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Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Greenskeeper

I'm not really a "sports guy", so my first reaction to seeing that John Rocker was starring in The Greenskeeper was, "Uhhh, who's John Rocker?" Well, thanks to Google, I can watch this week's slasher with at least a little more knowledge than usual. It won't make the movie any better, but at least I learned something! SPOILERS begin now, so be warned....

Okay, the first scene of this thing isn't very helpful...A guy named Allen is having a dream. He sees a beekeeper standing in his bedroom, then he follows the beekeeper out of the bedroom door. On the other side, Allen finds himself surrounded by gorgeous, smiling women. He moves past them, to an especially attractive one who seems to want him, but a masked assailant jumps her first, slashing her throat with gardening shears. Allen wakes up screaming, and a figure in bed with him leaps up to stab him. Then Allen wakes up yet AGAIN, and the credit sequence begins.

We get treated to several views of a country club, then meet Mr. Anderson, who has a reserved parking space. Before we find out anything else about the guy, the scene shifts to a poolside setting, where several attractive women are being ogled by a couple of obnoxiously happy male employees. There's a guy cheating at cards, a girl breaking the 4th wall by waving at the camera, a woman drinking from a bottle of wine and also smiling into the camera--geez, is this a slasher flick, or the opening credits for a lousy NBC sitcom?

After several more people smile and wave at me, the cheerfully cheesy music is replaced by cheesy scary music. A guy golfing by himself is oblivious to someone approaching him. Uhhh, never mind...the camera passed right over his head. Weird. It starts gaining speed, passing by pretty much every part of the grounds, until the guy in the beekeeper outfit from the first dream scene slams a door on the cameraman. Strange.

Okay, so after all of the baffling shit ends, I guess the movie really begins. There's a very well-endowed blond asking a schlub named Allen what she should wear. He suggests an outfit, and she gets offended. Oh, and her name is Mary Katherine. Mary starts bitching out Allen about his lack of ambition, lack of car, blah blah blah. Oh, and he's the assistant greenskeeper, so maybe that'll be the title of the sequel. And his stepfather owns the country club. Boy, this scene sure seems like an info-dump! Anyone taking notes?

The next scene seems symbolic of the entire film: it starts with a monitor showing static. A group of guys who look either hung over or half-dead are staring at it. Mary passes through, so I guess this is where Allen lives. A large chick named Paige wishes Allen a happy birthday, and her boyfriend(?), Styles(a reference to Teen Wolf, perhaps?) attempts to give him a bong as a present.

Allen tries to tell Styles about his nightmares, but Styles then goes off on a tangent about his own drugged-out dreams. So, based on Allen's rantings, I guess the beekeeper was his father. Wait, wasn't his father the owner of the country club? Oh wait, no, that was his stepdad. anyway...Allen feels like the dreams have a deeper meaning, but Styles doesn't get it. He gives up on trying to explain the dream to Styles, and asks him for a ride to work instead.

Now we get to the Summerisle Country Club. After getting out of the car, Allen spots an attractive employee who smiles at him. With the music playing, it's hard to tell if this is another fantasy or not. Allen stops near a lagoon to space out, and sees a rotting face staring back at him from the water, instead of his normal reflection. Y'know, this shit's getting really annoying! We're only about 11 minutes in(!), and I feel like it's been an hour. If something doesn't happen in the next 20 minutes, I'm sending this one back. I just got Terror Train in the mail, and I'd much rather see that one anyway.

Oh well, in the time it took me to decide that, Allen was nearly frightened to death by an older black man sneaking up on him. The old guy offers him a joint, and they both laugh. Then the movie decides to cut to a lifeguard yelling at a kid by the swimming pool. The movie thankfully leaves him behind, and we catch up with Mary and her fellow bimbo group. As they whine about cars, 2 guys saunter up to flirt with the ladies. One of the guys, Chet, wants to have a party that night, but the party might be cancelled. Chet asks Mary K.(so dubbed because one of the other girls is ALSO named Mary) to convince Allen to let them have the party after hours at the country club.

At this point, the group is interrupted by an older man with a ponytail. He tells them that staying at the country club at night is a bad idea, because the club has a scary past...A former groundskeeper(finally!) was burnt-up in some kind of accident, and swore revenge on whoever caused his accident. Oh, and he supposedly lives in a shack near the club.

It all started with a previous owner of the country club, Old Man Rivers.(Does anyone else hear Scooby-Doo music as they read this?) He was a terrible golfer, and one day, he lost a ball in the woods. When he found his golf ball, he also accidentally discovered The Greenskeeper's shack. Rivers decided to enter the shack, and found a bloody bag inside, containing a human head. As they all speculate about the fate of Old Man Rivers, a brief flashback shows that The Greenskeeper decapitated him with some razor-sharp gardening shears.

Back at the toolshed, Allen and the old black dude discuss whether or not rich chicks ever take a dump. Allen sees a picture of his father and asks the old guy, Otis, about a book he finds near the photo, titled "How To Communicate with the Dead". Otis tries to tell Allen something important about dear ol' dad, but their boss, not-so-dear-but-just-as-old-Stepdad walks in. He reminds Allen that he has a birthday dinner planned, and Otis clams right up. Allen waits for him to leave, then tells Otis that he hates his stepfather.

After a brief montage of Allen and Otis doing maintenance work, we get a conversation between 3 preppies about whether or not Bert and Ernie were gay. They see Allen and call him over. Oh, and their names are Chet, Chas, and Champ. After the 3 C's tease Allen a bit, another guy walks up. He's Chip. This is getting ch-annoying. Allen waves his shears in a threatening way, then walks off.

The next time we see Chip, he's golfing by himself. He knocks a ball into the woods, then goes in after it. An anonymous figure steps into view, dressed like a beekeeper. Gosh, I wonder who it could possibly be? The Greenskeeper throws the golf ball at Chip, then clubs him to death with his own golf club. (off-camera, unfortunately)

Back at the maintenance shed, Otis is quietly putting some supplies away, and Allen sneaks up on him, for once. Ironic. Anyway, the action shifts back to Chip's corpse, where a cop is assessing the condition of the body, and how he died. Allen's stepfather asks him to keep the police report quiet for a few days, and the cop agrees. Immediately after that, the stepfather goes looking for The Caretaker himself. He sees him chopping wood, and tries to strangle him from behind, but it's only Allen. The stepfather apologizes for frightening him, then gives him the rest of the day off.

All of the C's and Mary's drive up to the gate after the country club closes, and they snort some coke. Otis and Allen clean up after work, then Allen leaves to have his birthday dinner. His mother tries to give him his gift, but the stepdad interrupts with a present of his own: a pocket thesaurus. Cheapskate.

While everyone chats around him, Allen starts having another hallucination. He sees his father(I presume) emerge from a body of water, badly burnt. Allen jumps, and inadvertently spills a drink all over MaryK. When she storms off, he follows, trying to apologize. The cute waitress he fantasized about before walks by, and tells him he's whipped, which is true. Allen leaves MaryK alone to go argue with the waitress, who is named Elena.

Elena tells him her life story, until MaryK yells at him from the bathroom. Allen asks the waitress if they can talk again later, then leaves to take care of his psychotic girlfriend. On the way, he sees his mother and stepfather leave the restaurant, because his mother is drunk. As soon as they leave, MaryK asks Allen to let her friends party at the country club that night. Allen gives Elena a long stare, then gives in to his girlfriend. After MaryK runs off to tell her friends the good news, Allen decides to chat with Elena some more. He asks her to the party as his date, then gives Elena his number. Her sisters disapprove, but who cares?

Allen goes back to the maintenance area, and shows Otis the lame gift. Otis then shows Allen the lawnmower he's been fixing, and warns him away from touching the blade, which is razor-sharp. Foreshadowing...? Otis asks Allen to bring him a hammer, which is just a ruse so that Allen can find the bicycle Otis built for his birthday. Touched, Allen tries to ask the old man to come to the party, but Otis has his heart set on watching a scary movie at home, something about a milkman.

Riding his new bike home, Allen gets pulled over by the same cop who investigated the murder of Chip. As they talk, The Greenskeeper watches from a safe hiding place next to the road. Allen tells the cop that he's lousy at his job and corrupt, then just rides his bike home.

Well, I was wrong about The Milkman....The movie that Otis is watching turns out to be a porno. Maybe he has a blog, and watches a different porno flick every--uhhh, never mind. And I guess that the movie is a horror flick, after all...either that, or Otis invited the entire town to watch it with him.

Allen leaves Styles and his frat brothers to watch their movie, then he calls Elena. Uh, didn't he giver her HIS number? Why isn't she calling him instead? Several other characters call each other as well, but since it's just the C's and the various Mary's, I just. don't. care. At all.

Moving on...

Later that night, The Greenskeeper sharpens his weapons and prepares himself to go on a killing spree. Then we get that same shot of the guy emerging from his shack, as the camera flies backwards. Lame.

Allen arrives at the country club late, but then the festivities begin. Another montage starts up, and everyone seems to be drinking and partying EXCEPT Allen. As he sits alone by the pool, Elena shows up. They almost share a tender moment, but the C's show up too, and throw Allen into the pool.

The tennis pro brings a young woman to the tennis court, and she goes off to use the bathroom while he stretches. Meanwhile, all of the other partygoers are pretty much getting high and behaving like jackasses toward Allen. Allen gets another flashback about The Greenskeeper, then decides to break up with MaryK. She retaliates by telling him a lie about Elena, which he somehow believes. Elena is getting hit on by a guy named Stu, so she walks away. The Marys tell her that Allen left, so she decides to look for him. After Elena leaves, the snooty girls all make fun of her.

Chas, the tennis pro, fails to see The Greenskeeper sneak onto the court. The killer sees that the automated ball server is full, so he loads it with nails too, which get mixed in with the tennis balls. As Chas turns back to the machine and prepares to resume his practice session, a nail destroys his racket. Then another nail goes through his head and ricochets, sending blood spraying from his neck and the top of his head. Cool.

In the restroom, Chas' date is yanked off of her feet and dragged into the next stall, then the next. She emerges into the main area of the bathroom again, only to be killed when The Greenskepper rams her against the door, driving a coathanger hook through her neck. Then he just leaves her body on the door's hook and walks away.

Stu gets crazy on crack, and jumps into the pool with his clothes on, splashing the Marys and the cocaine. The girls devise a plan to get him back. One removes her bikini top, and uses it to blindfold Stu, then they get into the pool, so he can hear them in the water. While he shouts "Marco", the girls get out as quietly as possible, and yell "Polo" at him, making him think they're still with him.

Stu realizes that a prank was pulled, but by then the others have already left. The Greenskeeper has shown up though, and he watches Stu for a few moments before doing anything. Stu reaches the edge of the pool, just as a voice softly whispers, "Come to Papa...", then the Greenskeeper bursts out of the water behind Stu and holds him underwater until he drowns.

MaryK and one of the C-guys(Chet, I think) are screwing in a golf kart, and there's a closeup of her breasts. After they finish, he goes into the woods naked to pee, and she puts her bathing suit back on. While her back is turned, The Greenskeeper lifts Chet up in the air, and sit him down on the, ahem, ball-washer. The idiot's penis gets shredded, and he dies. Afterwards, I get my one genuine laugh so far, when MaryK can't find him and tells him to "quit dicking around".

There's a flash of thunder just then, and MaryK briefly sees The Greenskeeper looming behind her. She screams and runs away, but he chases her with the kart onto the golf course. As she puts some distance between them, The Greenskeeper holds his shears like a ninja throwing star, and they fly into her back. He pulls up next to her in the kart, takes the shears out of her, and she feigns being dead. When he drives away, she thinks she's safe, but he then backs the vehicle right into her...which, again, we don't get to see. This movie can't seem to decide whether it wants to be gory or tame, which is kind of weird for this genre.

Otis is sitting around in shorts and a t-shirt, still watching the dumb movie about the perverted milkman. He hears something scraping his shack, but when he goes outside, the movie cuts to another couple about to have sex on the golf course. As they begin, the female insists that her lover should use protection.

Guess who shows up? If you guessed "The Greenskeeper", you go to the bonus round!!! He sneaks up behind the couple, then shoves the divet-making device used to put holes on the course into the male's back. He shoves it until the device creates a hole in both of the lovers, spraying blood everywhere. A final shot of the corpses reveals that they were either directly next to a golf flag, or that the flag was re-planted through the hole the Greenskeeper made.

Back at the clubhouse, Elena has made her way to the swimming pool. She sees Stu's corpse in the lifeguard chair, and tries speaking with him. She finally spots the wound in his throat and tries to run away, but the Greenskeeper snatches her up. He carries her to his lair and slams the door yet again. I swear, this is the most-used sequence in the friggin' movie.

When Elena comes to her senses, she realizes that she's been abducted. She watches The Greenskeeper move around the shack, then sees him leave. She manages to get out the small area she was being kept in, and comes across a wall filled with newspaper articles that fill her in about The Greenskeeper's past. At that point the killer returns, and chases Elena back to her small prison.

Elena finds her cellphone and calls the police, but The Greenskeeper apparently tied up that gay cop and gagged him. Then we discover that he was tied up by some other gay dudes, as part of some sex game. She also tries calling her sister, Rosa, but she's ALSO engaged in some kinky game. Finally, she calls Allen's number, but the idiots watching that stupid milk man movie ignore the ringing, and Allen is ignoring the phone while he's on his computer. Allen eventually decides to pick up the phone, and Elena begs him to come to the country club and rescue her.

Elena backs away from the door, and we can clearly see him outside the shack behind her. He breaks down the wall to grab Elena, but she runs away. As she approaches the door to the shack, Elena smartly presses herself against the wall. Sure enough, The Greenskeeper opens the door to enter, and when he gets toward the middle of the room, Elena runs outside.

She runs through the swampy forest, then hides behind a large tree. The Greenskeeper passes by her hiding place at a brisk jog, and Elena tries crawling away as quietly as she can. She discovers one of the dead Mary's crucified to a tree, complete with wooden pegs driven into her skull.

Elena runs all the way back to the golf course, oblivious to the presence of The Greenskeeper right behind her in the woods. She then finds the other Mary, with half of her face gone after she was run over. Or maybe it's the chick who died in the bathroom. Does it really matter? Next up on the discovery list is Chet, still sitting in the ball-washer, followed by the couple who had gigantic holes(and possibly a flag) driven through them.

Finally, Elena arrives at the shack where Otis was watching his dumb movie. He comes out and stares at Elena, then falls over dead, with pruning shears sticking out of his lower back. She sees The Greenskeeper coming up fast, so Elena runs into the shack, and shuts the door. She looks around for either a weapon or a hiding place, just seconds before The Greenskeeper gets inside. The killer looks for Elena, who gets behind him and uses a rake as a weapon. A rake?!? Uh, did you miss seeing the sturdy baseball bat right NEXT TO YOU?

As the 2 fight, Allen bursts in, grabs the bat(THANK YOU!), and whacks The Greenskeeper in the back of the head. Allen and Elena hug, then Allen realizes that the killer is speaking to him. The Greenskeeper lifts up the net covering his face, tries to speak, then is shot by Allen's stepfather. As he asks if they're okay, Elena sees a strange wound on the old man's wrist, a bitemark that she distinctly remembered doing to The Greenskeeper when he attacked her in his shack.

Stepdad forces them at gunpoint to sit down, then explains why he killed everyone. See, the fabled Greenskeeper was not only Allen's father, but also his stepfather's brother. Stepdad caused the explosion that scarred him, then left him for dead. When Allen's mom married the old coot, he just wanted her to hand over the ownership of the country club to him. He plotted to kill Allen and his mother to get the club, and used the other murders as a diversion.

As the stepfather finishes the story, his brother wakes up and gets a hand on the handle of the rake. He plunges the rake through the real killer's foot, then the two old men have a tussle. Stepdad shoves a waterspout/sprinkler device into his brother's chest, and blood gets splashed all over him and the room. As Stepdad turns around to finish killing Allen and Elena, Otis starts up the defective lawnmower he was fixing, and the blade flies toward the stepfather, decapitating him. Wait, Otis survived???

Allen and Elena come out of hiding while Otis laughs, and Allen's father has enough strength to give him a message: He's sorry. Awwwww. Allen and Elena nearly kiss, but the spout in Dad's chest sprays them again, and they start giggling. Assholes. They help Otis outside, and the screen freezes on the 3 survivors. THE END

Well, as usual, this one's a mixed bag. The sitcom-like opening credits, the many botched kill scenes, the lame humor, the Scooby-Doo revelations....okay, so maybe it wasn't such a mixed bag. The Greenskeeper sucked ass. But some of the kills were pretty funny, and the bodies were fairly gory when they were discovered, so it wasn't all bad. I'd probably give it about 3 and a half killer trees out of 5, considering that it did pick up near the end.

Oh, and what did this movie teach me?

-Sitcoms and slasher films are a bad mix.

-Preppies like not being able to tell each other apart...Right Chaz, Chet, Chip, Charlie, Chad and Chewbacca?

-You can survive an explosion by being blasted into a swamp.

Next week's movie is an oldie starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Nope, not Halloween. Sorry. It's Terror Train instead...wait, didn't I tell you that already? Oh well, try to hide your disappointment....see you next week!