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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sam's Lake

Okay, so this week's movie is one I haven't heard much about. Hopefully it's a slasher. It's called Sam's Lake, and the premise sound good...basically, a young woman named Samantha invites a group of friends to check out a lake house that she inherited. Will it sink or swim? Let's find out together, as I watch and deliver my usual SPOILER-filled play-by play!

The movie begins with a young man breaking out of a mental hospital. That's a promising start. He travels by foot, until he arrives at a house, where he proceeds to break in and slaughter the woman who lives there. We don't see the murder, though...we just hear her scream as an outside view of the house is shown. Great.

Then the movie brings us to a clothing boutique. A group of twentysomethings are having a conversation whose sole purpose is to tell the audience what's going on. The gist is that Sam, the cute redhead in the title, has just been given a lake house after her father died in a weird hunting accident. Her friends are Franklin, the movie's black guy(so, if this follows slasher rules, he won't last long); Dominik, an effeminate Latino; Sam's cute Asian friend, Kate; and Melanie, an attractive blond.

They stop at a local general store as they get close to the lake, where they get scrutinized by a squinty, weird guy behind the register. Out by the gas pump, Kate is freaked out by 2 old coots staring at her, then a mysterious guy who looks like he pump;s gas, but vanishes when she turns away for a moment. Wow. Scary. Yay.

So, they finally get on the road again, and Kate spots a creepy-looking house out in the middle of nowhere. A figure inside the house moves, and Kate seems to have noticed, because she cranes her neck to look at it, even after the car has passed it by. Then Sam calls everyone's attention to a sign on a tree: SAM'S LAKE. Hey, I think there's a movie with that title!! Anyway, Sam claims her dad named the lake after her.

As everyone takes in the amazing view, Sam picks a leaf out of the water that's pretty much been floating down the lake during the entire movie so far. She tells them that the Spirit of the Forest sent them the leaf as a sign that they're welcome visitors.

Later, Sam takes a hike in the woods by herself. She stops in a clearing that looks quite a bit like Stephen King's Pet Sematary, and sits in the middle of the formation of rocks. Kate finds her, and they talk about death, life after death, know, a light chat. Then they leave to find their friends out on the lake.

Franklin finds a huge spear, and Sam jokes that she'll use it to keep them all in line. Dominik asks Sam why there aren't any other vacationers on the lake, and she tells him that most of the neighbors are either elderly or short-timers, and are seldom seen. Then a boat is seen approaching the group, and Sam gets pretty excited.

The visitor is Jesse, a young local guy Sam grew up with. He's also the mysterious stranger Kate saw briefly at the gas pump in town. Jesse is introduced to Sam's friends, then makes some weird comment about Orion and starting a fire. I left my decoder ring at home, so it's all gibberish to me.

Not to Sam, though. She explains that Jesse was talking about a bonfire, some tradition he does every year. Then she holds up a frame, where she proudly displayed her leaf. Yippee. Unless the leaf undergoes a grotesque mutation and starts killing folks, I don't care.

After the sun sets, Dominik and Melanie are smoking and staring up at the star-filled sky. They hear something splash in the lake near them, and decide that it might be a good idea to rejoin the others around the campfire. That's where Franklin is preparing to tell the group of buddies a scary story. Unfortunately, the story is just a rehash of the movie When a Stranger Calls, and they all start laughing.

After some encouragement by Jesse, Sam tells her friends about a local legend. She warns them, though, that the story comes with an "adventure", if they hear the tale, they have to go on the adventure as well. After her friends all agree to her terms, Sam tells the story.

There was a local man, and his family owned most of the land in the area. When he met a girl and fell in love, the man built a small house in the woods, and it just so happened to be the same weird house that Kate spotted during the drive. Anyway, the couple soon had 2 children, a boy and a girl.

While the couple cherished their daughter, the son was another matter. Even at a very young age, the couple could see that he wasn't exactly sane. His father turned to their wealthy relatives for help, and the boy was sent away to an asylum in the South, far enough away to avoid a scandal.

Eventually, the family tried to act as if they'd never had a son. When the boy was in his mid-teens, he managed to break out of the hospital(which is what we were shown in the opening scene of the movie. The authorities tried to find him, but they failed. After several weeks, the family assumes that the teen died in the woods, while attempting to reach them.

Then, one night, he manages to get to the family home. As we saw at the beginning, he murdered his entire family and then vanished into the woods. Since that time, every year people go missing in the woods, and the killer supposedly leaves a doll made out of corn husks in their place. As Sam's friends recall seeing those dolls at most of the local houses they drove past, she tells them that locals display them to ward off the killer. Jesse also mentions that he and some friends once tried to look for the crazed killer in the woods.

Sam wraps up the legend by claiming that the ghosts of the murdered family still haunt their empty house. She claims that if you visit the house at night, you can hear a re-enactment of the enter bloodbath. Then Jesse scares the group by jumping into the lake with a loud splash. Sam soon follows. Her friends comment on the creepy story, then join her in the lake.

Afterwards, Jesse apologizes to Kate for frightening her at the gas station. He confesses that he was dumbstruck by how pretty she is, and they make googly eyes at each other. Sam watches them, then hears Franklin and Dominik say how much they enjoy being in such a beautiful place.

Later that night, something is seen moving around in the forest at a rapid pace. Sam goes out to the haunted house during the night, and walks through each room. As she stops in one of the upstairs bedrooms, the killer looms behind her and says, "Dark sleep." Sam wakes up with a start, revealing that it was just a dream.

She gets out of bed, and Dominik follows. He asks her if she's having "the dream" again, and she denies it, even though we know otherwise. She tells Dom that she misses her father, and he consoles her by telling her that her friends are her family now. Awwwwww, how sweet. Now, when does the killing start? Oh, and when they return to bed, a bearded figure can be seen lurking at the window, watching them sleep.

The next morning, we start the day at another house, where a dog is barking loud enough to wake up people in the next state. It turns out to be the home of the squinty, rat-faced guy from the convenience store. As he tries to calm his dog down, a figure runs past him, and he turns to see who it was. When nobody appears, he starts to head back into the house, but the hillbilly from the previous scene is already inside, blocking his front door. There's a loud scream, but all we see is a shot of some trees.

Meanwhile, back at Sam's lake, Sam wakes up early and decides to go for a run. When she pauses, a sound alerts her to an unseen presence, so Sam quickly darts off the path and into the woods. As she listens for any further signs of a stalker, Jesse pops up and tells Sam that she's losing her natural instincts. They chat, mostly about how city life differs from the country, then Jesse leads her back to the house.

On the porch, Jesse asks Sam to tell him about her friends. She compares the group to a family, in that all are alone in the world, except for having each other. After hearing about their various traumatic pasts, Jesse jokingly tells Sam that she fits right in with the group. They grin, then decide to wake the others.

Apparently nothing happened that day, because the movie brings us forward to that evening. Sam and Jesse are preparing the group to go visit the spoooooooky oooooooooooold house. When they ask her for specifics, Sam responds by leaving to prepare dinner. They should've called this movie Pointless Filler, because that's more or less what it's been so far.

After dinner, Jesse and Kate take a walk down to the dock to look at stars. Yeah, RIIIIIIIGHT. I hope one of those stars wears protection. Oops....they were serious. Jesse is just pointing out constellations to Kate. Wow. This thing can't even pull off a makeout scene right.

On the porch, Sam seems to be a bit jealous of Kate. When her other friends start to tease her a little, Sam decides that it's time to begin the "adventure" that she promised them. She yells at Jesse to get moving, and everyone piles into the car. Wow, something might actually happen!

When Sam stops the car at the run-down house, her friends act surprised that she brought them there. Uh, where did you morons think you were going, Disney World? Everyone gets out of the car except Melanie. I have to be honest here, I pretty much forgot that she was in the film--in every scene so far, she's been pretty much stuck in the background. Melanie's this movie's equivalent of Jonathan from the show Buffy....sure, he's in a lot of episodes, but he rarely had any relevance to the plotline. That's Melanie, in a nutshell.

So wait, was I still watching this thing? Damn! Okay, so everyone's bitching and moaning about how dark it is, the condition of the exterior of the house, blah blah blah. Well, except for Melanie. When the rest step across the threshold and enter the house, Franklin is the next one to chicken out, opting to remain downstairs as the others head upstairs to see where the murders occurred. Heck, even Dominik is chickenshit, staying at the front door.

Apparently deciding that her friends are big babies, Kate heads up the stairs to see where Jesse went. He creeps up behind her and gives her a fright, but she reassures her friends that nothing happened. Then Jesse tells her to check out one of the bedrooms, telling her how weird it is. Outside, Melanie's still pouting in the car, and something or someone approaches the vehicle in a very stealthy manner.

Just as the group is about to call it a (boring!) night, Jesse uncovers a hole above the fireplace, and they all hear an object fall into the hearth. After some squabbling, Franklin is the one to reach into the fireplace and poke around in the dark to find the object, and Jesse scares him in the least scary way possible. Come on guys....I've seen episodes of "Scooby-Doo" with more terror than this. Anyway, Franklin reaches in again, and finds a book.

A book?

Yup. A book. *sigh*

Before they can even open it, there's a floorboard that creaks upstairs. That's followed by a loud bang, then more creaking, and another bang. Then a scream. Freaked out, they all run for the front door. They scare Melanie by jogging to the car, and Sam floors it, sending the car sailing away from the house.

As everyone else starts shouting at each other, Sam and Jesse laugh their heads off in the front seat. Then Franklin reveals that he brought the book out of the house. Oh, and one of the corn husk dolls is found attached to the car when they get back to the lake house. No one will admit to putting IT there, and they all go back inside the house.

Melanie asks what scared them so badly, and no one really bothers to explain it to her. They ask Sam if she ever experienced anything like it, and she replies that she's heards and seen stuff, but never that intense. Then Dominik turns their attention back to the book.

It's a diary. To be more specific, it's the diary of the kid who killed his family. The first entry, from 1959, is a bunch of rambling about how he felt he had to kill his family, because they abandoned him. He writes that he lives in the woods, because the animals speak to him, and because he can still hear his family screaming in the house at night. The next entry is from December of that year, and details how he believes that the ghosts in the house welcome him now.

The next entry, dated 6 years later, explains how he decided to go to the neighboring town to try to start a new life. No one recognized him, and some even told his legend to him, unaware that he was the subject of the story. He claims that his dead parents are proud of him.

The next several entries detail how, over the next decade, he managed to get employed as a mechanic, bought a cottage on the lake, and fell in love with a wealthy girl. As Dominik is about to read the next entry, dated 1976, a loud thump makes everyone jump. Jesse and Sam take a look outside, then Sam suggests that it might be a good time to put the book down. Jesse disagrees, and encourages Dom to keep reading, while Jesse goes outside to look around the property.

Dom picks up where he left off, in July of 1976. The killer writes that he and the wife have had twins. She was forced to have them in the cottage, so she suffered from a setback, healthwise. The final entry is from 1995. The killer claims that his children are exactly like him. He writes that the kids bring friends up to the house in the woods, for the express purpose of hunting and killing humans. Oh, and the kids are named Sam and Jesse.

Oh. Shit.

As soon as Dominik reads that part, the lights go out. The rocking chair that Sam was in is now empty, but still rocking. As Sam's friends begin to panic, they hear her let out a loud shriek. They unlucky quartet of friends try to remain calm, but then Jesse and Sam emerge from the shadows, and they look pretty pissed.

As the other 3 run to the exit, Sam tackles Dom to the ground. Outside, Jesse watches the others run into the forest, then approaches the house to watch Sam kill Dominik. Dom begs her not to hurt him, but she leans in close and whispers that she wants him in the house forever, in "dark sleep". Then she stabs him many, many times.

Melanie, Franklin and Kate hear Dominik being killed, and freeze in their tracks. Then Kate takes off in one direction, while Franklin and Melanie go the opposite way. On the porch of the house, Sam finds Jesse still standing there, and he tells her that there's some other presence nearby, another predator. When he tells Sam that he believes it's their lovable ol' crazy dad, she slaps Jesse and tells him that she watched their father die. Then they agree to focus on killing her friends, close their eyes, and use their other keen senses to hone in on their preys' locations.

Melanie trips and falls, and Franklin tries to get her back up. Sam stops at the edge of the property, and tries to target them again, then starts jogging. Kate is running at a pretty good clip herself, but Jesse seems to be catching up pretty well. As she stops to catch her breath, Kate does something only a complete bonehead would do: she stands still, and screams "Franklin!" over and over again. Gee, why not just erect a neon billboard that says I'M HERE IF ANYONE WANTS TO KILL ME!

Franklin and Melanie find another house in the woods, but disagree as to whether or not they should try to seek help from the residents. Franklin looks for keys to the pickup in the driveway, but no such luck. Then he tries knocking a few times on the door, but no one in the house responds. He finds the front door unlocked, and both he and Melanie enter the dark, quiet house.

Still running, and now getting disoriented, Kate is hopelessly lost.

I guess the camera crew are rooting against Kate, because they head back to the creepy empty house again. Franklin and Melanie start to search for weapons, and Franklin finds a phone, but it's dead. Then Franklin finds a photo of Sam and Jesse with their father, and he tries to convince Melanie to leave as soon as possible. And that's when they begin hearing someone thumping around on the roof. Whoops!

They try to make a mad dash for the van in the driveway, but it won't start. It turns out that vehicles need actual working engines to run, and this one lacks that very thing. Gosh, I learn something new every day. They resume running in the woods, and are followed close behind by Jesse.

As Melanie starts to get winded for the thousandth time, Franklin tries valiantly to save her life. He tells her that he'll stay behind to fight the murderous siblings, if she promises to use the time to get somewhere safe. He braces himself to take down Sam, who is sprinting toward him like the frigging Road Runner, while Melanie pretty much just stands behind him and watches as Jesse tackles him from the side. Melanie finally gets going, after helpfully waiting for Sam to catch up. If there's a slasher flick with characters dumber than this group, I'd love to hear about it, folks.

Franklin gets his knife taken away by Jesse, who picks up a branch-spear. As Franklin manages to get back on his feet and resume his escape attempt, Jesse flings the spear. It lands right in the middle of Franklin's back, and he almost falls to the ground. As he struggles to reach around and try to remove the weapon, Franklin is jumped by Jesse, who forces the spear to emerge through his chest. Poor Franklin....but hey, there's a bright spot! I was wrong about him dying first! Both Jesse and Sam stare at each other, as they each stand over the bodies of the dumbasses they just killed. Wait, so even Melanie's death scene was a part of the background. Damn...I guess someone involved in the film's production must have REALLY hated Melanie!

As they stroll in the forest, not rushing to find and kill Kate, they argue over whether or not their father is actually still alive. Jesse thinks that he senses the old man's presence, but Sam scoffs at the idea. She reminds him that they agreed to kill their father because they felt he was too old and feeble to hunt anymore. To put the discussion to rest, Sam tells Jesse that she will take care of him, just like always.

She also offers to kill Kate, but Jesse tells her that he prefers to do it himself. He takes off into the forest before she can disagree, and Sam is left with the bodies of her dead friends. After a brief sequence showing Kate tripping and hurting her arm, the movie shows Sam waiting for Jesse in her home. She sees a dream catcher in the living room, and distinctly remembers chaining it to the shack where she and Jesse ditched their father's body. Sam leaves the house, and runs into the woods.

Jesse and Kate play an extended game of Hide and Seek, and it feels like it lasts for weeks, or even months. Kate finds her way to what I think is the "haunted" house. As Kate tries to blend into the shadows, Jesse yells that he won't hurt her. Then he takes off running again, and Kate cries, as she realizes how hopeless her situation seems to be.

No big surprise, Jesse pops up as Kate slowly creeps toward the wide-open front door. She hits him in the face, and he makes no move to retaliate. He grabs her, then tells her that he won't harm her, as long as she lets him speak first. At about the same time, Sam shows up outside the house.

Inside, Jesse tells Kate that he has feelings for her, and has known that since the day at the gas pump. He claims that he wants to live with her and provide her with everything she could ever need or want. Then Sam interrupts the lovesick kook, and calls him pathetic. Then they look up.

The ceiling is covered in corn husk dolls. Sam tosses the dreamcatcher that she found over to Jesse, and tells him that their father is, indeed, still among the living. She tells Jesse to finish off Kate, so they can hunt down and kill their father without any distractions. Jesse agrees, and tells Kate that they can be together in death, then Daddy reaches out from a dark corner and grabs Jesse.

When they vanish into the dark, Sam gets nervous. She and Kate hear a struggle in the next room, then Jesse is flung out of the room at the 2 frightened women. Jesse stands up and tries to go back into the room to colntinue the fight, but Sam convinces him to join her outside, believing that the forest gives them a strategic advantage. Before leaving the house, Jesse promises to return for Kate. Yeah, she looks thrilled. She briefly locks eyes with the crazy father, who makes no move to harm her, he just stares. Then he exits the house to confront his children.

Outside, Jesse listens as Sam tries to come up with a strategy to ambush their dad. When he exits the house though, Jesse charges at him through a field of tall grass. Kate, meanwhile, slinks out of the house and tries to creep away. The second she gets away from the yard, Kate breaks into a run.

In the woods, Sam stops running and listens for any sign of her father. She sees another husk doll, then spots the silhouette of her hulking dad in the distance. She decides to run the other way, and her father chases her. Then it's suddenly full daylight, and Sam is in the mikddle of another field of tall grass, and perhaps some cornstalks. Her father slowly makes his way to her, then Jesse tackles the old man, and they both disappear from view.

Someone screams, and then Jesse stands up. As he staggers toward Sam, Jesse shows her a big wound he received in the gut. He keels over, Sam sees her father spring up lightning-fast. She sprints in his direction, and launches herself at the old man, and they both roll around on the forest ground. Both manage to arm themselves with sharp weapons, and they brawl until they both end up on the ground again.

They stab each other at the same time, but Sam tells her father that he taught her well, and she delivers a death-blow. After he appears to die, Sam gives in to her wound, and lies down next to him.

Kate, in the meantime, has found the storekeeper's home. She finds his body and retches into his kitchen sink, then comes face-to-face with Sam, who is standing right outside the kitchen window. Sam dangles the keys to the dead man's vehicle, and Kate swiftly moves to close and lock the front door.

Kate escapes to the back porch, and almost collides with Sam. They both run to the dock, where Kate grabs an oar, and slams it against Sam's head. sam's body slowl.y submerges, and Kate sees her car keys float to the surface. She takes so long grabbing them, I briefly considered that perhaps Sam would emerge from the lake, Jason-style. But no, Kate gets the keys, gets to Sam's vehicle, and gets it started. As she drives away from Sam's Lake, Kate sees another dreamcatcher on the rearview mirror, tears it off, and throws it out of the car.

There are different shots of the lake and the surrounding forest, then a rather ominous shot of the area where Sam was last seen sinking. There's a closeup of Kate, and I fully expected Sam or somebody to leap at her from somewhere, but it doesn't happen. The movie shows the car driving past the cabin, and then it just fades to black. THE END

Wow. That was really boring. I mean, for a movie that had, what, 10 murders in it, it was incredibly dull. Crazy. I give it 1-and-a-half killer trees out of five, mostly because of the attractive cast. But that still feels pretty generous. Okay, okay, so what did I learn after watching Sam's Lake?


Yeah, I got nothing this week. Thankfully, my next movie is Urban Legends: Final Cut, so I'm pretty sure it'll be more fun to sit through than this one was. See ya!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Club Dread

Well, Tourist Trap had a nervous breakdown in my laptop, so I'm going with the other slasher flick Netflix mailed out this week, Club Dread. Maybe a working copy of Tourist Trap will get to me, but I'm not going to hold my breath--heck, one of the reviewers on Netflix claimed that they sent him 3 bad discs! How does that happen 3 times in a row? But it doesn't matter. So sit back, relax, and drink a pina colada while I SPOIL the crap out of Club Dread!

The movie takes place in Costa Rica, on the oddly-named Pleasure Island. There's a lot of screaming as the camera gets closer, but it's a couple looking for a secluded make-out spot. Rolo, the male, is busy mocking Putman. one of the resort's employees, while his girlfriend, Stacy, takes off her top. I like this one already...

Rolo shows Stacy a bag of weed(which he calls Costa Rica Freaka), and lights up. As the pair start making out, Stacy sees an ominous figure wandering nearby. Rolo just wants her to twiddle his nipples(I shit you not...), but he agrees to take Stacy to a different area that is even more secluded.

Rolo's more secluded area turns out to be a graveyard. Even Stacy has enough common sense to question the decency of what they're about to do, but her objections are halted by the reappearance of the wandering stalker from before. Before Stacy can stop him, Rolo decides to confront the guy. He grabs a heavy tree branch, walks up to the dark figure, and realizes that it's a tiki statue. Rolo knocks the head off, and is surprised by a tiny primate that leaps up from out of nowhere.

As the monkey wanders away, an attractive blonde pops up to scare the couple next. She's holding a tray of tropical drinks though, so I tend to doubt that she's a killer. The horny trio decide to duck into a mausoleum for their sexcapades. The interior looks lived in, with newspaper clippings, a machete, lanterns....seriously, these 3 are dumber than a sack of doorknobs if they stay. Hilariously, one of the girls finds a well-endowed idol, and tells Rolo that they no longer need him. The girls begin to kiss each other, and the chamber is plunged into complete, utter darkness.

They quickly get the door open, start to remove their clothes, and pleasure one another. The blonde hears the machete sliding over stone and sees a figure moving behind Rolo. As she and Stacy back away, an oblivious Rolo gets his shoulder severed by the sharp blade.

The girls run through the jungle screaming, and split up when there's a fork in the path. The blonde runs until she nearly falls over a cliff. She reaches behind her for a branch or rock to grab onto, and cuts a nasty cut when her fingers clench the killer's machete. She gasps at the pain, then slips over the cliff into the ocean. Hey, maybe she survived....but probably not.

Stacy hears her screams, and finds a footbridge that leads to the resort's pool. She sees a number of guests in the distance and relaxes slightly, giving the killer time to behead her. As her body falls to the ground and convulses, the titles zooms onto her dying torso. Cool.

Then the movie takes us back to, as the screen says, ONE HOUR EARLIER. A ship called Princess Yelapa is pulling up to Pleasure Island. The island and resort are owned by Coconut Pete(played by Bill Paxton), a sort of poor man's version of Jimmy Buffet. His musical claim to fame is a ditty called "Pina Coladaburg".

Anyway, this scene introduces us to our many, many victims. There's Jenny, the cute-as-Hell aerobics instructor; Juan, in charge of watersports(and probably the funniest character in the film; Putman, a prissy British tennis pro; Dave the Deejay(and drug supplier); Sam, the Fun Police; Yu, a pretty Asian employee; Kelly, a somewhat cute waitress; and Lars Brunckhorst, a portly Zen and massage expert who has been trying to tell the others that he's an employee, not a guest. Oh, and Penelope, a guest who Jenny finds wandering around lost in the jungle.

As the guests are enjoying free drinks by the pool, Stacy shows up, only to be murdered. Really? That short introduction and the drinks at the pool were a full 2 hours? Okay movie, if you say so. Anyway, there's a short, funny bit with 2 guys checking out all of the hot chicks by the pool. Through them, we learn that Jenny is a minor celebrity: she stars on an early-morning aerobics show, where an odd series of deaths helped her to get promoted. Hmmmm....

Lars shows up to meet Jenny and Penelope, and we learn just how good a masseuse he really is. He places his hands on their shoulders, and gives both women instant orgasms. Then Sam grabs Jenny for a "human Limbo" stick, and she asks Lars to meet up with her later. As everyone parties the day away, we get a final look at Stacy's corpse, not that far away.

That evening, the resort throws the mother of all parties. Coconut Pete meets Lars, who we discover is pretty obsessed with every aspect of Pete's life. Oh, and we meet yet another character: Hank, who is Pete's bodyguard. While he distracts Lars, Juan ushers Pete away to meet a female fan. After Juan feeds Pete some specific info about a concert she attended, Pete pretends to remember her from said concert. Smooth operator, that Coconut Pete.

Putman tries to woo Jenny, who looks pretty damn bored. Luckily, Putman is cock-blocked by a short, annoying loudmouth, giving Jenny time to slip away unnoticed. Then we get my favorite couple in the movie, Penelope and Juan. Sam hooks them up, and Juan introduces himself as a "dive master". Then he sees her name tag, and decides that it's pronounced "Pee-Nah-Lope". I love this friggin' movie...I don't know why, but I just do. Anyway, she tells him that she attends Oral Roberts, and he mistakes the college for a sexual position, like Dirty Sanchez.

The movie decides to go outside for a bit, where we catch up with a guy named Carlos taking a smoke break. He approaches an activity board, where a contest is prominently on display. The contest asks the guests to guess which Coconut Pete song a series of lyrics are from. The lyrics, which seem extremely ominous, are as follows:

"3 amigos took an undersea trip/And never were seen again"

Weird, huh?

So Carlos reads the board, then hears a strange noise. He chalks it up to monkeys, and does what every 1-scene victim does in every slasher flick--he takes a walk in the dark jungle, instead of staying in a well-lit, occupied, active area. As he crouches down on the ground next to some garbage cans, someone approaches from behind, holding a large butcher knife...

Oh, it's only Yu. She asks him when he's going to wash all of the dirty dishes and utensils, and Carlos promises to get to it all in the morning. Yu leaves, and Carlos starts to follow, but one of the trash bins begins to shake. As Carlos goes back to examine it, the killer looms behind him and kills Carlos off-screen.

Coconut Pete and Lars have both grabbed guitars, and they lead a group of partygoers in a singalong around a campfire. A drunk chick yells out a request for "Margaritaville", and proceeds to get Pete pretty pissed off. Pete tells her that his claim to fame was the song "Pina Coladaburg", but she keeps insisting that he play the Jimmy Buffet song instead. Pete goes off on a rant, claiming that his song was written and released more than 7 years before the other song was even conceived. As he starts swearing and mumbling, Hank shows up to escort Pete back to the resort.

Lars sees Jenny at the bar, and briefly touches her shoulder to get her attention, which causes her jaw muscles to loosen up. She drools her drink all over herself, and Lars apologizes, explaining that he thought she looked "tight". When she responds that she's tight in all the right places, Lars does a spit-take all over himself and her. He mentions her starring role on the aerobics show, and Jenny reveals that the gig will give her the income she needs to quit working at Pleasure Island. She picks up a tray of crab meat appetizers, does a sexy little shimmy, and walks away.

Back to the campfire. Dave has taken it upon himself to tell the guests a scary story about the island's very own urban legend, The Machete Maniac. According to Dave, a guy named Phil worked at the resort 15 years ago. One night, Phil was propositioned by an attractive woman, who asked him to go with her to a quiet, deserted spot on the island. The further away from the resort that they get, the woman asks Phil questions that get progressively stranger: Do you believe in voodoo? Do you believe in zombies?

Phil shrugs off the weird questions, and they start to have sex, but Phil gets a strange vibe. A flash of lightning reveals that Phil has been lured out to an ancient burial ground, that the other resort guests have been watching him, and that he's been having sex with a corpse that was dug up from one of the graves.

Anyway, Phil allegedly walked back to the resort, and made his way to the groundskeerper's shack. Once he was inside, Phil picked up a machete, then went back to find the staff members, and murdered them all. Then the legend states that Phil used the machete to cut off his own penis, before running into the jungle, where he supposedly still lurks. And thus, Machete Phil became a legend.

At the conclusion of the tale, Dave claims that Machete Phil can often be heard searching for his penis.(that part seems kind of stupid, given that he cut it off himself, but I guess I'll just go with it...) When Dave finishes the story, Putman stands up, drops his pants, and reveals that he tucked his penis between his legs, to give the group a quick scare and a cheap laugh. After the group leaves, Dave stands up, revealing that he wanted to be the one with the tucked-in penis.

Later that night, Coconut Pete meets up with the staff. He mentions that Rolo, Stacy and Kelly have vanished, and asks if anyone else can run the next evening's luau-themed party. Dave volunteers to do it, but Pete asks Sam to take care of it instead.

The next day, we get a montage of typical resort activities...cliff diving, tennis lessons, beach aerobics, and some kind of game that involves guys having balloons stuck to their butts, so that their female partners can pop them with their vaginae. Uhhh, wouldn't that be more fun the other way ar....never mind. I'll let that one go, too.

The final activity they show is a drinking game similar to Pac-Man. The players run through a maze, looking for bowls fill with tropical drinks, allowing them to chase bikini-clad women through the maze, and staff members dressed up in giant fruit costumes. The guy playing as Pac-Man grabs one of the girls, then sees Putman dressed as a banana, and tackles him to the ground.

Juan, dressed up as the pretzel is summoned to the maze, but is a no-show. Dave goes investigating, and finds Juan screwing a chick dressed as a watermelon. Dave tells him to get out to the maze, then shuts the door again. Lucky for Dave, a guy in a pear costume(and eating a pear...) shows up, so Dave tells him that he needs to go in the maze next.

The pear, who was on his break, isn't too happy to be in the maze. As he's trudging around, Machete Phil grabs the pineapple costume, and slips it on. The pear has a collision with one of the girls in the maze, then sees Machete Phil watching him. Pear also notices the machete, and realizes that the pineapple isn't an employee.

Pear walks in the other direction, but the killer gets ahead of him. Actually afraid now, Pear starts running through the maze. He comes to a dead end, and Machete Phil throws a pear at him, which Pear was seen eating before he entered the maze. The killer waits for Pear to turn around, then slices a deep gash into his stomach. The camera gives us an overhead view of the maze, which shows that Machete Phil and his victim are one wall away from the players, who remain oblivious to what has just transpired.

Near the beach, Jenny is taking a walk and watching someone who has gone para sailing. She hears something that sounds like a blade being unsheathed, and nearly gets her face sliced off by Lars, who is doing some martial arts exercises with a sword in each hand. They start chatting, only to be interrupted by a girl riding piggyback on a blindfolded guy. Lars briefly touches the nape of the girl's neck, and she passes out. The blindfolded guy is also briefly touched, and wets himself. Alone again, Lars makes Jenny orgasm again my touching her mouth. Then the person para sailing crashes down in front of them.

It turns out that the killer hooked Carlos up to the sail after killing him the previous night, and also carved NAUGHTY CARLOS onto his chest. As they ponder what it means, they watch the boat speed away from the island, unmanned.

Back in the maze, Juan tells Dave that he had never heard of Pac-Man in Nicaragua. Putman, dressed as a banana, interrupts their conversation, and they follow him to Pear's corpse, which is being examined by Fun Policeman Sam. His name turns out to be Cliff, which I deduced after seeing NAUGHTY CLIFF carved into his chest. As they wonder if he's dead, the loudspeaker plays the sound effect for when Pac-Man loses a life.

The employees and Pete have a meeting about the killings...right in front of the not-too-swift guests at the pool. Juan offers up the theory that the killer is Machete Phil, but the others shoot down the idea as ridiculous. Sam rushes over to announce that the killer has struck again....but not in the way you think.

The killer altered Sam's activity board, so that it now keeps track of which people have been murdered. Also, in the box where the "guess the song" contest had been, the killer has left them a message: DO YOUR JOBS AND LIVE. TELL THE GUESTS AND DIE. 'CAUSE EVERYBODY'S LOOKING TO FIND THEIR OWN PARADISE...

Frightened more than ever, they decide to evacuate the resort, and get themselves and the guests back to civilization. It's not as easy as it sounds though: Machete Phil has set the boats loose, stranding everyone at the resort. He also destroyed the phones and radio communication.

Coconut Pete holds another meeting, this time at the indoor bar/nightclub. He tells his staff that they have no choice but to pretend that nothing's wrong in front of the tourists, just as the message on the scoreboard implied. They all demand a better plan of action from Pete, but he defers to his bodyguard, Hank. Hank, it turns out, is actually a retired FBI agent, with a specialty in tracking down serial killers.

At first, no one wants to trust Hank, mostly because he has a history of heavy drinking and seems like a bumbling idiot under pressure. It turns out that it was all an act, meant to put people at ease around him. He tells them to continue acting as normal as possible around the guests, so that he can try to set a trap for the killer. He promises them that his expertise is the best weapon they have at the moment.

Later that night, the staff get several bonfires started on the beach, spelling out SOS. A pinata is also set up, so that Hank can watch how each person attacks the target, and also to see which guests are left-handed, as one of the stab wounds was made with the killer holding his machete in his left hand. As the guests party on the beach, Lars and Jenny search their rooms for any incriminating clues in regards to the identity of the killer. Lars tells Jenny that the lyrics on the activity board reminded him of something, but he's not exactly sure what it might be.

Juan is mingling with the guests when Penelope pops up looking for him. She gives a leaf-hat that she made, and asks him to go to a secluded, dark area of the beach, so that they can make out. Juan pretends to agree, then escapes from her clutches to rejoin the crowded beach party.

Hank gets an update about the search from Jenny and Lars, who found nothing in any of the guest rooms. Other than one guest's wooden bible, nothing seemed weird about any of the guests. Hank asks Jenny to talk with Yu, because she's getting agitated. He also assigns Lars guard duty at the bonfire, so that Hank can get away to search the island in a more thorough manner.

At the deejay table, Putman noses around the albums, and finds a mysterious message on one of Coconut Pete's album covers: "Dave, So sorry about your parents. Wish I could've done more. Uncle Pete" Inside the album there's a newspaper clipping about Dave's parents.

So Dave not only works for Coconut Pete, but is also his nephew!

Before we get any in-depth details about this curious development, the movie switches us over to Jenny and Yu. Yu wants to tell the guests about the killer, but Jenny advises her to do as the killer suggested, and act like nothing's wrong. Yu stomps away, and finds 2 stoned guys in the jungle. She asks them to go back to the bonfire, and takes off again.

Yu hears a twig snap behind her, and finds herself facing Machete Phil. She screams and runs the opposite way, getting further away from the bonfire with every step. Yu turns to see if the killer is close, and collides with Hank, who was apparently expecting the killer on that path. Hank holds a large tree branch like a club and taunts the killer. As he's busy yelling at Machete Phil, the killer simply raises his blade and kills Hank in one stroke.

Yu screams again, and runs away. She spots a golf kart nearby, and decides to use it as her getaway vehicle. In one of the film's best sight gags, the kart goes about a mile an hour, allowing the killer to casually stroll next to it. Yu screams, and that's the last we see of her.

Jenny catches a few seconds of herself on the aerobics show, then hears a boat out on the water. She starts to head out to investigate further, but another sound closer to her room convinces Jenny to stay inside and lock her doors.

The next morning, Dave leads a group of guests in what I can only describe as "Craberobics". Jenny tells Sam and Pete about hearing the boat, and they all agree that finding it is a priority. Then Lars arrives to tell them that he knows why the lyrics on the board were so familiar to him....they were from one of Coconut Pete's songs. Uh.....duh? The contest was to identify the Coconut Pete song by knowing the lyric. So what? Oh, okay. The song was called "Naughty Cal", which is similar to what was carved in the chests of the victims.

Okay, so they all decide to find the album and listen to it for clues. The scene is more or less nonsense, but if you pause the screen as they look at the album, you'll laugh your ass off at some of the crazy song personal favorites were "I'd Tell Ya, But Then I'd Have Tequila", and "High Balls and Low Blows". I'd totally buy this album.

Well, it turns out that the song does seem connected to the murders. One lyric is about a character flying and then crashing, like Carlos. Another lyric seems very specific about Cliff, since it mentions being lost in a maze. In another inspired bit, Dave tries playing the next part backwards, which would be great if the next part wasn't "La la la la la". I'm tellin' ya, this movie's a hoot.

After listening to the song, Pete is told by Juan, "Yu and Hank are dead," which of course sounds like a threat. After a few more misunderstandings, Juan just gives up and tells them to follow him to the latest corpses. Amusingly, the message carved into Hank's chest is DON'T LET THIS BE YU.

To distract the guests, the staff holds a fashion show. As Lars models a poncho for the crowd, Sam and Putman remark that there were no killings until Lars was hired. That gets Jenny mad, and she quickly defends Lars. Of course, as each person steps onto the stage, they all fall under scrutiny.

After the fashion show, it's decided that someone should search for the boats. When it looks like Jenny is a part of the search party, Putman volunteers, but he gets stuck with Lars instead. They head out to explore, as Jenny, Sam and Juan watch. Coconut Pete is briefly shown, teaching his cooking staff how to make coconut paella.

Pete starts getting angry again, asd Jenny and Juan observe him from a distance, only to be interrupted by Penelope. She stuffs a huge portion of calamari into Juan's mouth, and he freaks out because of the octopus reference in the song. When Penelope wanders away, Juan and Jenny decide that there's only 1 way to be sure that she's not the killer: Juan must sleep with her.

Dave, Jenny and Sam are hiding in Juan's closet, ready to jump out if he's in any sort of danger. He looks pretty terrified, as Penelope straddles him. She removes her top and does several somersaults, before landing on top of Juan again. And that's when Penelope reveals the secret she alluded to earlier: she's a world-class gymnast, and she wants to shed her innocent, pristine image, so she can sow some wild oats. Juan and Penelope then proceed to have a sexathon, forcing the trio in the closet to sit through the entire experience. When she goes to the bathroom, Juan even opens the closet door to announce that he's ready for more when she returns.

On the beach, Lars is being given the 3rd degree from a very jealous Putman. Putman frightens him with a large plastic bundle, but it turns out to be a hairnet for Putman's enormous hairdo. Lars breathes a sigh olf relief, and both he and Putman get to sleep. Before Putman falls asleep, though, he examines a news article he found, one that reveals that Lars lost his parents at one of Pete's concerts.

Sam and Dave go through the stuff Lars brought with him, including his swords. They also find a shrine to Coconut Pete that indicates that Lars is obsessed with Pete. Yikes! Is there anyone in this film who isn't crazy?

That's actually a pretty good segue back to the beach. Putman wakes up in the middle of the night and finds both the campfire extinguished and Lars missing. He hears a sword being unsheathed, and sees Machete Phil coming his way. Putman tries to run, but his stupid hairnet gets caught on several plants and trees. The killer catches him, and the mask comes off, revealing Dave as the killer. Then HE gets stabbed from behind by the real killer. The killer removeshis mask, revealing the killer as...Putman? He moves in to kiss...himself, I guess, and it's all revealed as a dream. Lars is trying to wake him up, and a disoriented Putman scurries away into the jungle.

The next morning, Lars brings back one of the missing boats. He shows them the propeller hanging from his neck, and explains that the motor was sabotaged. Sam notes that Lars returned without Putman, and accuses him of being the killer. As Lars continues to deny being the killer, the rest of the employees decide to lock him up.

Jenny finds a group of stoned swimmers in the pool, and decides that it's safe to go for a quick dip. As soon as she dives underwater, a naked dude runs past the pool, [proclaiming free drinks for anyone who catches him. The tipsy swimmers leave the pool, and pursue him.

Jenny surfaces, and gets scared when she finds herself alone in the pool. There's a splash behind her, and Jenny tries to swim to the edge of the pool, but is pulled under the water. After a short struggle, she sees that the other swimmer is the young annoying guy who's been pissing off Putman. As he tries yet again to woo Jenny, a hand grabs him underwater, and yanks him below the surface. It turns out to be a crude joke, but Jenny actually sees the killer behind him, preparing to throw a television into the water. Playing on the screen is an episode of Amy Aerobics.

Jenny gets out of the pool in time, but the young asshole isn't as lucky. He fries like an egg on the sidewalk in August. Sadly, that also knocks out the power around the resort. Jenny sees the killer approaching her again, and starts running.

The good news is that Jenny finds another survivor. The bad news? It's Putman. He creeps out Jenny by asking how badly the kid(whose name, mentioned in this scene, is Dirk) died. Then Sam shows up to break the tension. He leads them to the drunk tank, which is apparently where Lars was confined. When they unlock the door, they find an empty room.

Down the hall, though, a door is rattling. The nervous trio walk toward it, and Juan comes out of hiding to join them. As they reach the door and fling it open, they find Dave on the other side, dancing and weaving a flashlight all over the place.

As they try to figure out where to hide from Lars(even though they still can't be sure that he's the killer), Sam finds a letter stating that Juan has spent time in prison. They gang up on Juan, and he stumbles into a chair that has a cord tied to it. As the cord unravels, the chairs spins wildly, and Coconut Pete's corpse falls into the room, the victim of hanging.

As everyone starts to accuse Juan of the murders, he decides to tell them why he was in prison. He screwed a goat. Yup. Moving on...

Dave is the next guy to be fingered as the killer. His motive? Well, it turns out that Dave's parents were trampled to death at one of Pete's concerts(seen briefly in a newspaper clipping earlier), so maybe he had a grudge. It turns out that everyone already knew about Dave's parents, but not everyone knew that Dave already owned the island. Pete gave it to him because he was going back on tour.

Then Lars appears. When he sees Pete's corpse he starts to cry, and Sam tells him he doesn't buy it. As everyone fights and shouts, Jenny proves to be the voice of reason. She proposes that they gather the guests, wait in one of the main buildings for the rescue ship to arrive in the morning, and leave as a group. That lasts about 1 scene, then they all argue and start to go off in different directions again.

Dave locks himself in the dance area, and proceeds to "get down" with the stereo system. Lars and Jenny head to Lars' room, and find his swords gone. As Jenny complains about the killer always beimng a step ahead of them, Lars shushes her. Annoyed at first, Jenny finally figures out what point Lars was making: if the power went out, how is Dave able to play his music so loud?

They hurry to the club, and Jenny discovers Dave's severed head spinning on the turntable. Lars and Jenny hurry back to her bungalow, and spot the killer heading in their direction. As they try to find a good place to hide, Lars convinces Jenny to hide under the bed. Then he lies down on the floor and begins this goofy chant. As the person outside gets closer, the chant gets faster, until the muscles in Lars' stomach contract, allowing him to get under the bed with Jenny.

Just in time, too...the mystery figure enters the room right after they hide. They watch his feet move around the room, then Lars uses a pair of handcuffs he found under the bed to keep the mystery person attached to the bed. They emerge from under the bed, and find that they've captured Putman. He was stealing a pair of her panties.

Sadly for Putman, the actual killer is outside, and they can't locate the key for the handcuffs. Also, the door can't be locked, because the lock is broken. Putman asks for his racquet and balls, and uses them to hit the killer with as Lars and Jenny make their escape. One tennis ball hits the killer's crotch with a metallic sound, leading them to believe that it is, indeed, Machete Phil. When Putman runs out of projectiles, the killer throws his machete at him, impaling Putman.

Jenny and Lars hide in the bathroom, and listen to Putman's murder. He almost names the killer, but not quite. The killer then enters the bathroom to clean himself up. While Lars uses pantomime to try to give Jenny a plan to fight the killer, a towel covered in blood flies over the shower curtain and smacks him in the face. Jenny gently removes the towel from his face, and Lars requests the soap.

They hurry back to the guest area, where everyone who's left is partying. The killer planned on this, and a quick look around the room reveals most of the corpses have been used to decorate the rafters. The crowd forms a frightened mob, and they all rush outside.

Jenny sees Penelope and asks about Juan, but the other girl has no idea where he could be. Juan appears a moment later, but is covered in blood and gripping a machete. Lars asks him about his appearance and the weapon, but Jenny stops the questioning to point out Sam banging on a window and screaming. As a group, they run over to rescue him.

The small hut Sam was in turns out to be a mud bath area. Worried that the killerv might be hiding in one of the mud beds, Lars plunges his hands into the first one. Nope, it's empty. He puts his hands into the second one, and pulls Sam's lifeless body to the surface. That leaves only one mud bath to search.

Lars gets the machete from Juan, and plunges it swiftly into the mud. As he softly instructs the others to exit the building, Sam's eyes snap open. He leaps out of the mud and attacks Lars, pulling the machete up to the massage expert's throat. He then cackles and brags about how long he can hold his breath.

When asked about his motive, Sam tells them about how, at the start of the film, Rolo wouldn't share his weed. Then he reconsiders, and decides that his real motive was that he was pissed when Pete gave Dave the resort. Before he can say much more, Lars grabs his wrist, sending am into an instant, paralytic orgasm. Then Lars tells them to escape, because he can only keep Sam in that state of mind for so long.

The group manages to escape, and decide to hide in the club, because it's incredibly secure(because it's where the booze is stored....). On their way past screaming guests, a guy grabs Penelope and throws her over his shoulder, then runs away. Also, they see Sam approaching, and he looks pretty pissed off.

After Juan and Jenny lock themselves into the nightclub, Jenny screams. Somehow Sam has trapped Penelope in the fish tank, and she's drowning right in front of them while Sam watches thnem to see what they do. Juan finds a fire axe, and smashes the tank to save Jenny.

Jenny gets Penelope off the wet floor, and urges Juan to hurry as well, before Sam recovers. Sam gets up first, though, and grabs the axe. As he prepares to resume his killing spree, a knife emerges from Sam's chest. It's one of the swords that Lars owns, and he is very much alive. He and the other 3 open the gate, and leave the club.

As they wander past the chaotic partygoers, they see Sam lurching in their direction again. Juan tells the others that he can lose sam in the jungle, so they follow his lead. He leads them to a cliff that faces the ocean, and encourages them all to jump. Also, he advises them to clench their butt cheeks together, because the impact of the water going up their asses can pulverize their intestines.

Penelope dives first, and shows off her skill as a gymnast. Then Juan dives, followed by Jenny and Lars. As they all resurface, Jenny complains about her asshole hurting. Lars tells the others that he saw the second boat on the ocean floor. Juan volunteers to get the engine from that boat, so that they can attach it to the boat Sam didn't sink. While he's doing that, the rest will swim to the intact boat, and keep an eye out for Sam.

Alas, Sam dives into the water behind Juan while he's distracted by his work on the intact propeller. Lars, Jenny and Penelope climb into the boat, and worry when Juan doesn't show up. Juan pops up next to the boat a moment later, holding up the intact propeller. As Lars dives in to attach the new propeller, Juan reveals that Sam gave him a severe wound across his torso. Before he dies, he tells Penelope how much he loves her...and that he'd love to see Jenny and Penelope kiss before he dies.

Seconds after Juan disappears beneath the surface, Sam bursts out of the ocean, and climbs aboard the small boat. He knocks out Jenny and begins to strangle Penelope, only to be nterrupted by Lars. They scuffle, and Sam gets entangled in the rope used to moor the boat to the dock.

Steering the boat around in wide arcs, Lars manages to bind Sam to the dock, pulling the rope ever tighter around his waist. When Sam tries to leap at them, Lars pilots the boat away, cutting Sam in half.Sam's top half sees his bottom half sink into the ocean, and he collapses into the water.

Then, in true slasher movie fashion, Sam's top half leaps into the boat and attacks Penelope. Lars comes to her rescue, swings Sam around several times, then throws him like a frisbee out into the ocean. After Lars and Jenny kiss, they ask Penelope to start driving, and the boat takes off. Behind them, Sam's legs are trying to swim and follow the boat. THE END

I love the Broken Lizard movies, and Club Dread especially. It works well, not just as a stoner comedy, but also as an impressively bloody slasher flick. It gets 4-and-a-half killer trees out of 5. I hope they get another theatrical release someday, considering that their stuff nowadays seems be direct-to-DVD fare.

And what did Club Dread teach me?

-Everything is better with topless chicks.
-Jimmy Buffet has competition.
-I find endless amusement in hearing "Penelope" pronounced "Pee Nah Lope". I'm easily amused...

Next up: Something called Sam's Lake. I hope it's good. TTFN!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Another revision....

For the umpteenth time, Netflix has screwed me up. They sent me a copy of this week's movie, but it was damaged. Until I get the replacement disc, I'll be watching Club Dread as my movie for the week. I also stumbled upon a terrific little database listing hundreds of slasher films, so I'm going to start filling my queue with titles from that list, as well as the ones I've already put on there. Fun!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Hole

Okay, so last week's slasher was a fun, silly romp. This week, we have a somewhat grim movie,The Hole, about 4 teens trapped underground for a month. Did I dig it? Was it the pits? Read this SPOILER-filled breakdown to find out!

The movie opens on a young woman(played by Thora Birch) wandering down a deserted street. For some reason, the street and the bushes that flank both sides of it are littered with paper. A partial close-up of one of the sheets reveals that they are posters concerning 4 missing students. Gee, I wonder if it's the 4 kids I told you about in the previous paragraph?

The girl begins to run faster when she sees her school up ahead, and another poster confirms that she is indeed one of the teens. She manages to get inside the school, limps down several corridors, and spies a payphone. When she dials for assistance and a person on the other end offers help, the girl screams. The girl then collapses, after saying "help" a few times.

The credits start up, as we see an ambulance and other emergency workers and law enforcement officers arrive. In addition to Thora Birch, the cast includes Desmond Harrington(Wrong Turn, Ghost Ship), Keira Knightley(from the Pirates movies), and Embeth Davidtz(13 Ghosts, Army of Darkness).

The girl, Lizzie, is treated to by doctors(including them using a rape kit to determine if she was assaulted), then meets a shrink, Dr. Horwood. The doc tries to engage Lizzie in some friendly banter, but fails. Then she tries out a breathing exercise, and the flashbacks begin...

Lizzie begins by introducing us to everyone who was involved in the disappearance: First up is Martin, a nerdish guy who tries to manipulate the other more popular students by preying on their vanity; Mike Steel, an athlete who has a rock star for a parent(and whom Lizzie secretly has a crush on; Geoffrey, Mike's closest friend; and Frankie, a supermodel-hot classmate that Liz seems to get along with, despite having nothing in common with her.

Liz dyes her hair blonde to attract Mike, but gets paranoid delusions that the other students are laughing at her, so she dyes it back to the original color. Then Liz decides to show up in Martin's room to bitch and moan. Desperate to win her love, Martin tells her that he can help her. He approaches Mike, Geoff and Frankie with an offer of a place to party for school vacation...if they bring Liz along. Then Martin hacks into school computers to make it look as if the group would be on a class trip.

He brings the quartet out to the woods, teases them a bit about their destination, then reveals that they're stand right over the entrance. It's a hatch, where a tunnel leads to an old bunker from World War II. After Frankie reveals some issues with claustrophobia, Geoff offers to enter the hatch first. He's followed by Mike, who only goes in because he doesn't want to wimp out in front of the girls. Frankie finally decides to go next, and Liz goes last, after thanking Martin for arranging the party.

Once they're all inside, Martin shuts the hatch and walks away. Frankie panics in the dark, until the guys fumble around and get the electricity running. Once lit up, the place looks huge. They all start to set up their stuff and party their asses off, except for Liz, who just stands back and watches Mike with googly, starstruck eyes. Yeesh.

When they start to get hungry, Geoff offers to cook some noodles that he brought along. Mike apparently "forgot" to bring enough food for the 3-day weekend, and Liz jumps at the chance to share some of hers. Frankie decides to be the odd woman out, explaining that she's on a diet.

During the meal, the brainiacs decide to scare each other with stories. Geoff proposes that the scariest thing would be that something happens to Martin, and they never get out of the hatch. The 2 guys laugh, but Frankie decides that if something DOES happen to Martin, it will be because Geoff jinxed him.

At that point, Horwood interrupts to ask Liz what happened at the end of the weekend, when Martin was supposed to return to the hatch. The flashback reveals that the quartet were all packed and ready to go back to the school, but Martin never returned. They decide to see if they can get cell phone reception right under the hatch, and Geoff volunteers to climb up the ladder to try one out.

When that plan goes bust, the group gets kind of frantic, and they try just shouting for help. After that, tempers flare, and we get a montage of different ways they all crack under pressure. That night, as the others sleep, Liz spies a strange phenomenon in the window of the hatch. The light coming through the window seems to be blocked every so often, as if someone outside was walking over the hatch. She takes her flashlight and aims the beam of light at the small window, and now I have this whole movie figured out!

They're on Lost, living in Desmond's hatch. The light is Hurley and Locke, out looking for Jack, or a polar bear, or a Smoke Monster or some other bullshit. And after several years, none of it will matter or make sense.

No? Okay then, instead Liz decides to briefly shine her light on Mike. After she switches her flashlight off again, Mike opens his eyes, revealing that he was awake the entire time. Creepy.

The next day, they decide to formulate a plan to survive until help arrives. The working theory is that Martin is either holding them in the hatch for money, or that he might have been injured, and unable to come back. To make things worse, they realize that the search could lead rescuers anywhere in the world, since the airport is so close by.

At that point, Liz describes Martin as jealous of his wealthier classmates, and the doctor leaves to have the investigators put out an APB for his arrest. Horwood even gives them a psychological profile to work with, based mostly on what Liz has told her.

Liz is told about the manhunt for Martin, and Liz wishes out loud that they would put him a small, dark cell, to show him how it feels. Then she gives Horwood a creepy smile. Yeesh, remind me to never piss this girl off!

A video camera is set up, and Liz resumes her narrative once more. It's nighttime again, and Liz shines her light on the others while they sleep. She finds Mike sitting up and staring directly at her, so they decide to talk. Mike crosses the room, then crawls under the blanket next to Liz.

She tells Mike that she thinks that Martin is somehow monitoring their actions. Liz mentions seeing someone moving around above them, then says that Martin is doing it to humiliate her in front of Mike, because of her crush. Instead of comforting her, Mike gets kind of pissed off, and blames Liz for their confinement.

After Mike calms down, he takes another look at their surroundings. He finds a speaker on the wall, then several more. He and Liz wake up the others, and they stage an argument for Martin to hear. Holding up cue cards, Liz choreographs the fake fight, and it's as bad as it sounds here. And Martin never shows up, so it's easily the dumbest scene in the movie.

Then Liz changes her story, saying that the door to the hatch was mysteriously open again on the following morning. As they all emerged from captivity, Mike hugged Liz and proclaimed, "You saved us. You saved us."

Of course, none of that happened. Liz is several apples shy of an orchard, so Doc Horwood gathers up her stuff and leaves Looney Liz alone. Horwood waits until she gets outside the building to call the lead investigator. She tells him that Liz is unreliable as a witness, and he promises to get the truth out of Martin, who has been arrested.

Martin is pretty smug, even while being questioned. He tells them that they have no DNA evidence, no fingerprints, no images of him on security cams, and no witnesses that saw him locking the teens inside the hole. Martin even gives the authorities a breakdown of his entire schedule on the day the others first disappeared.

Then the female cop questioning Martin lowers the boom...she tells him that Liz has been found alive, and that her story differs from his. He responds that he was framed by Liz, because she hates him. While this is going on, Dr. Horwood is driving Liz home, but the movies returns to the interrogation room before anything really happens.

Anyway, Martin's version is verrrrrry different from the tale that Liz told. He claims that Frankie and Liz are best friends, and that Liz hangs out with all of the popular girls. In his story, Liz and Frankie knew about the hatch beforehand, and made him go along with the underground weekend party idea. Frankie supposedly had the hots for Geoff, so he was invited as her date, and Liz could get comfy with Mike. Oh, and Frankie delivered the "invitation" by walking into the boy's locker room and asking Geoff to go along with it as he was standing in front of her naked. Geoff finds Mike later that day, and uses Mike's vanity against him, making him agree to tag along.

Martin denies locking them in, however, so it's still his testimony against Frankie's. The male cop in charge of the investigation calls Dr. Horwood, and demands instant access to Liz. Horwood refuses, and promises better results from the therapy sessions.

The next time they meet, the shrink accidentally tells Liz that Martin is getting released from police custody. Liz pitches a fit and runs away. Somebody wake me up if someone dies. Especially if it's me. Liz walks down a dark corridor at what looks like her school, and sees Mike walk by. It's not really him though, it's only a vision. That doesn't stop Liz from hiding around the corner, though, breathing heavy and looking jittery and frightened.

Liz goes back home, where she smokes a cigarette and flips through a magazine. This leads into another flashback, in which Martin and Liz plan the weekend party together while examining the hatch. This leads into another montage showing the quartet partying again. Once everyone is either drunk or stoned(or both), things start to get kinky.

Mike tries to lure Frankie into having sex with him, Frankie refuses, then drunkenly stumbles over to Geoff, who has been watching Mike fail to win over Frankie with his charms. Before long, they're making out, and Liz is watching. As Liz looks on, Frankie, Geoff and Mike decide to have a little 3-way action. They more or less forget about Liz, so she just stands there, feeling like the proverbial third wheel.

She eventually decides to walk away, but not before she pulls out some of Mike's hair. He starts to insult Liz and swear at her, so Frankie and Geoff also taunt her. After Liz leaves the room, Frankie announces that the menage a trois is over. She leaves the main area as well, then flashes her tits at the boys. Mike saw the show, but Geoff missed it. It was good Geoff. It was good.

Liz gets busy smoking and being pouty. Soon after that, everyone goes to bed. Geoff tiptoes over to Frankie's spot, and tries to get into her pants again. They get so loud that Mike starts to complain, leading Liz to tell them all to shut up. She and Mike exchange glances, and Liz pulls her sleeping bag open, to offer him some sex as well. He just gives Liz a look of disgust, then rolls over and tells her to get some sleep too.

Back in the present, Liz trashes her magazines. The theory among the cops is that Liz somehow picked the lock to make her escape. Uh, say WHAT?? A teenaged girl who quivers over a dumb jock has the skill needed to pick a lock that's also a deadbolt. Bull. Shit. You. Stupid. Movie.

And by the way, this is a blog about slasher flicks. Does anyone ever die in this thing? I'm having my doubts. Someone had better die soon, or I'll find the film crew and start my own slasher. Nah, I'm just kidding...or AM I????

In the following scene, Doc Horwood watches as a smug-looking Martin gets into a car and waves at her. She asks a female cop(who conducted some of the interrogations to go down into the underground bunker to look for clues to clarify the events that occurred during the weeks that Liz and the others were down there.

In the next flashback, Mike is angrily packing his stuff and determined to find another exit. Liz decides that's what she wants to do as well. Then Frankie also votes to leave. Uh, this is all well and good, but you won't be going anywhere until you actually find another escape hatch. Dunbasses.

As Mike starts to climb back up to the hatch(???), he informs Liz that he intends to patch things up with Amber, the girl he broke up with at the start of the film. He starts to climb the ladder, then Geoff reminds him that he left a bag of weed behind. Geoff and Frankie beg him to stay, while Liz tries to sneak up to the hatch by herself.

Rocket scientists that they are, Liz and Mike find the hatch sealed up tight. Uhhhh, didn't we go over that already? Anyway, Liz climbs back down, so that Geoff can try it for himself. Then everyone starts to blame Liz, because they sort-of, maybe, kinda remember that she was the last person to get in, and that she slammed the hatch shut. While Liz decides to hide from the others, they find the door to an escape tunnel they were informed of earlier in the movie. Sadly, that door also won't budge.

At the crime scene around the hatch, the foresic team is having a hard time gathering useful evidence. There's a ton of DNA left in the hole--so much so, that it'll take the investigators months to sift through all of it. Where's Gil Grissom or Horatio Cane when you need them?

Alone at home, Liz tries to find something to eat, and picks up a cookie jar. Martin suddenly appears at the front door, and boy is he pissed off! Liz run out through the back door, after dropping the cookie jar, and Martin chases her through the wooded area behind her house.

They square off on a bridge overlooking a reservoir or dam, and Martin grabs Liz by her upper arms, forcing her to face him. He tells Liz that she ruined his life by naming him as the perpetrator, and she replies that he should have kept his mouth shut. The plot thickens...which is a good analogy, because this monstrosity is a slasher flick as much as I'm Batman...and it's thick like sludge.

So, back to London Bridge. *YAWN* While Martin is busy shouting at Liz, the shrink drives up to the house. Horwood finds the broken container on the floor, and Liz upstairs crying her eyes out. Liz is rocking back and forth on her bed, and she hugs the doctor when she sees her. After some more hysterics and begging, the shrink agrees to help Liz find a safer place to live. Uh, where the heck is Martin?

When Horwood tells Liz that she wants to hear the entire truth, Liz claims that there are still gaps in her memory, and that she's been getting confusing flashes of the events that transpired during the month of confinement. She tearfully begs the shrink to let her go back to the hole, to see if it jogs her repressed memories.

As Liz leads Doc Horwood past the crime scene tap and into the hatch, the other investigators get a phone call about Martin. They all rush out of the office, hop into their cars, and speed off to parts unknown. Did he go on a killing spree? Was he jaywalking? Do I care?

The flashback resumes, right at the point where Mike stepped off of the ladder to grab his weed stash. Liz climbs up, just as she did in the previous flashback, only this time, there's an actual plot twist: she has a key to the hatch!

Liz steps back down after locking the hatch, then stands back to watch the others freak out. When she's positive that none of them are watching her, Liz hides the key in her shoe. Then they discover that the water pipes are no longer giving them anything. They gather their entire water supply, then Geoff gives them a lesson in dehydration, and how it could kill them if they run out of their meager supply. When they do run out, they have 3-4 days left to live. Fun!

Liz starts to shed some crocodile tears, and they all rush over to console her. What follows that is yet another montage, in which we see them try to survive on small rations of water as the days and weeks pass. As Liz watches Mike while he sleeps, she hears someone moving around above them. He wakes up too, but doesn't hear the noise.

As Liz confesses doing all of this to the others, there's anothner flashback. Mike approaches Liz and kisses her, and then they start to get into some serious making out. Geoff wanders in, sees them, and interrupts to tell them that Frankie is very sick all of a sudden.

Liz finds Frankie puking into the toilet, and goes on and on about what a great kisser Mike is. Right about now would be a great time to hear the song "Crazy Bitch". When she finally notices that Frankie is gagging and puking her guts out, she offers Frankie a few feeble words of encouragement.

That evening, Liz and Mike screw like bunnies while Geoff tries to get some sleep. Later that same night, Liz decides to walk around. She calls Frankie's name, but there's no response. When Liz finds Frankie, she screams.

Geoff and Mike wake up and come running over to Liz. They see Frankie's body on the floor, with blood caked around her mouth. Geoff accuses Liz of killing her, then tries to perform CPR on the corpse. When that fails, he sobs and hugs her body close to his.

They wrap the body in plastic and drag her to a small room off to the side. After confessing to murder, Liz tells the shrink not to look at her in such a judgemental way. The autopsy of young, naked Keira Knightley's

Wait, I seem to have lost my train of thought. What was I doing?

Oh, right. Autopsy. The medical examiner determines that the cause of death was heart failure. Back in the past, Geoff again blames Liz for Frankie's death, because the weekend getaway was her idea in the first place. Mike comes to her defense and assures Liz that she had nothing to do with Frankie's death(HA!), and Geoff eventually apologizes to her.

In the very next scene, Liz almost tells Mike about her key. What stops her? Well, it turns out that Geoff has been hiding extra food, and they both hear him open a can of either beer or soda. Mike tackles him to the ground, then bashes his head against the floor until he's dead. 2 down...

After he realizes what he's done, Mike breaks down. Unlike Frankie, they don't bother to cover Geoff or drag him out of the main chamber. As Mike takes big swigs from one of Geoff's stashed beverages, Liz proposes that they make a suicide pact before the dehydration gets into the later stages, but Mike argues that Geoff's supplies can hold them for a few more days. As she prepares to slit her wrist, Mike tells her that he loves her. Liz drops the knife and tells him the same.

Manipulative bitch that she is, Liz waits for Mike to fall asleep, then climbs up to the hatch for the final time. She takes a breath of fresh air, then Mike wakes up and confronts her. She admits that her plan was to make him love her, and he flies off the proverbial handle.

He tries to climb the ladder to get to Liz, but the chain ladder breaks. Mike falls to the ground, and gets impaled by the metal post the ladder was attached to. Liz watches him die, and begins to sob. She tells Dr. Horwood that it's better that Mike died, because now he can be youthful and perfect forever.

After her confession, Liz is told that she needs to tell her story again, to the investigators, but Liz refuses. When Horwood mentions that Martin could testify against her, there's another flashback of the scene where Martin confronted Liz on the bridge. He yelled at Liz about all of the lies she told, then dropped to his knees on the edge of the bridge. When he let go of the railing, Liz pushed him into the water.

After making THIS confession, the cops arrive. Liz rushes over to the police, and immediately concocts a story about how Dr. Horwood lured her into the hole with intent to harm her. Martin's body is fished out of the water, and they find a key to the hatch in his pocket.

As Horwood realizes that the cops believe Martin's death is a suicide, she stands by herself and watches Liz interact with several officers. Liz turns to look back at her, and smiles. The smile vanishes, and she goes back to pretending to be a victim. THE END.

Eh. I've seen worse, but I've also seen MUCH better films. Despite how scary it sounded on Netflix, it was about as far from a slasher as you could get. Even the four deaths were pretty poor...I'm still not entirely sure why Frankie's mouth was drenched in blood when they found her corpse, or how Liz was planning to get away with 4 murders without anyone from forensics uncovering her DNA all over the bodies(of Martin and Frankie, at least). Plus how would she explain to them how she got out??? I'm sorry, but picking the lock is a stupid explanation. 2 out of 5 killer trees for The Hole, and one of those points is purely for Keira Knightley's topless scenes.

And what did I learn after watching this one?

-Keira Knightley pretty. Me like.

-It's common practice to get someone to confess to murder, and forget to record it or have witnesses hear it too.

-Teen girls with mood swings are always believed more than psychiatrists who have a solid, professional reputation.

My next movie by mail is Tourist Trap, a freaky '80's slasher that seemed to be a major influence on the Paris Hilton remake of House of Wax. Not sure when I'll get to it, because I'm having surgery tomorrow, but I'll get to it as soon as possible. Have a good week!