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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Castle Freak

Howdy all! Apolgies for being a day late, but I've been fighting a nasty cold. This week's entry is called Castle Freak. If it's about a castle that comes to life and freaks out, I'm giving it a 10 out of 5. As always, be prepared for SPOILERS...

Things start out in the kitchen of a witchy-looking old woman. She's preparing a meal of bread and meat, then she lights a candle. As she leaves her dwelling, we see that she lives next to an imposing castle. Oh, and a cat follows her to the castle.

Once inside, she brings the candle and the food into the dungeon, where she puts everything on the ground to pick up a whip that's hanging on the wall. Kinky. After unlocking a cell in the dungeon, she begins to whip the occupant, who cowers on the floor and screams. Then the old woman feeds her prisoner, leaves the dungeon, and has a pesky ol' heart attack.

After the opening credits, we meet the Reilly family. The parents are John and Susan, and they have a blind daughter, Rebecca. The castle is some kind of inheritance, and it's in pretty poor condition, with broken stones everywhere and a rat scurrying past them as they walk through the front gate.

The Italian lawyer explains that he found the Reillys after he launched an investigation into any living heirs of the estate. He also apologizes for the condition of the castle, due to the family fortune being depleted over the years. John responds that they won't be staying very long, as he plans to liquidate the assets and sell the estate.

They are introduced to an elderly maid, and Susan requests that a third bedroom be prepared. It seems that she and her husband sleep in different beds these days, because of friction over the death of their son. John was driving drunk, and the accident was also the cause of Becky's blindness. And the winner of Father of The Year is...

Later that night, John knocks at Susan's door. He asks for a chance at a fresh start, then gets a little too grabby for her. She tells him that she can't forgive him and she sends him back to his room, where he passes out and has a nightmare about the crash. His own anguished cries in the dream manage to wake him up, and he gets rattled by the sound of a monstrous wailing that seems to be from within the castle.

John decides to do some exploring. He follows the noises to the wine cellar, where he cuts his hand. Then the maid finds him washing the blood off in the kitchen. She tells John that the elderly duchess lived alone in the castle for 42 years, and that the sound John heard was the ghost of the supposedly-dead son of the duchess, a boy named Giorgio.

The next day, John decides to take his daughter on a tour of the castle. They find a nursery, another bedroom, and several pieces of art. When John decides to snoop around for any valuable jewelry, he comes across the whip. Oh, and he also discovers a strange photo album.

Becky hears a mysterious scratching noise, so she stumbles off to check it out. John, fully engrossed by the old pictures, completely ignores his daughter. Man, this guy is a real family man, huh?

Becky finds her way back to the room full of toys, and nearly has a heart attack when she gets scared by a cat that was behind a door. She follows the sound of the cat to the cellar level, where she takes a tumble and scrapes up her leg. John finally notices that she's gone, and searches for his daughter. Better late than never, I suppose...

Becky gets back on her feet, and she inadvertently wakes Giorgio. She hears him moving around, but tries to convince herself that it's just the cat. He finds the cat after Becky leaves the area, and he decides to eat it. Becky tries to tell her folks that she heard somebody downstairs, but they don't believe her.

After snacking on the cat, Giorgio gets a surge of energy. He snaps off his own thumb with his teeth, then manages to break free from the chain that was holding him to the wall. Let's hope he doesn't have to hitch a ride anywhere. After Giorgio breaks free, he holds the chain over his head in victory. Rocky! Rocky! Rocky!

Susan scoffs at Becky's story, telling her that her imagination is just running wild. Giorgio busts open the door to the dungeon area, and then we see the Reilly clan sitting down to dinner.

Becky asks the elderly maid about the cat, and is told that the cat was probably a pet that belonged to the duchess. Then we see Giorgio discover a mirror, and he recoils when he sees his own grotesque image. The sound of the mirror being smashed brings the family out to check out the damage.

After everyone goes to bed, Giorgio decides to wander around the castle. He limps into Becky's room, where he watches her sleep, then tries to figure out how to undress her without waking her up. Becky does wake up, so Giorgio tries to hide. The sound of his chain falling to the floor makes Becky scream, and her parents somehow manage to come running in seconds after Giorgio leaves, without ever seeing him.

John rushes out of the room with a flashlight, and misses seeing Giorgio a second time. He even finds the cell that Giorgio was living in, but misses seeing the dead cat on the floor. This man is some kind of genius.

John finds the family crypt next, and looks at the various names and dates on the wall. Giorgio sneaks in behind him, just as he reads the plaque for Giorgio's death. It says that Giorgio died at the age of 5, which brings John to tears over the loss of his own son.

A cop comes by the following day, and questions the family very briefly. The officer clearly doesn't think that there was an intruder, and he notes John's injured hand. After implying that John himself broke the mirror, the officer leaves.

After getting Becky to take a nap, John tells his wife that he has something to show her. He brings her to the crypt, and the picture of Giorgio has now disappeared. John decides to kill himself, but then he chickens out. He finds the local tavern, and decides to get drunk instead. Uh, okay...

While he's getting smashed out of his gourd, John meets a prostitute. He buys her a drink, then proceeds to spill it all over her skimpy outfit. A man at the bar suggests that it's time for John to leave, so he begins waving around a wad of cash to pay for the drinks. The hooker sees the money, and decides that he suddenly looks a lot more charming.

John takes her to  his wine cellar, where he manages to spill another drink on her. She makes a fuss, but he shushes her, worried that his family will discover them. They start to make out, and Giorgio sneaks in to watch.

The sight of her nudity excites Giorgio, who has decided to start wearing a white hood over his face. Where'd he get the hood from? He waits for John to finish up and pass out, and then Giorgio grabs the wine bottle. He follows the hooker to the toy room, then attacks her from behind with a white sheet over her head.

The next morning, a cop knocks at the castle door. He's the same officer that arrived the other day, and this time he's VERY interested in looking around the castle. Susan learns that her husband was seen leaving a bar with a hooker, and that makes John get a little bit defiant. Nevertheless, the cop seems to believe that he did something to the hooker.

After the cop leaves, we see that the hooker is still alive. Wow! She seems to be begging the monster to let her go, but he offers her a swig of wine instead. She decides to play along and seduce him, but then she discovers that he's missing more than a thumb, if you know what I mean. She gets her hands on the bottle, smashes it and slices a gouge into his arm, so he throws her up against a wall, then bites off her nipples.

John is really up shit creek now, because the maid has discovered the hooker's purse in the castle. When John finds out, he's told that the police will will definitely arrest him. The maid's brother agrees to keep quiet, but only if John pays him off. Then he informs John that his lineage isn't quite as royal as he was led to believe, making him a bastard of the family. Boy, he sure is having a bad day!

The maid hears a horrible scream, so she decides to go have a look around the dungeon. She finds the hooker's mutilated body, and the hooker is barely alive. She tries to warn the old woman that Giorgio is right behind her, but the monster attacks the maid, repeatedly beating her after she hits the floor.

John gets home, just in time to see his wife and daughter leaving. She tells him that it's too late to salvage what they had, but all John is worried about is how there exit will make him look even more guilty to the authorities. She refers to him as a "whipping boy", and the phrase suddenly helps him to see what the evil presence is that is living in the castle. He vows to prove his innocence. Oh, and the cops arrive, telling Susan that the entire family must remain in the castle until the investigation is completed.

John grabs a heavy shovel, and the others can hear him bashing it against something somewhere deep in the castle. Susan and a couple of the officers decide to see what John's up to, and they leave Becky with another officer. Yeah, because splitting up ALWAYS works out well in horror films!

It turns out that John was breaking into Giorgio's crypt, to see if his body was in there. He breaks open the coffin in front of Susan and the cops, confirming that there's no corpse. Then he tells them that Becky was right, and that the presence she kept hearing in the castle was Giorgio.

The officers handcuff John, even after he tells them about the whip, the mirror, and all of the noises they've been hearing. Then they stumble upon the bodies of the hooker and the maid. John is dragged away, even while screaming that he's innocent.

A couple of officers stay at the castle that night, and Susan is expected to come to the police station in the morning to give the investigators an official statement. She asks the pair to get her and Becky some fresh water. One heads to the kitchen, while the other cop remains outside the bedroom door.

The cop in the kitchen sees some dirt and soot getting kicked up, so he examines it. Giorgio ambushes him from above, as you might expect. After some kicking and screaming, the cop is dragged up into the chimney.

John begs the officers who arrested him to get his family out of the castle. He even reminds them that Giorgio's coffin was empty, but they still refuse to believe that a maniac is running loose. The cop brings out a lead pipe, and waves it at John in a threatening manner.

Susan asks the cop guarding the door why the other officer never brought back their water, and I wish he would have said, "Because we're not your servants, lady!" Alas, he just agrees to go find his buddy. Fetch your own damn water!

He finds a body wrapped up in a sheet. The first cop? Nope, it's Giorgio, who jumps up and grabs the cop by the chin. He nibbles on the poor guy's eye, and that's that. I may become a vegetarian after this one ends.

Now alone, Susan and Becky have a serious talk about the family. Becky seems to think that her folks loved her brother more than her, because all they've done since his death is fight. Susan tells her that they both love her very much, and that she and Becky have to be strong for John. Yeesh, this is turning into a soap opera!

Giorgio opens the bedroom door, and watches them both pray for their family. Then he noisily shuts it again, but the sound is masked by rumbling thunder. While Becky continues to pour her heart out to her mother, Susan decides to leave the room. That's kind of awesomely hilarious, when you think about it.

Susan is attacked and knocked out cold in the hallway. Becky is still rambling on about her feelings, and she mistakes Giorgio for her mother. She takes off her shirt, only then realizing that her mother isn't the person watching her. Is this supposed to be as funny as it is? Giorgio abducts her, just as Susan regains her senses. She begins to chase after the mutant.

Susan grabs the biggest knife she can find in the kitchen, then she sees the cop fall out of the chimney. She screams and runs away, then we see John still being interrogated. Wow, way to break up the action, movie!

The interrogator gets fed up with John, and smacks him across the face with the club. After another officer drags the interrogator out of the room, John manages to make an escape. He attacks another cop to do it, though, so he's still in some pretty serious trouble here...

Giorgio carries Becky back to his cell, and ties her up. He realizes that she's blind, even waving at her, so, yeah, now this is a wacky comedy.He babbles at her and removes his mask, and tries to kiss the girl. He's into it a lot more than she is.

Susan arrives, and she offers herself up in exchange for Becky's immediate release. Giorgio decides to get close enough to sniff her, and she attacks him with the knife. While Giorgio struggles to remove the blade, Susan works on releasing her daughter.

A short chase back up the stairs ensues, and Giorgio uses his knowledge of the castle layout to somehow get in front of them. They run down a corridor as he limps after them, and Becky costs them precious seconds by tripping past some of the furniture.

He chases them into the bedroom where he murdered the duchess, but they've seemingly vanished. They're actually hiding behind some of the covered furniture, but Giorgio is trying to literally sniff them out. He finds the whip instead, and flies into a rage as he recalls the torture that he endured over the last several decades.

He uses the whip to destroy several objects in the room, then he wanders back into the hallway to continue his search. Becky and Susan think it's safe to leave the room, but he soon discovers them. Another chase begins, this one bringing them onto the roof. Where it's raining. And the blind girl is mostly topless. Need I say more?

Giorgio corners them, but John shows up. He gets the killer to come after him instead, and the two men battle to the death on the roof. John kicks him in his man-gina, punches and beats him several times, then rejoins his wife and daughter.

After a big family hug, Giorgio pops up a final time, and uses the whip on John. As the monster goes after his family, John chains himself to Giorgio, then jumps off the roof. Both men fall to the ground below, and Susan just now decides that she still loves her husband.

They pack their belongings, and load up the coffin to return to America. Before leaving, Susan sees the cop who suspected that her husband was guilty of murder, holding a young boy's hand. The cop removes his hat, and she smiles at him. THE END

Man, what a goofy movie! I mean, the plot was really silly, the acting was over the top, and the only truly impressive thing in it was the gore. I'm giving this one 2 killer trees out of 5, only because it was marginally better than the crap I watched last week.

And what did Castle Freak teach me?

-If you inherit a castle, there's usually a catch.

-A blind girl can hear a monster several floors away, but can't tell if her mother leaves her alone.

-On a related note, blind children love it when you just abandon them at random moments.

Later this week, I'll be watching Pumpkinhead. I could have sworn I did it already, but I couldn't find it on the blog. Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

River of Darkness

Remember See No Evil? If not, I don't blame was a slasher flick starring the wrestler Kane, and produced by the WWF or WWE or whatever the heck they're calling themselves these days. Wasn't terrible, wasn't a classic. Was just...there.

Anyway, I always figured that it was their one big attempt at a horror film, as most of their stuff is squarely in the action genre, but then I found River of Darkness. It's definitely a step down from See No Evil, but I'll pretty much watch anything for a laugh. Let's get ready to SPOOOOOOOOIIIIILLLLL!

First impressions are important, and this one doesn't start out well. It looks like it was shot with el cheapo camcorders, so everything on the screen looks washed out and cheap. Incredibly low budget. Also, except for some of the names of the wrestlers(and even some of these guys are unfamiliar to me), I don't recognize any of the supporting cast. Not even a genre character actor, like Sid Haig, or Jeffrey Combs, to enjoy watching. Damn.

Anyway, the movie begins with a woman named Autumn sitting on a bench in the midst of a winter scene. She narrates the scene, revealing that her friends were killed, and she was blamed for their deaths. And...then that scene just fizzles out.

In a toilet stall, we see a different young woman. She's dressed as a waitress and rolling a joint. Then she tells her boss that she's heading home. Boy, this movie sure is good at being exciting AND interesting to watch! Why couldn't I have developed a fondness for "good" films?

On a side note, I think watching all of these movies is giving me brain damage. Me no am smart no more.  And stuff. Brain cells....dying....must....resist....

Oh yeah. I was watching this thing. So, yeah, there's a waitress, and she's heading home after her shift. On her way out, she asks another waitress named Lisa if she wants to share the joint, but Lisa declines, then gives us her lifestory. As our first waitress steps outside, some fog rolls in.

She walks away from the building to light up, and her path is blocked by someone wearing a long coat. The stranger, who looks like he might be comfortable in an '80's hair band, stabs the waitress right through her midsection, then lifts her off of her feet. Blood trickles out of her mouth, and she coughs up even more when her attacker throws her to the ground. Cue credits.

The following morning, the town's police force is pretty much all over the crime scene. The sheriff asks for details, and we learn that the waitress was named Amy, and that her killer strung her to a post after he killed her. Also, the word "HIX" was written on her body. The sheriff suggests that they check local databases for similar murders in the surrounding communities.

He heads into the diner next, both for information and a presumably greasy breakfast. He gets neither, as the guy running the place ignores him to chat with some buddies. While the sheriff tries to get his attention, a call comes in over his walkie-talkie, asking him to look at yet another crime scene. The sheriff leaves, and drives over to the local church.

The priest meets him outside, and tells him that a woman named Mary Rutledge broke a window and entered the church through said window. They head inside to speak with Mary, who is draped in black and fervently praying. The sheriff tries to ask Mary if she's okay, but she keeps right on praying.

When he raises his voice, Mary finally responds. She announces that "they" have arrived, and that "redemption is upon us". "They" are also going to spread violence and chaos throughout the community, and she tells him that he already knows about their arrival. Perplexed, the sheriff leaves.

Back at his office, he asks his deputy if the internet search produced any results. There were a few incidents of violence at the docks, but nothing connected to the current crime scene. Amy's body, though, did have one disturbing clue that pointed to a fisherman as the perpetrator: Amy's insides were yanked out through her mouth, similar to how a fish is gutted.

That night, is gets misty again. A pair of generic fishermen are doing some repairs on a motor. One is drinking a beer, and the other one thinks that it's affecting his job performance. The drunk asks his coworker to fetch more beer.

The sober guy hears a noise that sounds like a chain being dragged on the ground, and he stops to listen. The sound gets louder as he turns a corner, then it simply stops. Just as he's about to head back, a hand grabs him by the head, and he gets yanked onto the roof.

The drunk guy farts around with various tools while he waits for the beer, then yells out to his friend to hurry. He walks outside to see what the delay is, and wanders into the same dark area where the murder just occurred. His friend's corpse is left for him to find, with several long hooks piercing his head and torso. Then the killer plunges a blade through the drunk's back, killing him.

The sheriff is notified about the latest murders. He sees that the bodies are displayed like the waitress was, and he sees that word etched on them again: HIX. He asks his deputy what it means, but there's no easy answer just yet.

The sheriff asks a couple of older fishermen if they know anything, which they do, but they deny it. One admits that he's heard that word before, but he refuses to elaborate on the matter. As the sheriff walks away, one of the fishermen tells him to seek out a local by the name of Virgil.

Virgil is the usual small-town coot. The sheriff finds him at the local dam, feeding the fish. The men engage in a conversation about whether or not fish and humans have souls, then head inside the bait shop. The sheriff finally gets around to asking about "HIX", and Virgil tells him that it's the name of another local, Harvey Hix.

Harvey used to reside in the town, but now he lives somewhere called The Gulch, near a pond. Harvey was run out of town, but Virgil refuses to reveal who scared him away, or even why they did it. Well, that's helpful, huh? Virgil wishes the sheriff luck in his search for answers.

The sheriff locates Harvey's home in the middle of the forest, and he and his deputy take a look around. Harvey(I presume) pulls a rifle on them, and demands to know why they are trespassing. When they explain about the murders, he insists that he's not Harvey Hix, and asks them to leave him alone.

The sheriff stops by the diner for some turtle soup, and the cook decides to speak with him about the case. It turns out that the cook is the former sheriff, and there's been some animosity between them since the election. Oh, and the main character finally gets a first name: Will.

The cook, Clark, begs Will to let him help with the investigation. Then we get something close to a plot: Years earlier, the town lived in fear of a local clan of hillbillies known as the Jacobs. When the locals grew tired of being bullied, a vigilante mob, led by Harvey Hix, rose up and killed the father and both sons. Will thanks him for the soup, but informs him that the idea of the Jacobs family rising from the dead is nonsense.

Then we meet Wyatt Jones and his wife. They're an elderly couple, and they've just returned to their houseboat from a late evening fishing trip. While Wyatt begins the task of cutting off fish heads(roly-poly fish heads, eat them up YUM!), his wife briefly leaves the room.

Wyatt suddenly notices that the room has become a lot foggier than it used to be. Wyatt searches for the source of the fog, unaware that the Jacobs trio is standing behind him. He gets 2 blades planted in his back, then they furiously begin to chop him to pieces. The wife sees the killers and shrieks, causing one of the zombies to stare at her with yellow eyes. Remember that detail.

She gets herself to the diner, and tells the patrons that her husband was murdered by the Jacobs boys. When Clark(the former sheriff-turned cook) asks her if she's sure, she describes them, and their evil "red" eyes. Did you like that little detail? I sure did. Oh, and the Jacobs kin are named Joseph, Jaden, and Jonah. Uh, okay.

There's a very brief scene re-introducing Autumn to us(Remember her? From the first scene?), and showing her in a car with some friends, and we learn that they are paranormal investigators. Okay. So what? That's all you're giving us?

Yup. Now we see Will speaking to Wyatt's widow as his grave. Wyatt was her second husband, and she's quite distraught. When Will asks her to file a report with his office, she agrees, but complains that it won't do any good.

Autumn and her classmates pull into the gas station, and get directions to the river. When the attendant asks them why they think they'll find ghosts in the small town, Autumn shows him a newspaper clipping about the recent string of murders. Oh, and her 2 friends are Hunter and Mackenzie. Why can't people in movies ever have names like "Bob" or "Sue" anymore? And Smith is a good last name. Hi, I'm Bob Smith, and I'm here to do your taxes. See? Nice and simple and easy to remember.

Virgil is stocking his bait inventory, when the sheriff sneaks into the shop, and nearly kills the old man with fright. They discuss the incident that ended with the Jacobs trio being killed, and Virgil reveals that it started because a local woman claimed that one of them had raped her. After the group killed them, she recanted her story.

Will heads back to church, where Mary is still praying her holy ass off. He asks Mary how she knew the murders would happen, and she starts to ramble. He then asks her if Harvey's death will end the rampage, but she doesn't respond to that query either. Boy, that sure wasn't a complete waste of time.

Then we get the worst acting in the entire movie(so far!). An old man is in bed, thrashing around, and "wakes up" from a "nightmare". He's such a terrific "actor". He decides to wander from room to room, then comes face-to-face with one of the Jacobs boys right outside his front door. He gets a knife to the gut, then the other 2 monsters approach him.

Let's pause here for a sec. Y'know how, in the Friday the 13th films they usually unmask Jason at some point, to show off his gory makeup FX? Yeah, well, this movie makes even the worst "Jason faces" seem state-of-the-art by comparison. If you want to dress up like a Jacobs zombie for Halloween, throw together some oatmeal. Mix in some green food coloring. Then, just slather it all over your face. See how easy that was? And yours will probably look less cheap that this movie!

Oops, gotta rewind to where I left off. Oh. The old guy in bed was just dreaming. Well, that was pointless! Hey, is anyone else craving oatmeal all of a sudden?

Our "paranormal investigators" are drifting aimlessly in a rowboat on the river. Suddenly, Hunter reports that his EMF detector is going bonkers. Autumn shushes the others, and they all listen. The boat thuds to a halt as they hit something, then Mackenzie gets pulled into the water when she leans over the boat to have a look.

Autumn panics, then uses her oar to splash around a bit. A zombie hand tries to pull her into the water as well, but she manages to remain in the boat. Hunter just sits there, being a doofus.. He's a huge help, isn't he?

The sheriff visits the bait shop yet again, and he and Virgil have, what?, their third discussion about evil spirits. Man, if this thing removed every completely unnecessary scene, we'd be watching a 5-minute film. This is getting out of hand.

After THAT nonsense, we see a little girl and her mother. The little girl tells her mother that she's going outside to look for nightcrawlers, and the mother agrees. People are dying left and right, and you're going to let your daughter wander around in the dark, to look for WORMS??!?! Dumbass central.

At a different bar(Really, movie? REALLY?), the local drunks are debating the best way to handle the murders. One guy tells the others that part of the blame rests with Will, because he doesn't believe in God. Yeah, it's not a bunch of drunk murderers to blame, it's the town atheist. I'll agree to anything if you just get to a frigging point sometime THIS CENTURY!

Back to the church. Mary is talking to a mystery man, while lighting rosary candles. She says that killing for the betterment of society isn't a sin, then suggests that killing Harvey will end the rampage of the Jacobs family. Great, thanks for giving her THAT idea, Will!

That little girl is still looking for bait. She finds a big, juicy worm, then one of the killers finds her. Irony. Heh. At least they fade to black, rather than show a little kid getting slaughtered. Classy.

The deputy gets a call from the little girl's mom, and she reports that her daughter is missing. Get this: She tells him that the daughter went on her worm-hunt at eight, but the call doesn't come in until 11! Isn't that awesome parenting? What was she doing for the last several hours, tripping her balls off?

Another howler: When the deputy asks the mother to verify that her kid went worm-hunting and never returned, she says "Yes!" 3 times, pausing each time. Drama club! Acting! She and Wyatt's wife are serious contenders for Worst Actresses of The Century. The deputy tells her that someone will come right away, then he abruptly hangs up on her. She keeps on yammering into the phone, realizes that he's no longer there, then botches the simple act of hanging up the damned phone. High-larious. Comedy gold.

The cops and the fire department arrive, and they soon discover the body of the little girl. Cause of death was likely shame, over how bad an actress her mommy is. Will is again approached by Clark, who asks him when he'll finally admit that he needs help. Then both men share an awkward silence, as they struggle to remember their lines. This movie would be epic if I were either drunk or high. Or mentally challenged.

Will tells him to back off, so Clark decides to take matters into his own hands. He places a call to a buddy, and it looks like we have the beginnings of another posse on our hands. Great. Look how it turned out the last time they formed a posse.

After losing the oar, it's shown that Autumn's little boat also has a motor. Sadly, it refuses to start. Then Hunter asks Autumn why they even made the trip, as she's never been interested in anything paranormal up to that point. She claims that she just thought it would be fun. Hunter tells her that they'll probably drift until they reach the dam, where the boat will be destroyed.

That guy has another nightmare, and decides to wander through his house some more. He passes in front of a blue light, so that you can clearly see his shadow on the wall. Then, while he's FACING the light, another shadow passes his. Get what I'm saying?

Instead of giving us a scene where a killer sneaks around behind our guy, he sneaks around RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM. This goes beyond stupid, really. I mean, I can't remember off-hand what the lowest-rated movie was for this blog, but this one deserves a special trophy. I can almost guarantee that I will never see a slasher as bad as this one. Almost. But there's always next week...

Anyway, our insomniac(Harvey Hix! I can't believe I forgot who he was!) wanders outside, and he gets snatched up by the drunk guys. Then they go to the gas station, where the attendant sees Harvey covered up in the back of their truck. They convince him to keep quiet, and give him some extra cash to keep him silent.

After the truck takes off, the gas station guy calls the deputy. He reports seeing someone being kidnapped, then adds that they bought a good amount of boat fuel at the station. Yet again, the deputy hangs up on the caller before they realize what's happened. That guy's an asshole.

The deputy informs Will about the group with the truck, then makes another call. The truck arrives at the dock, and the plan is revealed: They're going to take out 2 boats onto the river. They'll be in the main boat, but Hix will be tied up in a rowboat behind them. They'll drag his boat out to the spot where the Jacobs clan was dumped, and offer him up as a sacrifice to the angry spirits.

They head out on the water, and Will asks another boater to take him out on the river. As they approach the posse, they talk about the murders, and Will explains that the idea that the Jacobs brothers are killing folks has one huge flaw: Why now? Why didn't they just kill Harvey Hix and the rest of the vigilantes years ago, if they could rise from the dead? Good question. Methinks this one might actually have a plot twist at the end.

They spot a boat, but it's the college students. Will stops to rescue them, and tells them that they're safe, which of course mean that they aren't. Hunter gets killed almost immediately, with an ax to his skull. The killer starts after Autumn, but Will shoots at him, hitting him squarely in the chest. The zombie stares at the wound, then just says, "Already dead."

He tosses Autumn aside, then tries to suffocate the sheriff. Will plunges a knife into his shoulder, but it gets tossed into the river. The killer searches for his victims, and a noose gets dropped around his neck. As Will grabs the rifle and attempts to finish him off, the zombie vanishes into thin air.

Now they really do find the right boat up ahead, so they kill the lights and the engine. Clark's buddy hits something in the water, so they all decide to set Hix adrift right there. And that's when Will finds them, and points a rifle at the drunken trio.

While, they argue back and forth over Hix, the 3 Jacobs zombies emerge from the fog. Harvey Hix drifts toward the dead men(who seem to be able to walk on water) in the raft, and he starts to pray. Just as he reaches them, he gets a bullet to the head. It was Autumn who fired the shot. The zombies raise their weapons, and vigorously begin to hack and slash at poor Harvey's body.

Autumn tearfully says that he was her grandfather. Then we see her sitting in the snow again, and she resumes her narration. It turns out that Harvey, her grandfather, had also raped her mother. She looks up and smiles at the camera. THE END

Laaaaaaame. I mean, how lousy does a movie have to be to be worse than the worst movie I've ever seen? Minimal blood, terrible acting, no's the triple-threat of sucky films! And I survived. .5 killer trees out of 5. Yeah, this one doesn't even earn a full point.

And what did I learn from River of Darkness?

-Turds float.

-Somewhere in these United States, there is a town filled with beefy lunkheads.

-You can miss seeing killers, even if they stand between you and the only light source.

Next up: Mama. I had hoped to see either Child's Play or Pumpkinhead next, but both were pushed back by Netflix, so Mama came in early. October's a tough time to rent slashers, huh? I have no idea if Mama qualifies or not, but if not, there'll be another delay until I can get an alternative movie to see.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dying Breed

\Man, it's been a crazy week! I joined a gym and a dating site, I've been getting hooked on some of the new fall shows(mostly Super Fun Night and Brooklyn-99), and now, we get to watch this Australian slasher film together! G'day mates, and get ready for SPOILERS!

Okay, so right off the top, we get thrown some fun facts: Apparently, Australia was a penal colony for Britain, between 1788 and 1868. In the region now known as Tasmania, a convict by the name of Alexander Pearce aka The Pieman, actually escaped. And...AND??? Ugh, less than a minute in, and this one's already pissing me off. Yeah, this'll be a fun time.

Now we get some guy running through some trees, chased by men with dogs. The year is 1820, and the man on the run is The Pieman. An armed officer has him backed up against a tree, but the gun misfires at the last second. The Pieman fights back, biting into the neck and shoulder of his opponent.

After The Pieman removes a good chunk of the other man's flesh, a wild cat from the jungle shows up. The killer uses the cop's body to distract the beast, then continues with his escape. Then, on with the opening credits. Leigh Whannell, from the Saw franchise is in this one, as is one of the co-stars of another Australian slasher flick, Wolf Creek. Rent that one if you haven't seen it, it's brutal.

Anyway, we meet an unnamed couple on an airplane. They're meeting up with a guy named Jack, to apparently look for an elusive tiger in Tasmania. Matt is the husband, and his wife, Nina, has hired Jack to not only track this tiger, but also investigate how her sister died while also searching for this animal. Oh, and Jack's bringing his gtirlfriend, Rebecca, along for the fun.

Rebecca and Nina get to know each other on the long car ride, and we discover that Nina and her sister had been out of contact with each other for a few years. Oh, and proof that this tiger exists is worth a million dollars. Sounds good to me.

They come to a stop at the ominous-sounding Pieman River, and get out of the car. Rebecca starts to snap some photographs, and they all see a sign advising them to hit a helpful call button if they require assistance. Being a "Jack" ass, Jack pretends to get electrocuted when he presses the button.

Still sitting in the car, Nina stares at a picture of her sister. This provokes a flashback, showing that there was a pretty brutal death by drowning. The corpse had no teeth left,and an eel slithered out of her mouth during the preliminary exam. Nina snaps out of the memory as a boat arrives to take them across the river.

While Matt and Jack wait for the boat to get closer, Rebecca has been taking a dump in the trees. During this process, she gets the feeling that someone is watching her. She runs all the way back to the car, where she joins Nina in the back seat. The boat tows the car onto a ramp, then they cross the river.

Matt wanders around the deck, then hears a child reciting the Simple Simon nursery rhyme. The kid looks creepy and angry, and bites Matt when he gets too close. Matt sheepishly admits that it was probably his fault for getting too close. When they get the car back on land, Rebecca compares the little girl to a monster from The X-Files.

Another Nina flashback: She's presenting her research of this Tasmanian Tiger to a group that she hopes will fund her trip, but they seem very skeptical. After several interruptions, she shows them a photograph of a massive paw print, apparently confirming the existence of the Tasmanian Tiger.

Back in the present, Nina swerves off of the road, because she thinks she sees someone standing there. Jack then looks for damage, and insists on being the one to drive. The journey comes to an end around sundown, and they pull into a "town" where the few buildings are all named after the infamous Pieman.

Rebecca steps into the local bar to use the bathroom(What, is her bladder the size of a thimble?), while the others have a look around. As the locals gawk at Rebecca, Nina peeks into a house, where she spots something that looks an awful lot like a bowl filled with teeth. What happened to her sister, again? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Jack decides to be a dick, and slashes one of the tires on a truck he leans against. Wow, this is the nicest group ever! While Nina also checks out the toilet situation, Matt asks about renting a room for the night. The woman behind the bar refuses to give him a room, but an older man named Harvey offers to let them crash at his place. Oh, and the bathroom is more disgusting than any slasher I've seen since I started writing this blog...

A young guy named Gareth discovers that his truck now has a mysteriously flat tire, so he heads out to change it. While doing so, he exchanges a greeting with another local named Liam. Then Matt, Nina and their friends order a meal at the bar. It's pie.

Nina asks the locals about the rumors of the tiger, and Harvey scoffs at the idea. But an old man serving the drinks says otherwise, and amuses them with his re-enactment of a tiger attack. Then he takes out his teeth and tries to get Nina to dance with him.

Jack and Matt go out to the vehicle to unpack their supplies and clothes, and Jack discovers that Gareth got back at his trick with the tire, by leaving a long scratch on his precious truck. As he examines the damage, a vicious dog leaps out from the darkness, snarling and snapping at him.

As they get settled for the night, Matt apologizes to Nina for both Jack's boorish behavior, and the addition of Nina to the group. She says that she's fine, then shows him some information she discovered about the region, including the Pieman's Curse. Jinkies!

Anyway, she has newspaper articles about the supposed curse, dating back all the way to 1954. Matt doesn't believe that the disappearances stem from a curse, because people disappear every day. He doesn't even get fazed when Nina mentions the cannibalism, or that the girl who bit him earlier was singing about the cannibal.

Then we get an abrupt shift, as we see Jack and Rebecca screwing like rabbits. The lights suddenly go out, and Rebecca freaks out when she hears someone in the room with them. Jack chases the person, and the others in the house check on Rebecca.

Jack catches up to the guy, then blames him for both scratching his vehicle, and being a pervert. He beats the kid up and leaves him on the ground, where he's both bleeding and laughing. Then the kid is attacked from behind, but seems to know his attacker.

Rebecca is pretty upset about being peeped on. While Nina calms her down, both Jack and Matt make sure that she knows that it's been handled. The rest of the evening is trouble-free.

They set out for the dreaded search in the morning, but Nina forgets her camera in the car. She goes back for it, but gets the feeling that someone is spying on her. When she takes a look around, she finds the bar owner killing puppies. Apparently, the pups were the product of inbreeding. Dead puppies, dead puppies, they don't come when you call!

The biter from the ferry tries to get Nina to play with her, but Nina just wants to get going. The kid follows her. As Nina's on the verge of blowing her top, the kid's father fetches her and Matt arrives. Everyone goes back to what they were doing. The foursome take a boat out on the water, as the puppy killin' mama watches them leave.

The river ends at a crude dam, but it's not marked on Matt's map. They see someone watching them from a distant bridge, and decide to look for a different route. The mysterious stranger vanishes. Mysteriously.

They get to a marshy area that makes Camp Crystal Lake look like Disney World. As they step onto dry land again, Jack reveals that he brought along a hefty crossbow. Nina doesn't approve, but Matt talks her down from having a hissy fit.

After hiking for a little while in sullen silence, Jack sings a marching drill to amuse the others: I don't know what you've told/Becky's ass is solid gold!/Sound off/1, 2, 3, 4! Anyone want to take bets on whether or not he gets killed first?

They decide to set up camp after about 15 kilometers, and Jack discovers a cave. Everybody else seems happy to explore, except for Rebecca. They continue in without her, and she pouts. They find a beer bottle inside, then Rebecca joins them, because she heard some thunder.

Nina looks for evidence of the tiger around the trees and on the ground, and even collects some samples in a bag. Then she nearly sprains her ankle, discovering a hole in the ground in the process. Nina tries to relax by taking a picture of a cute bunny, but Jack and his weapon kill da wabbit. But-de but-de-but-de, that's all folks!

She and Jack square off, each one accusing the other of ruining the trip. Then we see that the boat has drifted away, leaving the unaware group stranded. Well, I'm sure THAT won't lead to a fight!

Jack skins the rabbit back at the campfire, and Rebecca is disgusted by the sight. Then she spots the samples that Nina collected, and realizes that they're animal feces. Jack struggles as if in great pain, then holds the rabbit carcass in Rebecca's face to make her scream. Dead animals and poop...these folks must be a blast at a yankee swap!

While they all sleep, Nina dreams about her sister. In the dream, she's being hunted through the woods, and men and dogs are chasing her, just like the Pie Man was chased. As they catch up to her at the edge of a cliff, the dream ends...and it turns out to be a dream that an old man was having. Huh? That was some pretty sloppy editing.

The old man gets up to splash some cold water on his face, then notices a mess outside his daughter's room. He calls out her name, Katie, several times, waking up his wife in the process. She begs him to find Katie.

Matt wakes up, and hears something moving near the cave. When he gets up to take a look, he wakes up Nina as well. They see movement in the forest a few feet away, and a flashlight reveals the legendary Tasmanian Tiger, peering out at them. Nina rushes back to the campsite to fetch her camera, and wakes up the other couple.

The tiger has wandered away during the commotion, so they decide to see if they can track it. They get divided in the trees, and Rebecca uses her phone a as a flashlight, my least-favorite of the new cliches in modern horror films. She scans her surroundings, nearly dying of fright when she encounters the nasty little biter from the ferry.

While Rebecca tries to ask the child some basic questions, someone shines a light on them. Rebecca turns to see who it is, and is attacked. She cries out, then goes bye-bye. Damn, I just lost the bet! Did anyone have Rebecca in the betting pool?

Nina is wandering around looking for clues, but doesn't seem close enough to hear Rebecca crying out. Rebecca is soon dead, and her killer removes her tongue with his teeth. The little kid just stands there and watches.

Nina thinks that she found the tiger, but only Matt turns up. They regroup with Jack, and suddenly realize that they're now a trio. Jack calls out to Rebecca, and Matt comments to Nina that they should be close enough to hear her, and vice versa. Uh, y'mean like the way that Nina heard all of the noise Rebecca made while she was being murdered? How did that work out?

Nina tells them about the hidden tunnel she tripped over earlier, then the others realize that she has blood on her legs. Jack begs her to tell him where she was walking, and he goes off in search of his girlfriend. Nina gets hysterical, so Matt leaves her stranded to join Jack. What a thoughtful boyfriend, huh?

Jack gets deep into the woods looking for Rebecca. Nina heads into the cave, where she gets weepy again while looking at the picture of her sister. Matt joins her, claiming to have lost Jack. Wouldn't it be weird if there was a Saw-style plot twist, and Matt was a cannibal? Well, considering that I was wrong about my last hunch, forget I said anything.

Our favorite little ankle-biter shows up, covered in blood. Matt asks the little girl where the blood came from, then Harvey shows up, along with another townie. He sort of offers to help them, and they sort of agree. As they all exit the cave, someone nearby can be seen some human flesh.

Nina asks the townie if he knew her sister. He admits that he did, and that she stayed there for about a year, looking for the mysterious tiger. Then he makes a cryptic comment about a "bitch in heat", and continues toward the village. They reluctantly keep following him.

He leads them deeper into the woods, and Matt demands to know where they are. It turns out that the guy was leading them to the abandoned mine, on the theory that maybe Rebecca and Jack might have wandered in somehow. Then he contradicts his idea, when he has to kick down an iron gate to even get inside. Isn't logic fun, kids? The good news is, I think we must be getting near the end of this thing...

The weird townie triggers a bear trap(which he gleefully calls a "man trap"), then tells them that they'll have to search by themselves. He promises to meet them at the other end, and they decide that they can trust him. However, when they enter the mine, he stays at the entrance, just staring into the dark tunnel.

They make their way slowly down the dark tunnel, avoiding the few traps(1?) they see. The exit at the other end is eventually visible, and there's someone there. Jack? We know it's not the guy who showed them the entrance, because he's seen still standing where they left him. As they chase after the figure, the townie decides that he should follow them.

The townie steps out of the mine, but Nina and Matt are nowhere to be seen. He hears somebody moving toward him, and calls them Rowan. As he begs Rowan not to kill any more innocent victims, someone with a grey beard attacks him. Harvey, maybe? And who the heck is Rowan?

Our main couple decide to return to the tunnel. Then we see Jack, crossbow in hand, as he finds some bloody remains on the ground. How is this dipwad still alive? That just pisses me off, man.

When Matt and Nina arrive back at the mineshaft tunnel, they see blood on the ground near the entrance. Matt sees an object in the blood, which turns out to be a hunk of human flesh. As he drops it in sisgust, Jack gets spooked by a local who calls out to him. He accidentally fires his crossbow, and the bolt passes through the cheek of an old man, impaling him on a tree. Ouch!

The trio of "friends" reunite, and then Jack shows the other two what he did. When Matt and Nina question him, they discover that he found Rebecca's coat, her phone, and a few other things that belonged to her, all covered in blood. Despite his misgivings, they pull the old man off of the tree.

He agrees to lead them out of the woods, and takes them to a cabin(in the woods, YES!) instead. They ask him who lives there, and he says that it belongs to the biter's father. Terrific. Oh, and as if we needed to be reminded that Matt is the worst boyfriend in the galaxy, he tells Nina to remain outside with the weird old guy. Yeah, real sharp thinking there, Matt.

Jack leads the way into the small home, and they find tables and shelves full of human remains. Then they enter a small kitchen area, and spot something boiling on the stove, but it's only wet clothing. Matt waves to Nina to show her that all is well.

Nina hears a noise in the woods, and the old man indicates that she should remain calm and silent. Jack and Matt go behind the house, where they find Rebecca's torso hanging from a tree. As he freaks out, a bear trap grabs him by the throat. Nina hears the yelling and screaming, and the old man urges her to go to them.

She tries to pry the trap off of Jack's neck, but it's way too late to save him. Hip hip hooray! Jack emits one last gurgle, then Matt urges Nina to leave with him. As Matt spies a jeep near the house, he urges Nina to stay by the body. Wow. What's worse, that he keeps putting her in danger, or that she keeps agreeing to do whatever he wants?

Nina sees the old man scurry into the house, so she follows him. While Matt realizes that the jeep is deader than disco, Nina is attacked by the old man, who now has a very large knife at her throat. He gloats that he and the other villagers come from a long line of cannibals and hunters.

A chase begins, and Matt hears the ruckus. He picks up a nearby hatchet, then tries to follow them. As Nina gets to the mineshaft, Matt finds a secret tunnel under the cannibal shack. He yells Nina's name, and she stops and looks back into the dark tunnel. Then she continues her escape.

Matt has only a flimsy lighter, but it shows him that he's found a stash of old bones and other things that the cannibals have dumped. Nina trips and hurts her ankle, but limps away, until she realizes that she's now at the top of that bridge near the dam. Matt sees her when he emerges from the tunnel and shouts her name.

Matt tries to climb up to her, but then one of the older cannibals corners poor Nina. The old man who brought them to the house is on the other side of the bridge. Matt watches as the 2 old men close in on her, and they reveal that they need her alive, to produce more offspring. Nina defies them by jumping off of the bridge.

Matt sees her die, then resumes trying to escape. As he climbs his way up to the bridge, the elder cannibal leans over the railing to look for Nina's body. The woman from the tavern then stabs him, making yet another reference to killing pups. Dead puppies, dead-dead-dead-dead dead puppies, they're no fun at allll....

When Matt finally gets to the bridge, he mistakenly thinks that the woman killed Nina. As he yells at her, she withdraws a knife from her pocket, then slits her own throat. Matt watches her die at his feet.

The police arrive, and Harvey urges Matt to return to the city until the investigation is over. Matt is preoccupied, just staring at Rebecca's pink phone. He hands it to the cops, who throw it into a box with other physical evidence. As Matt gets in his car, he begins to choke on something.

There's a brief glimpse at a drink he was sipping earlier, then someone drags him out of the vehicle. Harvey has taken him to a slaughterhouse, and tied him down. Then Harvey enters another room, where Matt sees that they have Jack tied up as well. Then the little kid sits on Matt's lap, and reveals that his teeth are very, very sharp.

There's some more text about how 250 people have vanished in Tasmania, but no human remains have been found. Then we see the cops again, and the cell phone reveals that a picture of the elusive tiger does actually exist. THE END

Boy, I'm not sure how to rate this one. The kills and the concept were good, but the plotholes and dumb characters kind of ruined it. 3 out of 5,I can decide whether or not to deduct another point for not killing Jack first.

And what did Dying Breed teach me?

-Well, Australia sucks for tourists.

-Never let your friend Jack go on vacation with you.

-If a tiger wants to play Hide & Seek, LET HIM WIN.

Next up is either Child's Play, or River of Darkness. Or whatever they send me, if those aren't available. Whatever, it's all good.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Miner's Massacre

This week's slasher might be an endurance challenge for me...This is my third attempt to watch it. Why? Because I fell asleep the first 2 times! Yeah, I've become so desensitized to these things that nothing fazes me anymore. Either that, or the movie's just crap. Whatever the case, let's prepare to doze off together to Miner's Massacre. We're sitting on a SPOILER-mine, consarnit!

Okay, so the titles literally begin with a bang, and a cartoony pickaxe chips away at the title. Among the supporting cast, we have generic 80s villains Richard Lynch and Martin Kove, horror queen Karen Black and the late Jeff Conaway. Why do I keep falling asleep with this one?

Well, the credits finally end, and we see that we're in a town called Suttersville. A young guy is studying a scale, weighing pieces of gold, then writing down results in a notebook. Oh, and then feeling himself up in the chesticular region. Yeah. Guy's apparently even lonelier than I am!

The camera guy heads outside before we have to watch the dude pleasure his man-boobs any further, and we see some sort of underground lair, filled with satanic-looking objects. A row of candles light themselves, and then a swarm of fireflies bring a half-buried skeleton to life, cover it in blue flesh, and even furnish clothes. Who knew that fireflies were so productive?

This resurrected zombie prospector stands in front of the altar, picks up a hook, then wraps it onto his hand with a heavy chain. Awww, was anyone else hoping that his weapon of choice would be a pickaxe? I sure was. Maybe he'll pick one up later.

The younger man is still weighing fragments of gold. He takes a swig from a bottle, then staggers outside to stretch his legs. While he enjoys a few seconds of fresh air, the undead prospector approaches his home.

The guy heads back inside, and the zombie attacks him, knocking him to the floor. As he tries to crawl away, he gets the hook shoved into his back, and the prospector lifts him into the air. Then the prospector kicks a bucket until it is underneath him, and proceeds to fill it with the young man's blood while he howls in pain. What's with the bucket?

Then we see a young woman slicing up onions while talking on a phone. Her name is Claire, and her husband, Nick, enters the room as she wraps up her chat. She stares at a photo they took together, and next to it is a message that looks like it says "call Bizeeee", whatever the hell that means.

Nick leaves the room, then returns with a large envelope. The package consists of a gold nugget and what looks like a hand-drawn map. Ooh, I hope it leads them to Curly's gold, or the lost treasure of One-Eyed Willy! Ever get the feeling that I've seen too many movies?

Now we see a different couple driving down a dusty road. His name is Axel, I don't know hers yet. She apparently wanted to do something "spontaneous", so he took her on a trip, but she hates all the driving. She demands that he find a place where they can get some room service.

She accuses him of getting them lost, then demands that he find a bathroom for her. He offers to pull over, but that just makes her cranky, and she starts yelling at him. They find a large, unstable-looking house, and both of them get out of the car.

An old man sitting on the front porch informs them that they are trespassing. They beg him to let her use his bathroom, but the only one he has is an outhouse. Seems like I see a lot of movies where characters have outhouses, don't I? He offers her some toilet paper that he keeps next to him, but she scurries away without it.

Axel asks the old man where Suttersville is located, and he's told that he's in the town already. The old man then advises him to leave, lest he run afoul of the ghost of the Forty-Niner, Jeremiah Stone. He was a local figure who had a reputation for being the nastiest man in them thar parts.

The  old man then shows Axel a scroll which, when unrolled, turns out to be a "Wanted" poster featuring Stone himself. He was accused of claimjumping, murder and rape. His portrait sort of looks like a pro wrestler, but damned if I can remember the name of the one I'm thinking of. Oh, and according to the old man, Jeremiah was also a cannibal, and he actually ate his own wife and child. Seriously, this movie's a the heck did I keep dozing off during this stuff?

Axel shows a bit of interest in the story, and offers 10 bucks for the wanted poster, but the old man claims that it's priceless. When the bid increases to 40, the old man reluctantly hands the poster over to him. After the couple leave, it's revealed that the house is filled with "priceless" posters, which is how he makes money.

He calls someone named Morty to brag about selling another one, then sits down inside the house to enjoy some moonshine. He makes a mock toast to one of the posters, unaware that the man himself has entered his house. He sees the killer's shadow on the wall, and is killed when he turns around to face him. Jeremiah then removes a ring from his victim's hand, grabs one of the posters, and walks out of the house with it balled up in his fist.

Axel and his girlfriend debate whether or not the poster is a fake, then we see Nick and Claire trying to reach another couple, who are busy screwing in the back seat of a car. Her name is Roxanne, his is Hayden. After their conversation with Claire and Nick, Hayden tells Roxanne that his expertise is in making money, while hers is having sex. When she angrily says "Screw you!", he smugly responds that she just did. It's revealed that he only went on this trip to find as much gold as possible.

Axel and his beloved rage-monster find the sign for Suttersville, and we find out that She-Hulk is a professional photographer. Axel suggests that she could put a positive spin on the trip by taking nature pictures, then the fight is ended prematurely by the arrival of the other couples. Frankly, I'm kind of surprised that she's still alive. I would have gladly paid to see her getting bumped off before the old man or the young guy.

Claire shows the others the gold nugget, and that provides adequate motivation to get them to explore the area. Upon arriving in the apparent ghost town, it appears that somebody is observing the group from one of the old buildings. Well, so much for my assumption that Suttersville is a ghost town...

Axel immediately loses his watch, and his girlfriend starts to bitch him out for it. The watch was a gift from her mother, who I can only assume must be a lovely, kindhearted saint...just like her daughter. Claire defuses the situation by proposing a quick search of the area. They all split up, so let the slaughter begin! Whee!

Roxy has somehow lost track of Hayden. She looks for him in a dark and musty barn, and he creeps up behind her and grabs her around the throat to scare her. She screams, and they both fall into a bale of hay. Roxy gets mad(this thing must hold the record for the number of times women get pissed off), then lightens up considerably when Hayden proposes a "roll in the hay". Heh. Puns.

Anyway, then we have to suffer through a scene involving Claire pretending to be trapped in a jail cell. She even asks Nick for a conjugal visit, and they kiss between the bars. Wow. Not only does this wreck leave no cliche unused, but the acting is AT LEAST one notch below the level of porn. This is making WatchUsDie seem almost bearable!

Out on the street(...that's where we meet...c'mon, sing it with me!!!), we have Axel and Evil Incarnate still searching for his friggin' cheap-ass watch. Well, he's looking; she's still taking inane pictures of the drab scenery. Or pretending to. More porn acting. I know I say this almost every week, but this one is physically painful to endure. I think several of my brain cells are attempting to kill themselves on principle.

Anyway, Bitch-Queen enters the saloon, leaving her boyfriend to continue his search alone. Then a hot brunette wearing Daisy Dukes approaches him, holding up his watch. She introduces herself as Eve, and damn if she didn't just melt my eyeballs right out of their sockets. The movie suddenly got a LOT better.

Inside the saloon, the ghoulfriend hears a noise. She screams, and everyone else comes running to see what all the fuss is about. Eve helpfully tells Axel that it sounds like the ruckus is coming from the saloon. Everyone rushes in at once, only to discover that she freaked out over a flock of birds nesting underneath the bar. Those flockin' birds!

After they all share a laugh, Axel introduces Eve to the group. Eve asks them where they're headed, and a local sheriff struts in to find out the same thing. His last name is Murphy, and he asks after Eve's Aunt Nellie, before wondering aloud if the group has gotten lost on the road somehow. They keep mum about the treasure. Eve vouches for them, even going so far as to suggest that she's going to guide them to a lake to freshen up. Sheriff Murphy approves, but warns them that they should get back on the road soon. Then he abruptly drives away.

Axel tries to charm Eve with a funny story about Hayden, and that royally pisses off his girlfriend. She drags him away to bitch him out, and they more or less break up on the spot. When she threatens to leave, Axel tosses her the car keys. Yay! If Jeremiah Stone kills her in the next 5 minutes, I'll do a happy dance 'til my feet bleed!

She body-checks Eve on the way out of the saloon, then stomps back to the car. When they wrote the Nic Cage movie Drive Angry, I'll bet they had her in mind. Anyway, Psychorella drives away and lights a cigarette, nearly crashing headlong into the undead prospector in the process.

She crashes the car into a tree, then face-plants into the steering wheel. As she comes to, Jeremiah yanks her out of the front seat by her hair, then drags her away. We hear her screams, followed by the sound of his weapon making impact, but nothing is shown. Dagnabbit! Movie, you had ONE job: to make her death satisfying. I feel personally betrayed, man.

Oh, wait a sec....we get a close view of her face, and her eyes are rolling up into her head. Then the camera pans back, and we see that the prospector cut her head off. Okay, we're cool. You don't have to sleep on the couch tonight, movie. *Pats an empty space on the bed*

Yes, I have waaay too much time on my hands. Why do you ask?

Anyway...Eve takes them to a campground, and there's a brief argument over who had the gold nugget last. Then Eve reveals that she's mostly a loner, and that the sheriff is kind enough to look in on her from time to time. She and Axel seem to share a mutual attraction. Well that's a relief, seeing as how his ex was just seen giving Jeremiah Stone some head. Um, her head, I meant to say.

They all stumble upon Jared's car, then head into a house. Okay, so now we know the name of the guy who was murdered in the first scene. That info might have been nice to have about 40 miniutes ago, but whatever.

Claire leads the others through the front door, and they take a quick look around. Claire finds a map, and it really upsets her that it was torn in half. Yeah, torn paper gives me Vietnam flashbacks too. Eve only makes things worse, saying that no one who goes to the mine in search of Jeremiah Stone's gold ever returns. This is getting more Scooby-Dooish by the minute. Rut roh!

Eve screams at them to leave, then she gets a head start. Roxy starts having second thoughts about looking for the mine, but Hayden urges the group not to abandon the adventure so early on. Then he mocks Axel for losing 2 girls one the same day, and Axel flips him off.

They stumble around the countryside, in a montage that demonstrates that none of them should even be allowed to cross the street without supervision. There's some brief "suspense" when Hayden gets lost, but he quickly locates the others and rejoins the search party. Yeesh, they can't even milk a cheap scare out of that scene.

The men stop to catch their breath, and they ask Axel what the map says about the distance they've traveled. They were under the impression that he had some sort of military training, but they couldn't be more wrong. Axel lied to sound cool, but he was actually nothing more than a mail clerk. So? Claire's the one leading them around, so who gives a flying flip about his background? I sure don't.

Claire finds the entrance into the mine, and they all crawl through the small opening. They have to crawl in on their hands and knees, and all I can think about is how similar this all looks to The Human Centipede. Someone even farts in someone else's face during this sequence. Please let there be a cave-in, please let there be a cave-in, please let there be--

Claire finds an actual room, and they can finally stand up. The room is mostly empty, but there's a table covered with gold and treasures. They celebrate their sudden run of fortune. Gosh, I'm sure that nothing bad will happen when they steal the gold.

Eve returns to her kooky Aunt Nelly, who reminds her that no one can touch Jeremiah Stone's gold without incurring his wrath. Eve insists that Axel and his friends don't deserve to die, then she scurries away to see if she can help them. Aunt Nelly orders her not to go, but she rushes outside.

Our intrepid thieves lug as much gold as they can carry out of the  mineshaft. Hayden wants help going back for more, but the rest of the group vote him down. They figure that, if the gold has been untouched foir this long, what's one more night?

Aunt Nelly is still in the throes of her hissy fit. She seeks out another nearby hillbilly couple, Caleb and his wife Bertie. Yup, Bertie. Aunt Nelly explains that her daughter has left, and neither Bertie nor Caleb seem very sympathetic. That changes when she tells them that the young tourists took her daughter to the old mine. Caleb offers to let Aunt Nelly into her humble abode, while he calls Sheriff Murphy.

Eve is at Jared's front door now, and she nervously calls out to Axel. He's not there, of course, but she DOES find a pot of boiling water on the stove. Inside the pot is a certain beloved character's severed head. Eve starts to scream, but Jeremiah strangles her, slams Eve into a wall, then slams a pickaxe through her abdomen, collecting more blood in his bucket. Again, what's with the bucket?

Back at the main group's camp, Claire worries about the ones who left the group, but her boyfriend convinces her not to worry so much about them. They rejoin the others, who are discussing what they're going to do with their shares of the gold. Then everyone moves toward the tents except for Axel, who sits by himself eating beans out of a can.

The food upsets his stomach, and Axel needs a spot to poop--fast! He finds the roll of toilet paper that the old man gave him earlier, then looks around for a nice squatting spot. He drops his trousers just in the nick of time. And we get to hear it. Turd-riffic.

Hayden is happily sprawled beneath a tree, watching Roxy do a slow striptease. She then drops to her knees in front of him, and they make love. See? Not only is the acting on the level of porn, now it almost IS porn! ...not that there's anything wrong with that.

Claire and Nick are also getting intimate, and they declare their love for each other. Awww, ain't that sweet? I think they just gave me diabetes. And what's with her stupid hair? The budget was so low, they couldn't afford a comb? (On a side note, I think the idea of watching some of these SyFy movies might've been a terrible idea...they're pretty excruciating to sit through.)

Wait, is this thing still on? Damn, I better back up to see what I missed. Okay, so Axel is still taking a massive dump. Great, so glad I didn't miss it. You want to know the worst part? Some guy actually took the time to WRITE THIS SCENE into the movie. Can you imagine? "Okay, either you add in some scenes involving shit, or I'll invest my money elsewhere!"

Anyway, Axel hears a noise. It spooks him, so he starts running. Oh, and his pants are magical, because they somehow stayed up while he took his dump. Seriously, he never pulled them up, so...yeah. He shit himself. For a long, long time. And my eyes can never, ever, ever unsee this movie.

The others hear him screaming, and everybody runs out of their respective tents. They find Axel sitting by the fire, as the sheriff mocks him for getting all panicky. Uh, yeah, you were watching him go to the bathroom. He had every right to be scared, ya weirdo! Sheriff Murphy explains that he was just making sure they were all safe, but then he notices that some members of the group are missing. He advises them to move on soon, then he leaves.

Hayden finds his sudden appearance strange, and he theorizes that the lawman must want them out of the way so that he can keep the gold for himself. Hayden then whips out a gun, ranting that he doesn't trust anyone at this point, not even his friends. They try to reason with him, but he clearly has Gold Fever...not to be confused with Saturday Night Fever, which causes impromptu disco dancing.

Anyway, that's when Jeremiah Stone shows up. They mistake him for Sheriff  Murphy at first, but quickly realize their mistake, once they remember that Murphy doesn't carry a pickaxe in each hand. Smart group, these folks.

Jeremiah roars at them, then throws one of his weapons. It lands in the ground in front of Axel, and they take off in different directions. Well, except for Hayden: He stands his ground and starts shooting at the zombie prospector. That goes about as well as you'd imagine.

Roxy gets to one of the cars, and they give her the keys. As she tries to get it started, Jeremiah sends a pickaxe sailing through the windshield, killing her in an instant. Well, one more down.

Jeremiah hunts down the remaining group, and now there's a mad dash to find a safe spot. Hayden gets into the sports car, then leaves his remaining friends literally in the dust, while he speeds away. Jeremiah leaps onto the hood of the car and gnashes his teeth at Hayden, while also trying to force the vehicle off the road.

Hayden manages to shake him loose, but crashes in the attempt, and his car goes up in flames. Oh, and he hit the pickup, which also ignites. Wow, these guys are seriously unlucky! Hayden exits the car just before both vehicles explode, but he's on fire. The Hayden, the Hayden, the Hayden's on FIRE! Man, I'm in a musical mood this week. Anyone wanna meet up later for some drunken karaoke? (call me!)

The prospector stops to admire his own handiwork, then suddenly remembers what he was there to do in the first place. He turns to snarl at our last 3 heroes, and the chase resumes. It's funny to say this, but he's actually kind of cool-looking in some of these scenes.

...And that's when Aunt Nellie comes to the rescue. Gee, I had totally forgotten about her. She takes them to her home, where she then reams them out for causing Jeremiah to rise from the dead. She explains that there's a curse on the gold, and that anyone who tries to take it winds up on Jeremiah's bad side.

Aunt Nellie goes into more detail about Jeremiah's crimes, which dated back to his taking part in the Donner Party cannibalization. In 1851, Jeremiah took a young woman from Suttersville hostage, and a posse eventually surrounded him. A kindly priest tried to reason with him, but he just laughed, then planted a pickaxe into his hostage's back.

The townsfolk shot at him several times, until Jeremiah fell to his knees. When he looked up, his eyes had become milky-white, and then he seemed to rejuvenate in an instant. He then bit off his own finger, before placing that curse upon anyone who ever attempted to take his gold. He laughed like a loon, vanished into the mine, and the rest is history.

The flashback ends with Aunt Nellie declaring that none of the witnesses could ever verify that Jeremiah had ever actually died. They all decide that the only way to end his wrath is to return every piece of gold they took back to the mine, then destroy it. By doing that, they reason, they can stop him forever.

That's when Jeremiah bursts into Aunt Nellie's house. He attacks them, lighting Aunt Nellie on fire with her own torch. The others fight back, and Jeremiah gets one hand chopped off in the scuffle.

They barely manage to escape the house intact, and they grab several sticks of dynamite on the way out. Then they debate whether or not to try to leave Suttersville, or actually follow through with the plan to return the gold to the mine, or destroy what they took. The destruction plan wins out.

The frightened trio return to their campfire, and Axel is pressured to be the one to come up with a way to set up a trap that both destroys the gold AND stops the forty-niner in his tracks. Yeah, because a military dropout is a real expert in that sort of stuff.

Axel decides that it's possible to rig a walkie-talkie to trigger an explosion, so they ultimately agree to haul the stolen gold back to the mine. While Axel is explaining his plan, Jeremiah is busy shoving a pickaxe into the stump where his hand used to be, making his arm into a weapon. That's kinda silly, but also pretty awesome. He shows his new weapon to the cameraman, and lets loose with another growl.

The sheriff drives around randomly, then we see our little group at the mine. Claire is keeping watch outside, while Axel and Nick get to the chamber where they found the stashed treasure. They find a crate full of more dynamite, and throw all of the gold together into a pile. Axel also reveals that he had some more stashed in his pockets, which he reluctantly puts back.

As Axel is putting the finishing touches on his remote detonator, Jeremiah Stone leaps into view. Claire can hear the assault, but is too afraid to use the walkie talkie to set off the explosion. Then Jeremiah gets his weapon-arm stuck, and that buys them some time. Unfortunately, the phone doesn't trigger the explosion as they thought it would.

Axel gets stabbed in the shoulder, and Claire arrives just as Jeremiah is about to finish him off. Claire uses a flare gun to set the miner on fire, then she and Nick crawl back through the exit tunnel. Axel, badly wounded, decides to remain behind to push Jeremiah Stone into the box of dynamite.

There's a massive cloud of dust, as well as several fires caused by the explosions. Claire and Nick survive, and Sheriff Murphy drives up to them. They tell him that the miner caused all of the chaos, and he quickly urges them into his vehicle, while he takes a look around. They watch as he finds a nugget of gold on the ground, takes it, then gets murdered by Jeremiah Stone, who explodes out of the ground. THE END

Wow, what a mixed bag. Some good kills, an interesting look for the killer, and no shortage of hot actresses. But then we get the crappy acting, the Scooby-Doo storyline, and a bad script. This one gets a plain ol', average 3 out of 5 killer trees.

And what did I learn this week?

-I'm not a good audience for SyFy movies.

-Camping is a drag.

-Fake Wanted posters are a lucrative business for old coots.

-I wanna rock!

My next waste of 90 minutes is something called Dying Breed. See you next week!