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. Again...run, 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!