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A weekend retreat turns into a fight for their lives when a group of five hard-partying college students crosses paths with a demented gang of motorcycle marauders and their hideously disfigured leader in this tale of terror featuring Picket Fences star Costas Mandylor. The lake may be calling, but the crystal clear water turns blood red when the sadistic Dr. Chopper and his band of nurses begin stalking the students to harvest their body parts. After endless years of transplants, Dr. Chopper and the nurses have been rendered psychically repulsive and mentally unhinged, and the only way for the creepy crew to keep themselves alive is to harvest the body parts of their victims. When Jessica and her friends are stalked through the woods and locked away in Dr. Chopper's blood-soaked lair of doom, their only hope for survival is to turn the tables on their captor and kill or be killed. Written by
Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
If there was justice in the cinematic universe, director Lewis Schoenbrun would never be allowed to set foot on a movie set again. It would seem inconceivable that anyone who spent two full decades in an editing room, where LS started his movie career, could be so utterly devoid of any sense of pacing or dramatic staging, but this film is damning evidence.
As bad as it is, it is fascinatingly so. From the opening scene, where a nurse is clad in a costume appropriate only for a porno film or a skit on a Mexican variety show, the viewer is compelled to see just how low it can go. The answer isn't far away, as in the next scene we move to a funeral parlor, where the next stunning fashion statement comes in a sexy off-the-shoulders black dress worn by one of the mourners.
Aggressively inappropriate costuming isn't the film's only flaw. The dialog is a treat for connoisseurs of bad writing. "You turn my tears into wine," is a sample gem. The actor deserves an Oscar for delivering that one with a straight face.
The director reinforces every cheeseball scene with what is possibly the schmaltziest soundtrack score ever recorded, which veers from embarrassingly maudlin in the dialog scenes to cheesy groovebox wannabe rocknroll in transitional scenes.
The script introduces characters with no rhyme or reason and story beats are doled out as if with a broken ladle.
Let's not forget this is a "horror" film, though. Our characters find themselves in a forest wherein lurks Dr. Chopper and his two "scary" henchwomen, who are supposed to be some kind of Frankencreatures but look exactly like Valley Girls with fake blood dabbed beneath their Supercut shags. I've honestly seen scarier make-up on eight-year-olds out trick-or-treating on Halloween.
And again we get a whiff of the costume designer's malodorous handiwork, as Valley Ghoul One prances around in a pseudo-Victorian polyblend smock while her buddy wears a nondescript ensemble that might have been almost fashionable in less hip corners of the 1980s.
Dr. Chopper makes the big fashion statement though, looking like a Crisco cowboy who got lost in the woods on his big black Harley, clad from head to toe in zippered black S&M leather.
If this sounds intriguing, by all means check it out. There is plenty of side-splitting and belabored dialog (like the precious "elephant's graveyard" scene or the "intellectual" discourse on Ginsburg).
To be fair, the cinematography is good, considering what was put before the camera, and the actors strive (with wildly extreme results) to make something from a scrap heap of clichés and inanities. You do have to wonder if they were really really stupid or just blindly desperate, not to walk off the set after catching one glimpse of the ridiculous-looking villains with their 99 Cent Store weapons.
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