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Ah finally, here's another absurdly grotesque and over-the-top cheesy gorefest-slasher that could have come straight out of the 1980's, with its demented killer, stereotype characters and downright insane story lines! Many avid fans agree Crispin Glover is a genuine hero of the horror genre, and he obviously experienced the time of his life starring in this unspeakably nasty homage to bad B-movies & backwoods exploitation horror. Me says: Simon Rocks... and so does his equally sick-in-the-head brother Stanley. Glover stars in a double role as the redneck twin brothers Simon & Stanley, terrorizing a van full of empty-headed teenagers on their camping trip in the woods. Whilst enjoying random sex and soft-drugs, drooling Simon sneaks up on the teenagers and kills them as well as some other unfortunate bystanders in some of the most ingenious ways you'll ever see! Simon is particularly creative with pickaxes, as he developed several wonderful traps and ambushes all over the woods that mercilessly catapult the rusty weapons in the direction of the victims. Needless to say Simon's macabre games result in a gigantic blood bath, with gory impalement, decapitations and dismemberment. Of course, there absolutely isn't any tension or plot-development and the only story twist that is worth mentioning can easily be guessed long before it's revealed on screen. Crispin Glover (unintentionally?) finds a perfect balance between creepiness and humor. Although constantly exaggerating in performing his odd roles, he somehow occasionally manages to look creepy & menacing nonetheless. Perhaps that's just because he is Crispin Glover and always has this aura of morbidity surrounding him. One moment he's an ultra-creepy maniac who makes eyeless puppets out of his victims, yet the next he's a sneering lunatic who crushes little fluffy dogs with his feet and yells out silly lines like "You forgot to say Simon Says!!". The camping teenagers are your average routine and colorless lambs to the slaughter, including the pot-head, the muscled macho, the bimbo (who's likely to get topless at some point in the movie), the girl who always complains and the one remotely intelligent & likable chick who will presumably survive the massacre. Textbook slasher-fodder, but I couldn't possibly care less because "Simon Says" is a highly welcome return to the outlandish splatter fun of the 80's. Even the whole clichéd "family reunion" sequence near the end of the film immediately reminded me off several titles on my endless list of 80's favorites. I personally guarantee "Simon Says" is the ideal midnight-movie crowd pleaser, terrific entertainment to watch with a bunch of buddies.
As Simon Says begins you have plenty to give you cause for concern.
First of all, many of the cast members seem to be plucked from the
producer's family (just see how many people named Lively are involved))
and then, secondly, we are thrown in with the usual group of
stereotypical teens: the jock, the stoner, the prude, the "slutty" girl
and one well-balanced, average female. The third thing to get your
spidey sense tingling is the bad acting, proudly displayed from the
opening scenes onwards and peaking in an almost laughable flashback
And then Crispin Glover appears and the movie begins to redeem itself a little. Glover twitches and wildly overacts almost every time he's on screen but he does so with such gusto that you can't really dislike him for it (and I'm sure that his fans will love it if they can stand the surrounding movie). It's miles away from his wonderful performance in the remake of Willard but it's just as entertaining for totally different reasons.
Not long after Glover's initial appearance comes the movie's other saving grace, some enjoyably daffy death scenes complete with over the top gore. Neither the deaths themselves nor the great effects are the best you will see but they are fun for fans and, commendably, manage not to look TOO fake most of the time (although the "death by joint" scene does look very fake but is too funny to properly criticise).
As I am reviewing the movie I guess I should take the time to mention the slight plot. It's all about murderous twins, Simon and Stanley, played by Glover and just serves to let us know that everyone on screen is about to be put in jeopardy sooner or later. It's passable enough, attempting the odd twist here and there while never straying too far from the level of "dumb no-brainer" and I've certainly seen worse in the slasher subgenre.
Top things off with a surprisingly good, and deliciously dark, ending and you have a film that actually claws it's way from an ignominious beginning to become watchable fun.
See this if you like: Sleepaway Camp 2, Crispin Glover, The Greenskeeper.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
EDIT: I just heard today (9/27/06) that Simon Says does not currently
have a theatrical distributor. SAY IT ISN'T SO! It would be a travesty
for this film to go straight-to-video, since it is best enjoyed in a
theater environment with a large group of folks with whom to share the
I saw this VERY FUN and gory movie last night at a preview screening at Austin's Fantastic Fest with a full auditorium of horror movie freaks. We had a GREAT time hooting and hollering at all the splattery fun.
Simon Says stars Crispin Glover as twins with a HEAVY Southern accent (think Sheriff J. W. Pepper in "Live And Let Die"). Crispin's performance, while creepy, unique, and striking - as is his wont - is flawed in the over-emphasis of his slack-jawed accent. But it does give his character some...ummm...character.
The plot is a slasher involving (among others) 5 college students who stumble across Glover's neck of the woods whilst seeking the typical river-side debauchery in the wilderness.
This is a funny movie. Usually intentionally so, sometimes not...however, the greatest thing about this movie is the kills. Nearly every kill involves the prodigious use of one, two, or even as much as twenty pick-axes. The most awesome one being the very first camper to get caught in the woods. We see her later on in a deliciously twisted reveal that had us absolutely ROARING! The entire auditorium busted a gut at how that one ended up. The rest were quite entertaining and creative as well.
So, check it out in the theater and have some fun with it.
The pothead Zack (Greg Cipes); the sweethearts Kate (Margo Harshman)
and Riff (Artie Baxter); the slut Vicky (Carrie Finklea); and the
spoiled Ashley (Kelly Vitz) travel by van to the backwoods to camp.
They meet two strange graveyard diggers that advise them to leave the
place otherwise they could be murdered. Then they meet the deranged
retarded Simon (Crispin Glover) in the gas station and Riff has a
friction with the guy. They find a paradisiac spot to camp at the
riverside, but Simon and Stanley transform their holiday in a
"Simon Says" is another absurd and stupid slasher that follows the style of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "Wrong Turn" and other films of this sub-genre of horror. Crispin Glover performs an annoying character that keeps saying "and you forgot to say Simon says" (even in the end of the credits). But the most irritating in this story is the ability and invulnerability of his undestroyable character. My vote is three.
Title (Brazil): "Siga o Mestre" ("Follow the Master")
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Simon Says starts as couple Kate (Margo Harshman) & Riff (Artie Baxter)
along with their friends Vicky (Carrie Finklea), Ashley (Kelly Vitz) &
Zack (Greg Cipes) are headed towards the open forest wilderness for a
weekend away from the stresses & strains of normal city life in their
camper van. They stop off at a small town to ask for directions, they
meet the retarded Simon (Crsipin Glover) & his cruel twin brother
Stanley (Crispin Glover as well) but end up have a little altercation.
The teenage friends load up & set off, they find a suitably isolated
camp site & prepare for the fun ahead of them. However the trip soon
turns into a nightmare as the ever so slightly deranged duo of Simon
&/or Stanley begin to brutally murder them one-by-one...
Written & directed by William Dear I think this was intended as a throwback to the slasher films of the 70's & 80's, I am sort of in two minds about it to be honest. The script takes a little while to get going but doesn't seem to take itself too seriously & models itself on your typical Friday the 13th (1980) rip-off with a bunch of teens running around the woods being sliced & diced by some maniacal killer, in that respect it's predictable & unoriginal but I sort of felt the makers knew this & just decided to have a bit of fun with the genre & the clichés rather than try to change a tried, tested & popular formula. I mean if it ain't broke don't fix it, right? I must admit I'm a big fan of exploitative, gory mindless slasher flicks if they are done right & I have to say for the most part I throughly enjoyed Simon Says. However, the slasher flick is an extremely limited & crowed sub genre that has little scope for imagination & a fairly rigid plot structure which filmmakers can't do a lot with, I mean one slasher film is pretty much exactly the same as the next with some bland victims gathered together usually in some isolated location purely to be killed off. That's the main problem with Simon Says really, it's nothing new or original & if you don't like slasher films then Simon Says will do nothing to help change your opinion but if you do like a good slasher then in my opinion Simon Says is certainly one of the better efforts I've seen from recent times but when you compare it to crap like The Legend of Bloody Jack (2007) that isn't saying that much. The character's are OK, the dialogue is decent & the killer is suitably crazy although I don't understand who the woman on horseback was as it's never explained. Keep watching as the end credits roll as after they finish there is a few more seconds which answers a question or two you may have.
Director Dear does a fine job & Simon Says is much better looking than most recent shot on a camcorder type horror flicks that litter video shelves & turn up on obscure cable TV channels. There is also a very pleasing amount of gore although it takes about 35 minutes to kick in, lots of people are impaled on pick-axes, there's plenty of blood, severed limbs, mangled bodies, hangings, a fish is gutted, fingers are chopped off with a huge meat cleaver, there are burnt corpses & a cool scene where two paint-ballers are literally sliced to pieces by a huge spinning cylinder of spikes. My hat also goes off to the filmmakers for putting a scene in which show's the 'cute' little white poodle dog being stamped on & literally exploding! The special effects are very good with plenty of on set gore effects & fake blood rather than awful CGI computer effects which are thankfully kept to a minimum. Simon/Stanley also has a catapult type machine which fires pick-axes everywhere, I was thinking I wish I had one as I'd soon sort my a-hole neighbours out then! Having said that I bet it costs them a fortune in pick-axes...
With a supposed budget of about $3,000,000 this is really well made by what looks like professionals, the cinematography is nice & mercifully the makers decided to keep the annoying MTV type effects down so no shaky hand held crap! Simon Says actually looks rather nice, it has a few stylish scenes & is well made, it's surprising & nice to actually see a very recently made independent horror flick with good production values. The acting is alright if not spectacular but why are so many of the cast related? Robyn Lively is the son of Ernie Lively while Lori & Blake Lively are his daughter's, Max & Michael Moody are brother's, Adam, Bart & Brad Johnson are all brother's as well & I wouldn't be surprised if Leila Johnson is also related to them & Chad & Chris Cunningham are brother's.
Simon Says is a fun little well made slasher flick with some nice gore, it takes a while to get started but overall I rather enjoyed it. It passed 90 odd minutes harmlessly enough for me. If you don't like slasher flicks then avoid it like the plague but if you do like them then this is certainly one of the better ones I've seen from recent years.
To make a long story short: it's not scary, and is poor in every aspect
- script, camera, directing, acting.. Moreover it tries (poorly again)
to be a grotesque in a way of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre II. So Simon
says: "Do not watch this movie".
Good news is that it has got a spark of creativity, i.e. some of the scenes/effects were way beyond my expectation like one with a dog, and with flying blonde. Brutal, cold blooded, blunt, not too detailed - right to what it should be.
Well, simply avoid this Simon unless you are a horror fan with some exploratory streak.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
You all know the drill. A quintet of college kids -- hunky stud muffin Riff (Artie Baxter), his snippy girlfriend Kate (a perfectly bitchy Margo Harshman), hot vampy slut Vicky (a deliciously naughty portrayal by Carrie Finklea), amiable stoner Zack (a hilariously goofy Greg Cipes), and naive goody-goody two shoes Ashley (Kelly Vitz) -- go camping in a remote neck of the woods. Since the kids smoke pot and make out, clearly they are destined to meet gruesome untimely ends. Of course, they run afoul of crazed hillbilly psycho Stanley and his dim-witted brother Simon. Writer/director William Dear relates the story at a steady pace, really pours on the over-the-top splatter with the amusingly outrageous and imaginative murder set pieces (grisly highlights include one victim being turned in a human CD player, some wicked pick-ax mayhem, and Zack being turned into a giant reefer), and further spices things up with a delightfully twisted sense of pitch-black gallows humor (Stanley's elaborate Rube Goldberg-style deadly contraptions are very funny in an admittedly sick sort of way). Best of all, the one and only Crispin Glover has himself a field day in the juicy dual role of Simon and Stanley: Sporting a strange voice that alternates between a shrill whine and an overripe Southern accent, doing all these twitchy mannerisms with histrionic abandon, making all these groaningly cruddy Simon says puns, and even stomping on a cute little poodle in one particularly great scene, Glover is a total wacky hoot to watch. Both Bryan Greenberg's slick cinematography, Ludek Drizhal's shuddery, spirited score, and the pleasingly grim ending are all up to par as well, but it's Glover's marvelously manic and unrestrained eye-rolling hambone acting which gives this flick an extra nutty edge. Good, cheesy fun.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I decided to watch this one night when nothing was on. The description made the movie sound interesting and the fact that Crispin Glover was in it made me want to watch it. It at first seemed just OK but as it kept going I was actually becoming bored. I don't mind that the same ideas keep being used when it comes to the horror genre but when there isn't one character I can relate to or "root for" I have to say the movie failed. To me, one element that makes a good horror or slasher film is having that one character (hero or heroine) to cheer for. When its a bunch of idiots and unlikeable characters its a waste of time. Fans of horror know what Im talking about (The Halloween series always comes to mind when it comes to the heroine that is needed) Maybe it was bad acting and bad writing that made this terrible? I would say to a die hard horror fan (like me who has seen almost every horror/slasher film known to man) to skip this movie. I will say though Crispin as always delivered a fantastic performance its just a shame no one else delivered a great performance and that the script fell flat.
I just got done watching this movie On Demand and my review can
honestly be summed up in one word - crap.
I wasn't sure what to think of Simon Says at first. I really thought I was going to like it, but I couldn't have been more wrong about myself and this so-called Horror flick. I've seen my share of 'B' movies, but this one was the epitome of one and it stereotyped Horror (80's Horror at that) almost to a tee - the stoner, the promiscuous chick, the nerd and the couple.
There is not one positive thing I can say about Simon Says, other than thank God for On Demand, so I don't have to worry about having a cheesy DVD collection of Horror movies.
'As gory as it is irreverent' boasts the blurb on the back of the DVD
for Simon Says; 'bloody and demented' claims the quote on the front;
'Phooey' says I, noticing the 15-rating awarded by the BBFC. But as it
happens, it turns out that I am wrong (and once again that the BBFC are
inconsistent): this film is every bit as gruesome and deranged as the
cover says it is. And then some.
On the face of it, Simon Says might sound like standard, teen-friendly slasher farea bunch of good-looking college kids (three blokes, three babes) go camping in the woods where they are hunted by a murderous psycho with a large collection of very sharp implementsbut it actually proves to be a truly one-of-a-kind experience, a seriously insane effort boasting an unexpectedly off-the-wall style, inventive graphic violence, and an unrestrained central performance from Crispin Glover that can only be described as 'unique'.
With writer/director William Dear taking such an unusual approach, and it's eccentric star acting even stranger than normal, it's understandable that many might not find this film to their taste; but if, like me, you enjoy your horror erratic and decidedly twisted, then Simon Says, with its flying pick-axe, poodle stomping splatter, should prove a satisfying watch.
7.5 out of 10, happily rounded up to 8 for a very daft but extremely entertaining showdown that sees the heroine opt for a rather unlikely hiding place.
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