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Saturday, September 15, 2012

I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer

I'm not entirely sure why, but slasher flicks almost never have a third entry that fits well with the rest...I mean, look at Halloween III: Season of the Witch. They strayed from the idea of Michael Myers being an unstoppable killing machine, then introduced mind control, killer masks, and human-looking robot assassins! Or look at Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors. Suddenly, the Freddy franchise has magical elements, dream powers, and 2 sequels so similar, they might have been better off combining them into a single story.

Anyway, that was what I was thinking as I decided to watch I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, an inferior sequel to what was already a much-criticized franchise. Anyway, I'm watching it this week, lucky me(and you, if you watch along with my "play-by-play" of the movie's story). Get ready to be both disappointed and SPOILED!

Full disclosure, right off the bat! Remember Ray, Julie and Brenda from the second film? Yeah, well, they aren't in this one. And seriously, it's not like any of them are too busy to conclude a trilogy, so that just bugs me right off the bat. Also, the movie doesn't seem to know where it wants to take place. The first several credits are shown over images of an empty ski resort, then the remaining credits look like they were superimposed over a crowd visiting Coney Island.

We're not even past the friggin' credits, and I want to shut this stupid movie off. Not a good sign.

Anyway, as the credits finally grind to a halt, we see a group of teens having fun, and looking right at the camera at various intervals. Nice. One of the teens, a blond girl named Amber, decides to tell the others about an urban legend, The Fisherman. They've dumbed down his origin story, so that he's now just some generic guy in a raincoat who stalks teens who "have secrets", and he appears around the same time every year. Yeesh.

Colby, Amber's boyfriend--and a dead ringer in some shots for Jake Busey--backs her up on the story, but their friend Zoe doesn't buy into it. Then they take some photos of each other, and decide to try one of those carnival games where you win a prize if you hit some milk bottles.

Then they suddenly start puking up exposition and plot points. They live in Colorado; Colby is going to college when summer ends, but Amber and her friends have a year left before they graduate; Amber is "organizing a field trip" in the fall, which I'm sure we needed to know for some reason; oh, and the kid running the bottle game is attracted to Amber.

Then the sheriff's son, PJ, shows up, announcing that he's decided to enlist. Everyone oohs and ahhs over him. Then the sheriff and a deputy move on, and more group pictures bare taken. Behind Amber is a red curtain, and there's a certain Fisherman-shaped silhouette lurking back there. Hmmm, it's probably nothing.

Gosh, the curtain just got slashed down the middle by the hook The Fisherman was holding. What a shocking development, huh? And I might be wrong here, but isn't he supposed to arrive AFTER they all try to cover up a crime that's murder-related? (well, okay, they're killing the script with weak acting, but still...)

Everyone freaks out(except 1 or 2 who didn't realize they were in the shot and look like they're laughing), and The Fisherman slashes Colby in the arm before he can get away. As they all run like ninnies, no one in the background has any reaction whatsoever. I guess screaming teenagers, bleeding arms, and psychotic killers in raincoats are an everyday occurrence in Colorado. Sounds like a hoot to live there.

Anyway, as they all continue to scream about a killer chasing them, people just generally ignore them and enjoy the boardwalk. PJ decides to break away from the others, and starts skating his way to the top of a parking garage. The others finally spot him at the top, and see that The Fisherman has him cornered. Oh no!

As The Fisherman is slowly cornering him, PJ's dad and the deputy show up.  They run to try to reach the top level before the killer can strike, but it doesn't seem likely to happen that way, given how close the killer is to his first potential victim. Perhaps they heard me, because PJ puts the skateboard on the concrete wall, and starts to skate away from the killer. When the cops arrive, both the killer and PJ have disappeared.

Colby, Amber and Zoe take off again, and run into a dark alleyway. The Fisherman shows up as they catch their breath, and it turns out to be their friend Roger. He claims to have bought the actual hook Ben Willis and his son Will(Remember him from the 2nd movie's dumbest clue ever? Will Benson? Ben's son? There, did I just  piss you off all over again over the stupidity of that scene? HA!!!) used in the killing sprees from the first 2 films, and shows it off. As Baby Darth Vader said in The Phantom Menace, "Yippee!!" (Heh, if you paid to see that in a theatre, I'll bet I just pissed you off again...I'm on a roll!)

Oh, and PJ was in on it as well, but he hasn't joined the rest of the group yet. Gee, where could he be? The others all go back to the boardwalk, and find a pile of mattresses that PJ was supposed to land on have been moved. Instead, PJ landed on a forklift, which is definitely not a stack of mattresses. His friends watch the cops and paramedics examine the body, and all have sad, horrified expressions on their faces...except for Roger, whose face is so over the top, he looks like he just passed a bowling ball in a Port-a-Potty.

The foursome walk out to the middle of nowhere, and I'm sure you know what happens next: they squabble, blame each other, decide to keep their prank a secret, burn the evidence blah blah blah. Hell, it was handled better in the first Scary Movie, and that was a spoof! There are 2 variations in this scene, though...First, Colby uses the hook to give himself a cut, to match what witnesses saw during the "attack"; and instead of "We take this to our graves", the pact becomes "The secret dies with us".

The scene fades out, and now we're in a cemetery. A helpful caption informs us that it's now July 1, one year after the previous events. Amber is there to put flowers on PJ's grave, then she decides that 10 seconds is enough time to mourn, so she whips out a camera. An sudden wind kicks up, then a bird swoops past her, scaring the crap out of the girl. Serves her right for goofing around with her camera, when she should be mourning her friend.

The movie then switches over to a farm. Exciting stuff, I know. A bunch of teens are partying near a silo or three, including Lance(the teen who was running that bottle game the night of the accident. He spots Amber walking by, and intercepts her, because he apparently still has a hopeless crush on her. Just tell her that you'll wait for her to get out of prison for killing PJ....she'll find it romantic!

Lance sees the camera, and Amber reveals that she's now really into photography. Yeah, we could tell because of the subtle camera you're lugging around. If she decided to go to med school, she'd probably be wearing surgical gloves and holding a scalpel. Don't you appreciate it when a movie dumbs it way down for ya?

Anyway, Lance has been doing maintenance and groundskeeping at a local ski resort, which finally gives the movie a reason to show those random ski lift shots during the opening credits. Further discussion reveals that Amber is waiting for Colby to arrive, which crushes poor Lance. Then Amber's friends drag her a few feet away, so that they can talk about Colby, just close enough for Lance to hear them.

When her friends ask her why she kept faithful to Colby for the entire year, she implies that it makes it all the more special when he finally comes back home. the other girls tell her to look to the side, and she sees that Colby already arrived, and she never knew about it. Uh oh, looks like Lance's opportunity to woo her may have finally arrived...

Amber marches over to Colby, and asks for a private chat. He tells her that his internship plans didn't pan out, and that he's been back for some time. When she asks why he never called her, Colby blames it on the pact they made to cover up their role in PJ's death. Translation: I wanted to date around, and I was hoping that you'd neve3r find out.

Colby then just meanders away, leaving Amber to get upset alone. She decides to leave the totally bitchin' silo party, and Lance offers to take her home on his motorcycle. She responds that she brought her truck, After some magical enchantments are performed offscreen, Amber ends up driving home in a jeep, not a truck. Whatever. Maybe The Fisherman will suddenly become The Equestrian using the same sort of magic.

Amber drives up behind what looks like the HOLLYWOOD sign, and leans against it while staring down at the town. Deputy Hafner(Yay! Another character gets a name!) finds her there while out on patrol, and offers her a shoulder to cry on, if she ever needs somebody to confide in. Yeah, right!

Upon returning home, Amber mopes around in her bedroom, staring at all of the photographs of her friends. An ominous-looking envelope is on her bed, with her name written on it, in a font very familiar to anyone who has seen the first 2 movies. It's just a note from her folks though, telling her that they've gone out, and not to throw any wild parties.

Um, okay. So why did that require an envelope? Don't most people on Planet Earth just write a not and leave it on a table, or stuck to a door or the fridge, or, I don't know, a countertop? I mean, seriously, it's a simple note! "Honey, we can't leave for the dinner party until I find an envelope for this quick message I wrote to our daughter. Yeas, I know we're running late, but this message NEEDS to be sealed up, in case the family dog decides to see what we're up to!

During the night, Amber hears a scary sound and wakes up. She wanders through her bedroom in the dark, and gets a text message. Want to guess what it says? I'll give you a hint...The words "summer", "know", "last", "did", "I", "you" and "what" are in the message. It's a stumper, I know.

Amber pays a visit to Zoe. Zoe is pretty resentful that Amber has been avoiding her until now, but she has also been getting the anonymous message. When Amber asks her for help, Zoe wants to know why she didn't just go to Colby instead. Despite her anger issues, Zoe agrees to let Amber stay with her for the night.

The next day, the pair go to the closed ski resort, to see if Roger is around. He scares them by arriving in a welder's mask, and carrying a small welding torch. They show him the text messages, and he claims that he hasn't received any messages at all. Roger proposes going to the cops, but no one else seems to like that idea. They even make him pledge to keep the secret again. Then Amber and Zoe leave, and let Roger get back to being creepy. My money is on him being involved somehow. Maybe Ben Willis had another son that we never knew about...


Seriously, if any variation of that line is spoken, drinks are on me!

Okay, okay, back to the movie...Where were we? Oh right, Amber and Zoe just finished spending time with Roger, taking him away from his precious human head collection(...or so I imagine...). The girls sit outside for awhile, and eventually start cracking jokes with each other until they're friends again. Awwwww, that's touching.

The sheriff then pops up from out of nowhere, and scares them shitless. He says things to them that could imply that he knows something about what happened that night, or it could just be misleading innuendo. My vote is for the latter, since he would have made some arrests if he really knew what happened that night. Still, maybe he bears watching as well...

With nothing better to do, Zoe goes to a public pool, where Colby is the lifeguard. He doesn't believe that the threats are real, and accuses Zoe and Amber of making it up to get him to  come back to Amber. Zoe reverses his defense, saying that he could just as easily have sent the text messages as a childish prank.

That causes Colby to lose his temper, and he goes on a break to continue the conversation somewhere a little more private. He tells Zoe that it's not his problem anymore, and stomps away. When he returns to his post, he sees that somebody wrote a message on the concrete with water: I KNOW WHAT  blah blah blah. As Colby stares at the message, it begins to evaporate.

Amber, by the way, does what any young woman would do if her life was being threatened:  She takes a bike, and decides to head up into the hills by herself to look around. She's a genius! Some thunder alarms her, so she rides her bike over to the closed ski resort, so that she can snoop around in the dark, menacing buildings. I'd say it's safe to assume that Amber has a deathwish.

She wanders through the structure3 where the ski lift is housed, and a shadowy figure looms ahead of her, holding something that looks like a weapon in his hand.  It turns out that he's one of the maintenance guys, and Amber tells him that she had trouble with her bike. He offers to turn on the ski lift to get her back into town, and tells her that a storm is heading their way soon.

Amber takes him up on his offer, but rides the lift alone. She then gets all panicked when she sees The Fisherman waiting for her down below. She screams, the storm arrives, and the chair lift begins to rock back and forth. The Fisherman somehow teleports to right above her, and he uses his hook to smash a window. Amber screams some more, backs away from the window, then arrives safely at her destination. They should have called this I Know What You Did Last Summer, But I'm Not Going To Do Anything About It.

She realizes that the flash on her camera went off during the encounter, which means that she might have proof that The Fisherman came after her. She develops the film, then presents the pictures to Colby and Zoe. Colby claims to see nothing definitive in any of them, and he and Amber have a short spat. Then, when Amber asks why Roger didn't come to the meeting, Colby claims that Roger has apparently dropped off of the radar. Hmmm...the creepy-acting character suddenly vanishes? Let's keep an eye on this plotline...

Well now the movie is just busting my balls, because Roger is in the very next scene. He's been drinking and popping pills, and looks like a wreck. He writes what looks like a suicide note, then prepares a wrapped package to be mailed out. Roger picks up a hook(maybe even "the" hook, for all I know), and stabs himself in the wrist with it.

A noise distracts him from finishing the job, and he looks around to pinpoint the source of his distraction. As he wanders back and forth to investigate every corner and shadow, The shadow of The Fisherman looms before him. Roger starts running, but not before the killer gets in a quick slash at his midsection..

Roger creeps around in the semi-dark, trying to blend into the shadows, and for a few seconds it looks like he's more or less hiding from nothing. But then The Fisherman reappears, and Roger grabs a circular saw as a quick weapon. They duel, and The Fisherman nearly decapitates Roger with a deep cut to the throat. Well, so much for my detective skills!

Roger's friends find him soon after, and search the warehouse he was apparently living in for the killer. They find his evidence package instead, as well as the note.  Then, for some reason, Deputy Hafner arrives on the scene, gun drawn and looking intense. They show him the note, and he seems to buy their story that they just happened to find Roger dead.

After the corpse is carted away, Hafner tells them some things about Roger that they never knew: That he was failing his college courses; he was getting into fights;  he was hooked on anti-depressants...yeah, Roger was coming unhinged pretty damn fast. After Zoe and Colby leave, the deputy tries to wrap up his interview of Amber by flirting with her. Excuse me while i go gag.

Zoe and Colby must have hung around, because they drive Amber home. Inside, they all find a trail of litter, consisting of cut-up photographs that Amber took. The trail leads up to her bedroom, where the killer has left a collage on her wall that spells out a warning: SOON.

They all drop in on Lance, who us cutting up lumber with a chainsaw. Colby starts to threaten him, so Lance swings around the chainsaw, threatening him right back. For some kooky reason that defies any logic that I'm aware of, the encounter convinces the trio that Lance isn't the mystery stalker. Boy, they're even worse at investigating than I am!

The next suspect on their list is Sheriff Davis. They figure that the death of PJ pushed him over the edge, and this is his way of getting back at them. Heck, why not add Deputy Hafner to the list? His interest in Amber is waaaay over the top. He gives me the heebie-jeebies. Colby tests out the theory by leaving a threatening note on his car, then watching his reaction when he reads it.

Zoe is next on the killer's list. The Fisherman finds her taking a nap, and waits for Zoe to wake up. Then he surprises her as she walks around in her studio apartment, and jumps out of the dark at her. He reveals his face, and he looks like character actor Clint Howard. Zoe screams, wakes up, is killed with a hook, then wakes up again.

 I wish that last sentence was a joke, but this actually happened. Ugh. On a mildly interesting side note, when Zoe wakes up for real, the sofa is torn apart, and her guitar is wrecked. Uh, so now The Fisherman needs depth perception???

That same evening, Amber decides to go out by herself again. I'm telling ya, deathwish. She finds Lance lurking in her driveway, and he declares, "I know what you did last summer!" Gosh, where have I heard that line before?

It turns out that he's not threatening Amber...the phrase was scratched into his motorcycle. He thinks that Colby might have done it, but Amber warns him to be careful. Heh, nice way to pad the movie's running time, by adding extra victims to the list. Touche, awful movie.

Now the film wants us to catch up with Colby, who is night swimming. Man, all of the intelligent members of society are in this movie! He stops swimming to look for someone named Harry. Either that, or he's asking us if we think he's hairy. Either way, there's no answer to his query.

Just as he decides to go back to swimming, the lights in the pool itself begin to flicker. Colby leans on the edge of the pool, and The Fisherman shows up to pierce him through the ankle with his hook. Colby swims to the opposite ed of the pool, then gingerly hoists himself out of the water to examine his wounded foot. The scene ends there, which is rather odd.

He, Amber, Zoe, and now Lance, have a meeting of the minds. Lance refuses to believe that his uncle, the sheriff, would be capable of doing these things. Colby proposes that they tell the deputy, so that he can protect them. Anyone else think that's a bad idea?

They visit Deputy Hafner, but he's got a bunch of friends visiting, so they can't just blurt out the story right then and there. As they try to figure out a way to speak to him privately, Sheriff Davis stumbles out of his home, drunk and carrying more beers to pass around. Apparently, the meeting at Hafner's house is a "drown your misery in beer on the 1-year anniversary of the death of PJ" party. I'll bet they had a doozy of a time fitting all of that on the party invitations!

Whoops, I got sidetracked yet again!  They move away from the watchful eye of the sheriff, and decide that it might be time to leave town. In the morning, as they all meet up, Zoe announces that she can't leave just yet. It turns out that there's a talent show that evening(nice way to rip off the first film!), and Zoe seems to think that Hollywood talent agents will be in the audience. Yeah, dream on...

Okay, so they need a new plan. They're all going to the talent show, Zoe can play her song or whatever, and then they can flee from danger. Sheesh. The next scene shows Zoe rehearsing. All I can say is: She should've just left town.

Amber sits down with Lance, and vomits up more exposition, in the form of newspaper clippings about Ben Willis and his 2 murder sprees. She used the stories as the basis for her prank the previous year. Then we get treated to more blaring music.

Okay, so let's pause the movie here for a sec...Now, in the film, Ben Willis and his killings happened before the events of this film, right? And in both previous movies, the motive for the murders was personal revenge. So...why would he be involved with these schmucks? He's not Bloody Mary, where he just gets summoned by dumb teens doing dumb things to each other. And, as far as we know, there's no family connection to him in this entry.

So, why would they even bother with his story? Make Amber Julie's long-lost cousin, or have Brandy do a cameo. But don't just say it's Ben Willis, unless there's an actual REASON for him to show up! I mean, geez, they're not even in the same state that the first movie's accident was set in. What, did Ben Willis book a flight to Colorado, drag his mangled self across the country, check into a nice hotel, then went on a new killing rampage? See, crap like THAT is why I do this...because these movies need some healthy mocking!

Anyway....back to the movie. Enjoy!

Reading about  couple of murder sprees must be a turn-on, because Laznce and Amber get all hot and bothered after reading the articles. Thankfully, the movie then shifts to a parade scene(another "tribute" to the first movie?), and Colby approaches Lance and Amber. Colby's drunk, and he lets them know how he feels about seeing them together all of the time. To Amber's credit, she dishes his crap right back at him.

Then they file in to watch the talent show. Early on, Colby takes off by himself to get smashed again, even after Amber tries to stop him. Then we see Zoe by herself, trying to remain calm.  A figure approaches her, but it's just a stagehand, who tells her that her band is up next.

While they perform, the sheriff and deputy both linger near the stage. Colby, meanwhile, has found his way to a deserted bar, and he decides to celebrate his good fortune by drinking it up. The song ends, then we see Zoe sitting backstage by herself again. Amber and Lance show up to congratulate her on the performance, and Zoe reveals that an agent did, indeed, ask her for her contact information.

They're happy for her, but they also want to get going. Zoe scoffs that nothing's going to happen to them "in the next 2 minutes", which is obviously the cue for The Fisherman to burst into the room. He chases them out of the dressing room like a lame Scooby-Doo monster, and off they go! Jinkies!

They end up in a room full of metal lockers, and try to sneak past the killer. Every single time, he somehow ends up in front of them. Then Lance and Amber suddenly realize that Zoe has inexplicably been separated from them. She screams out their names and tries to escape through a set of doors, but her escape route is chained shut, and her cries go unheard.

Then You-Know-Who shows up.  Zoe sees his face and screams again, and he plunges his hook through her chest and midsection. Amber and Lance arrive just in time to see her cough up some blood, then get thrown to the ground like a rag doll. Amber approaches the body and cries over her.

Someone can be heard arriving, so Lance and Amber back up into the shadows to see who it might be. It's Sheriff Davis, and he calls for back-up. Then he finds the couple in the room, and assumes that they committed the murder. He draws his gun and prepares to arrest them.

At that very moment, The Fisherman impales the sheriff with the hook, then drags him backwards into the darkness. Amber and Lance take off running for the umpteenth time, and find time to call Colby and fill him in on everything that just happened.

As Amber is giving him the gory details, The Fisherman suddenly pops into the bar. Colby runs into the kitchen, and grabs a butcher knife as a weapon. He lets the killer get close, then plunges the knife into The Fisherman's back. The wound doesn't even slow him down. Colby runs further into the kitchen and freezer area, and The Fisherman winds up behind him. Colby is ambushed and killed, and his friends find him moments later.

Then Amber and Lance find Deputy Hafner, and try to get him to assist them. Instead, he draws a weapon on them, claiming that Roger told him about the prank and the aftermath. Then they see Zoe's bloody body in his car, and assume that he's the one behind all of the killings. Wow, did I finally make the right guess? I'm shocked!

So is the deputy. As he tries to figure out if they set him up, The Fisherman approaches him from behind. Deputy Hafner turns around in time, and quickly fires 2 shotgun shells into the killer. Neither blast stops him. The Fisherman lifts the deputy into the air, then pushes his body into a forklift. Ouch. He lets the body dangle off the ground, and admires his work.

Lance and Amber get into a car, and ram the vehicle into The Fisherman. His body flies into the air from the impact, and they stop to see if he gets up again. Why do they always wait? If there's an explanation for this that makes any sense, I'd love to hear it.

As you probably expected,The Fisherman stands up again. His hooded hat has fallen off, revealing that he's a rotting zombie. Okay, so I guess that he is supposed to be Ben Willis. And now he's a zombie. And probably a cyborg vampire from 1775, for all I know. This thing just committed the worst crime imaginable: it made the first 2 movies in the franchise look classy.

So, yeah. Zombie Ben Willis. His eyes glow red, and now the getaway car won't start. He teleports to the window and attacks them again, but Amber retaliates by stabbing him with the hook they bought on Ebay. Dark, oily goo pours out of the wound that the hook creates, and ZomBen vanishes.

Amber and Lance get out of the car, and Amber decides that she's going to hunt for the killer, and use the hook to finish him off. Yeah, right...let us know where you want to be buried, dumbass.

They run off into the night, and eventually find some kind of auto garage. They manage to get inside and close the entrance seconds before ZomBen catches them, and they dart around to look for a good hiding place.

They find themselves at a repair bay, and Lance gets the brilliant idea to connect the hook to an overhanging chain. He gives Amber the end of the chain, and tells her to release it when he gives the command. Then ZomBen comes in, and begins his latest attack.

Lance tells Amber to release the chain, and the hook cuts into ZomBen a second time, releasing more of the gooey stuff. Then Lance and Amber dive down into a repair bay in the ground, and ZomBen tries to slash at them from above. Then more running. Always with the running.

They sprint over to another building, and lock the entrance behind them. Lance stops in his tracks to tell Amber that they must continue moving. Wow. My mind has officially been boggled. Next, maybe he'll wake her up to tell her that she needs some rest.

They lock the entrance behind them, and use another door to get outside again. While Amber gets behind the wheel of a thresher, ZomBen tries to disembowel Lance, but cuts him across the chest instead. And yet, Lance lives! Amber turns the farming vehicle on, and ZomBen rips the door off of the hinges to snatch her up. He throws her to the ground, and Lance fires a gun at him to draw him away from Amber.

As ZomBen shambles toward Lance again, Amber gets her hands on the hook, and plants it right between ZomBen's shoulder blades. Then she says, "The secret...dies...with you!", and roundhouse-kicks the undead killer into the blades of the thresher, where he becomes Shredded Ben. Part of this balanced breakfast!

Amber approaches Lance, and calls 911. The police get a statement from the both of them in the ambulance, and they both boldly declare that the ordeal is over. I think we all know exactly what that means, right?

Yup, we get a final scene showing Amber driving in Nevada, on her way to see Lance. They're chatting via speakerphone, and Amber gets distracted when one of her tires  appears to get punctured. She pulls over, and gets out of the jeep to examine the damage. Then the call gets cut off, and a strange breeze kicks up. as amber spins around to survey the terrain, ZomBen suddenly appears behind her. THE END

Well, I guess it could have been worse. Wasn't too thrilled about the zombie crap or the blatant cribbing of specific sequences from the first movie, but at least no one in this film screamed at the sky, "What do you want, huh? Come and get me!"

It was still terrible though. 2 out of 5 killer trees for IAKWYDLS. And what useful nuggets of knowledge did this thing leave me with?

-People in Colorado are pretty casual when they see teens being terrorized by killers.

-Hollywood agents like to show up at random talent shows, to discover college dropouts who can sing.

-Stuff you buy off if the Internet is probably cursed.

Next up is a strange-looking movie called Ice Cream Man. Yum!