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Monday, November 12, 2012

Stag Night

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nice, huh?

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

And what did I learn after Stag Night?

-Homeless murderers all look like Mick Foley.

-Some filmmakers reallllly like decapitations.

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

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

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