the ladder to follow her.

Janine gets to the evidence room, then lowers herself in. She waves at the security camera like a loon, then finally sets about on her mission to find the keys to the car. She finds the keys relatively quickly, then wastes time waving them at the camera. What, does she think they want to play charades? Is she trying to amuse a housecat?

As expected, the noise and her inability to get her ass in gear are the main causes of Janine's death. A couple of the Perkins' subjects come running in, and they disembowel her. Daisy yells and screams, probably because she realizes that half of her DNA came from an utter nincompoop, while the other half came from a self-loathing psycho. I'll let you decide which parent is which in that sentence...

Daisy runs into the hallway, in some misguided attempt to save her already-dead mother. Dwayne chases after her, and Daisy ends up standing between him and her demented brother Kyle. Dwayne manages to slam a door on Kyle before he reaches them, but Daisy doesn't think they have a chance at surviving the ordeal. To help her prove her point, Kyle punches a hole in the door, next to her head.

Dwayne and Daisy run to the holding cells, and Dwayne locks her into one. He gives her the rifle, and promises to come back. I think we know how that'll work out. Plus, if he doesn't return, how the heck is she supposed to survive with no food or water? Dwayne sucks at coming up with brilliant plans.

He hugs and kisses her for what is almost assuredly the last time, then goes back to face his doom. He and Kyle stare at each other from opposite ends of a hall, with a barred door between them. Dwayne keeps repeating to Kyle that he isn't going to hurt him, and slowly removes all of his weapons from his uniform. Kyle just stands there, staring at his father.

As there are brief glimpses of flashbacks shown, Dwayne shows Kyle his keyring, and unlocks the door between them. More flashbacks are shown, mostly of Kyle as a cute, curly-haired little boy, as opposed to the thing he is now. Dwayne continues to speak to him in a calm voice, as he tries to get his son to remember who he used to be. Yeah, good luck with that, Einstein.

He hugs his son, and Kyle hugs him back., wait, Kyle just snapped his dad's neck. Well, so much for the "Hallmark moment" of the movie. Kyle takes the keyring from his father's corpse, then swaggers down the hall toward his sister's location. This ought to go well.

Kyle unlocks her cell, touches her cheek, then takes the rifle out of her hands. She is seen crying, then a shot is heard. THE END Wait, what? Kyle suddenly knows how keys work(not to mention, which key to use to open the cell!), and how to pump the rifle to make it work? Or did he kill himself? Or did Daisy somehow shoot him, by getting the weapon back???  I call shenanigans!

Eh, it's not worth quibbling about. While the effects were terrific, the script was lousy. They should have shown the town of Bay Cove getting invaded by the crazed teens, and they should have had more scenes with Dwayne and Perkins driving around and talking. And less of the whiny supporting characters. 2.5 out of 5 killer trees, because the negatives tipped the scales on this one.

And what did I learn from Perkins' 14?

-Well, it was more like Perkins' 8 or So....but that would be an awful title for a movie.

-Eyes that get gouged out, or fingers that get chewed off, can grow back!

-PCP turns you into a rage-zombie, and makes your eyes glow...

Next up on my list is either The Ruins or Jack Frost...I thought I had done both already, but I can't find 'em in the archives, so my brain must be deteriorating from watching so many slashers. Also, I'll try to watch and post one in the next day or so, to make up for the weeks I was kicked off of AOL(apparently, somebody hacked my account and changed my password and some of my settings....grrr). See you soon!