This week's entry isn't so much a slasher flick, it's a little more porn-y than usual. It's a movie from 2001 called WatchUsDie.com, and it's a softcore, porntastic example of movie magic. Am I being serious? Well, let's get SPOILED, and find out...
The "story" begins with an opening credits sequence with graphics that makes the first Tron movie look edgy and current. Hell, they even throw in the old "modem noise" that you used to hear when logging into AOL back in the Paleolithic Period. Hoo boy, this is going to be grueling.
Then the actual movie starts. We meet 2 women who use sign language AND speak, with no explanation for the signing. That's pretty damned random! Oh, and both are fans of a website called WatchUsDorm, a place for voyeur fetishists, I guess.
At the "dorm", we meet our primary cast. But first up, there's a short intro to the house...the "dorm" is actually a house, rigged up with sound equipment and 45 cameras, and the houseguests are filmed 24 hours a day. Also, the house is in a secret location(to foil would-be stalkers), and there's a pretty tight security system in place.
Okay, so let's get to know the victims: First up is "Amber Coldbath", a 23-year-old exotic dancer, who resembles a young, healthy Anna Nicole Smith; Constance Mercado, 22, who dreams of being an actress; Francesca, the stereotypical French chambermaid; Anya and Zen, the token lesbian characters; Sara, the hot black girl with an unfortunately grating voice; Evan, a guy who does maintenance and repair when needed; Pia, a cute, young blond described as "Latino/American", despite looking Scandinavian; and Sonja, a self-defense expert.
The owner/operator of the site, Manny gives a reporter and her cameraman the grand tour. As he introduces them(and us) to the cast, we also see a handful of the folks logged into the website. Among them are the women from the opening scene, an elderly woman, and some horny teens.
Speaking of the opening scene characters, they make a return. One of them, Brenna, is a struggling journalist, and she's on a waiting list to possibly move into the house. She plans to get in, then write an undercover article about any possible controversy she can unearth. Good thing Manny doesn't do background checks!
During the night, some of the women are sitting at computers, chatting with subscribers and each other. Evan wanders in, mostly to flirt. Then we get an homage to The Waltons, in which the various ladies turn to the camera to say goodnight. One subscriber tunes in to see Anya and Zen writhe around in their bed, and gets excited by watching them in "night vision", despite the complete and utter lack of any sort of "night vision" visuals on the screen. I guess we're supposed to imagine the green filter in the scene. This is easily the dumbest movie I've watched for this blog thus far, people. Appreciate my pain.
When everyone falls asleep, a mystery person sneaks around the house, placing a pair of shoes on the stairs between the first and second floors. Gosh, it's a shame that this isn't on the Internet, for a subscriber to see...oh, wait a second...
Eventually, Pia comes striding down the hall with a laundry basket full of colored paper, as well as a Barbie doll. Sure, that's entirely logical! She stumbles on the shoes, toppling down the stairs and dying right away. The doll dies as well, in a sad, unexpectedly poignant twist.
Manny, sitting in an office filled with scary masks, gleefully hears that the "accident" has caused a large increase in revenue for the site. At the memorial for Pia, Sara admits to Constance that she has no feelings about the death at all. How nice. Most of the girls are discussing how much money the site is earning, while subscribers are crowing about the first person to die on a live internet feed.
Manny briefly tells Constance that the death means more profit for the rest, then he kisses her and leaves. After our favorite journalist is briefly seen gushing over being next on the list to enter the house, the web-girls decide to honor Pia's memory by changing into lingerie and doing seductive dances for the subscribers. Even the handyman joins in. Y'know, I can't quite decide if this is sleazy and stupid, or just stupid.
On the other hand, I did pick this one myself...
Anyway, after the performance, Manny pays the ladies. That night, Sara prays by her bedside, probably for a less-annoying voice and a better memory. Constance gathers the rest of the girls together, and tries to incite a revolution against Manny. She tells them that being exploited on the internet demeans them all...then they all play "Strip Clue".
I don't know about Colonel Mustard, but I seem to have discovered a lead pipe! *rim shot* Oddly enough, a guy who looks like Ogre from Revenge of The Nerds makes an eerily similar joke. Creepy. The movie can hear me!
Sara decides to have a quick soak in he hot tub before going to sleep. Wait, the malfunctioning hot tub? Maybe she'll meet John Cusack from 20 years ago. Or just die, either way.
3 of the girls leave the game for a few minutes, so there are a TON of possible kill-scenarios in our future! Oh, and Zen isn't playing Clue either...she's stripping in front of a computer for a guy who sounds like an adolescent Dr. Claw. Seriously, when he's not trying to murder Inspector Gadget, he's busy masturbating to images of Asian lesbians. Duh.
Sara hears a noise and uses her whiny, nasal screech to scare them off. Then Dr. Claw tells Zen that some folks in the house will die sooner than others, right before a power surge electrocutes Sara. Complete with cartoony, blue lightning.
The survivors have another meeting with Manny, who insists that both deaths were entirely accidental. He also demands that they resume their "work", if they want to continue getting paid. Oh, and he creates a stir when he announces that Brenna The Undercover Reporter will be moving in right away.
Manny has Zen show Brenna to Pia's room after Francesca refuses. Then he tells the rest that they can return to stripping, waitressing, and starring in porn flicks *cough cough*, if they really want to leave. Oh no, not WAITRESSING!!!!! And back up a second, Manny...how are any of those options somehow worse than being murdered? Logic, bro.
Amber steps away to take a shower, complete with cheesy porno sax music playing over the scene. Brenna's roommate's boyfriend('s cousin's best friend's uncle's grandfather's valet's...) is watching, even while she's in the room. The roommate looks in on Brenna and says "Hi!", forgetting that her friend can't see or hear her. Man, this movie is getting dumber by the second.
Amber hears a sound outside the shower, and gets the scare of her life when Evan appears, holding a plunger. Scary stuff. He then leaves, and no one dies. Bummer. I was sort of hoping this one might end early.
Brenna maps out the layout of the house, then gets scared by Evan in the hot tub room. He doesn't seem to like her very much. He even glares at her as she leaves the room. Hmmm... Francesca is then attacked by a maniac in a mask, who turns out to be Manny. Toilet plungers, silly masks...where are Shaggy and Scooby and the rest of the gang? Probably in a better film than this.
Most of the women get drunk, then go online to chat with subscribers. Oh, and they make a crappy conga line. Brenna just stands back and watches everyone else go to work. Uh, what makes her exempt from the house rules? Fire her, Manny!
Brenna dictates into her recorder that it's weird to live in a house where she's constantly being watched. Um, if that's true, then how come Manny hasn't figured out that she's spying on everyone else in the house? This movie sure doesn't like making sense, does it?
A bunch of nameless teens visit the site, because one kid stole his dad's credit card. According to him, the women will only be in the house for 28 more days. Another perv finds a glitch when he tries to watch Constance, because Manny disabled the cameras in her room so that they could have sex.
They reveal that not only have they been screwing, but most of her distaste for the site is a show for the public. Manny proclaims that he'll make Constance more famous than "Buffy, Britney, and Xena combined", which sounds kind of silly coming from a guy in the adult entertainment business. Not to mention kind of outdated. As soon as he leaves her room, he uses a remote to turn her cameras back on.
Brenna walks into the library, where she finds Amber doing an impromptu striptease. While the horny teen group watches, Amber tries to seduce the shy Brenna with some heavy petting. Even Brenna's real roommate seems to be intrigued...
The handyman tries to make a move on the maid, then drags her into a small room. It's apparently the only room in the house where there are no cameras or microphones of any kind. She fights him off, then reveals that she wants him as well. Whatever, just die already, so I can watch a better movie.
Constance finds Manny looking at a calendar featuring one of the other housemates, and she accuses him of making empty promises just to get her in bed. She's a swift one, that Connie! While that's happening, Anya chats online with Dr. Claw, who threatens her life. He ups the ante by sending her pictures of the women he's killed so far. Anya rushes out of the room, where a masked figure is waiting for her.
Ugh, it's Manny again. How many times are they going to pull that gag? She tells him about Dr. Claw, and he assures her that he'll check out the chat logs. Yeah, right after he chainsaws her to death.
The women decide to do a tarot card reading together. While Francesca lays out the cards, some of the women discuss the possibility that the house was built over an ancient Indian burial ground. Great, now they're trying to drag a much better film down to their level!
Frannie gets them back on track, and starts to interpret the cards. She makes a dire prediction about "zee end...of PLEASURE!", and reveals that the final card is Death. They all get upset, and quickly leave the table. An exterior shot of the house reveals somebody in a hood running around.
Sonja visits Brenna's room, where she admits that she hopes to someday become an action movie hero. She then leaves, but not before promising to protect Brenna from danger. Okay is it just med,or are all of the other women in the house falling in love with Brenna?
Most of the women fall asleep, with the exception of Zen, who is still getting drunk. Heck, even the old woman who watches the girls has fallen asleep! Maybe they got a peek at the rest of the script.
When Zen finally passes out, the killer reveals that he/she was behind her chair the entire time. Oh, and they're wearing one of Manny's masks. With absolutely no suspense or buildup, they strangle Zen with a length of wire. One victim closer to the closing credits!
Over breakfast, the remaining housemates hear from Francesca that Zen has gone missing. Manny then enters the dining room, carrying a box containing a Zen garden. Wow-what-a-witty-thing-to-do. He also says that she left him a note explaining that she couldn't handle the pressure of living there anymore. Okay, so she was distraught enough to leave, but wanted to go out on a joke? Hey Manny, where'd you stuff the corpse?
The women look shocked by the news. Even the old lady weeps, wondering where Zen could have gone. Okay, seriously now? A handful of women have died, it's all on camera, and STILL no one has come forward with any information for the cops! What Bizarro Universe is this movie taking place in?
The women have another "private" meeting, where they all agree that Manny knows more about what's been happening than he lets on. Brenna calls her roommate ?, and asks her to do an online search for any info about Manny or the dead/missing women. Manny sees the phone call from his office computer, but can't listen in. So wait: they have internet that makes the "dial-up" noise, phones that somehow still work even when the prehistoric modems are in use, and microphones and cameras everywhere...but Manny can't hear anything from his PC? Every time this movie hits a new low, it manages to sink even deeper.
Francesca storms into his office to announce that she knows that he's involved with all of the recent craziness. Fake Ogre decides to watch Francesca while he's undressed, and imagines that she could get over her lover's disappearance if she seduced another housemate. Oh, and the killer is seen sneaking through the halls.
Francesca takes her last daily shower, and most of the subscribers we've met tune in to watch. While she soaps up, Francesca hears something fall and break. She exits the shower to go have a look, and gets bumped off when the maniac emerges from the shower when she returns. He/she bashes her head into the tiled wall several times, hard enough to crack the tiles.
Her dying screams wake up the rest of the house, and everyone rushes ouut to see what caused the commotion. Evan finds the corpse first, and Manny casually saunters in, all, "Good day, fair maidens, whatever seems to be the problem on this fine evening?"
Okay, I made that last part up. Manny finds out from Evan that Francesca is dead, and Manny tries to play it off as another random mishap. When they all gang up on him, Manny pushes the panic button on the security panel, effectively locking the doors and barring the windows. Now they're trapped with the killer!
The houseguests begin to lose their cool, and the elderly lady who watches them does likewise. She calls the cops to report the murders, and is outraged by the general lack of interest he seems to have. They argue a bit, and she angrily hangs up on him.
Faced with the possibility of death, they decide to split up to search for another way out. Evan and Sonja assault Manny, tying him to a chair. The site's subscribers freak out, with one even telling a friend that Anya and the others are definitely dead, "D-E-D, dead!"
As they all search for alternate escape routes, a thunderstorm rolls in. Francesca explores the basement with a flashlight, but even the few windows in there are barricaded. She finds one of the bodies and screams.
Sonja and Constance accuse Manny of harming her, but he's still tied to the chair. Then Francesca returns from the basement, tearfully informing the others that she found Zen's body. They confront Manny, trying to get him to confess to the murder. He insists on his innocence, claiming that he only found Zen and hid her body, nothing more.
Then he draws their attention to the fact that Evan now appears to be missing, and they stop roughing him up long enough to realize that he has a point. Then Brenna tries to send her roommate a message in sign language, but the boyfriend seduced her away from the computer before she could see it. Whoops!
Sonja has a goofy scene where she picks up a samurai sword, and we see the murderer running up some stairs. He/she approaches Manny, and the webcams temporarily lose their signal. The killer then calls Francesca, and the breathing sounds like that of a woman. When Francesca looks at the webpage, she sees that the killer has changed the name of the site to WatchUsDie. They should make a movie with that title.
The ditzy blond(Amber, I think...) is walking up a landing, then stops short when she sees a large shadow of something looming behind her. It's a male figure, with his back leaning against a wall. Amber cautiously approaches his back and nudges him, only to discover that it's Evan, who is now very dead. He had some blood running down his forehead, but it's not much. His body falls on top of her, and she pushes him off to escape.
Another woman, ?, makes a sign, which has the address on it and a plea for help. The killer pops up behind her, and manages to destroy both her and the sign before she can hold it up to the closest camera. Then they do one of those dorky scenes where the killer unmasks(out of range of the camera, of course), leading the dying girl to gasp, "It's...you!" right before she expires.
3 of the remaining girls are trying to escape together, when Constance reappears. She has a cut on her forehead, and she claims that the killer attacked her, but she managed to get away before he could finish her off. Um...then why didn't we see the attack? Keep an eye on her, kids, because my bullshitometer is going off.
The foursome get back to the ground floor, where they find Manny dead. As they all begin to accuse each other of murder, they hear sounds coming from the library. Then we see Amber scurry off by herself to hide. Oh, and Sonja pulls a gun on them, sending everyone in different directions.
Amber waits for a few minutes, afraid to leave the room she's hiding in. The first time she decides to try to get out, the killer nearly sees her, but she shuts the door again. The second time, the killer finds her, then simply slashes her throat.
Using sign language, Brenna uses one of the cameras to send out a message, even supplying the address. As she reluctantly steps back into the hallway, Sonja ambushes her, aiming the gun at her temple. As the web audience does the worst "panicked" reaction ever committed to film, Constance creeps up behind Sonja, then knocks her out with a vase.
Brenna and Constance hug, then make another address sign for the viewers to give the police. They rush into the non-camera room to wait for the cops, then Constance begins to laugh. She speculates about how quickly she'll rise to fame.
When Brenna mentions her book, Constance drops the "nice girl" act completely, revealing that she had the security code during the entire ordeal. Her nefarious plan was to kill everyone, frame someone else, then become famous. Uh, I hate to keep bringing this up, but...wouldn't all of the cameras tell investigators the full story?
She tries to stab Brenna twice, but misses both times. Brenna gets the knife away from Constance, who runs back into the hall, making it appear that Brenna's the killer. Brenna chases her to the throughout the house, unaware that the subscribers are actively rooting against her.
Near the front door, Constance pops up from behind some furniture, and shoots at Brenna. Lucky for Brenna, she trips over a body, so the bullet misses her. Brenna fires back, hitting Constance in the forehead. This elicits cheers from many of the subscribers.
Brenna enters the door code that Constance told her, and the bars and locks all disengage. Many, many cops are waiting for her, and one nervously shoots her when she tries to give them her tape recorder. They surround her, and hear Constance's confession on the tape.
3 months go by, and Brenna has written a book about the experience. A fan hands her a copy of the book to sign, and Brenna comes face-to-face with a smug-looking Constance. THE END(Maybe...?)
Wow, this was cheesy. Many of the actresses were extremely cute, but 'generic' doesn't even begin to describe the movie. Plus, most of the plot just didn't work, given that the audience would have seen SOMETHING to clue them in to the killer's identity before the final, silly reveal.. No impressive effects, lousy acting, and even the slight nudity was dull. Just bad. 1 tree out of 5.
And (ugh) What did I learn from WatchUsDie.com?
-Well, I guess now I know how NOT to make a slasher flick...
-Porn addicts make for a very gullible audience.
-...and that's it. I got nothing to work with here.
Next up is something called Don't Let Him In. Should be better than this tripe. No way that it could be worse! See you next week.