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Where was the horror? Where was the thrill?
The summary for this movie makes it sound like it's a horror/thriller in the vein of 1408 or The Shining- this movie is supposedly about a haunted room in a hotel where you dream other people's dreams. While yes, this is mentioned in the film, it has virtually no influence on the plot. At all. The movie starts with some hotel guests celebrating a birthday party, and one of them loses the draw and has to spend a night in the room. But what does it do?
This film isn't about the haunted room, or about anything creepy at all. It's a drama about the various lives of the several hotel guests and staff. Each character has their own mini-story, some of which get resolved, but most of which do not. One of the guests is hunting down the man who sold his son heroin, leading to his eventual overdose- the guest accuses one of the cooks, but is the cook actually the culprit? We don't know. Someone steals the cook's savings, and so a manhunt begins as the guests and staff look for the one who stole it- but who stole it? That is also never explained. Even the aforementioned haunted room, ultimately, has little involvement in the plot- two characters spend the night in the room, but nothing that happens to either character is directly related to it.
The main plot centers around the hotel owner and one of the guests, an ex-porn star who has attempted suicide several times. She never commits suicide in the movie, and the two of them don't actually end up together, so you might be asking, how is that the main plot? Beats me, but that's what it is. Eventually one of the two cooks gets high and leaves, and the other cook goes crazy and kills someone. I wish it were actually as exciting as I made it sound, but it isn't.
This movie kept my interest, but only because I was waiting for the horror part to start. Don't believe the description. This is a drama with little direction where nothing gets resolved.
The Legend of Bloody Jack (2007)
Another movie where the title has no bearing on the film whatsoever.
Wow. Where to begin? This movie was terrible. Absolutely terrible. It's a shot-on-video disaster with nothing to make it worth watching. From a technical standpoint, it's a train wreck- every single outdoor scene is way, way too dark (to the point where I couldn't tell if it they were using a day-to-night filter to make it seem like it's nighttime or not). Did this film even have a lighting director? And on the topic of lighting, either the movie keeps jumping between daytime to nighttime to daytime again, or whoever set up the indoor scenes had no idea what they were doing.
From a story standpoint, what story? The movie begins with a guy trying to... uh... revive his ancestor? Or something? I don't know, he didn't do a very good job of explaining anything and then he gets killed, and he was the only character who had any idea what was going on. Then it turns out that's a story being told by someone else? The killer's never even given a name (simply called "Lumberjack" in the credits- who in the world got the idea this movie was about Jack the Ripper?) and he just kinda shows up and kills people. The characters are complete idiots- one noteworthy scene involves the hero (I can't think of what else to call him) shoot the bad guy, then look over his "dead" body (leaving the axe untouched) until the bad guy comes back to life, at which point he and his girlfriend run ten feet away, crouch down in the grass, and proceed to have a five-minute discussion about what to do. All this, after a scene where the killer heard a bullet clink in the guy's pocket from fifty feet away. And then, at the end of the movie, it turns out it's yet another story being told, involving the people the story was being told to? As if the storyteller told everyone, "Hey guys, here's a story about all of us getting killed, and by the way part of the story involves me seeing you two have sex. Back to all of us getting killed..." And one more thing- the box is about as misleading as it can get. The front of the DVD case shows a killer silhouetted against a dozen bodies hanging from trees, the back of the case has a picture of a cabin that is not in the movie (and the killer about to hack a girl who I'm pretty sure wasn't in the movie either), and there's two quotes on the box (who make the movie sound way better than it is) ATTRIBUTED TO NOBODY. That's right, they put quotes on their box and didn't even bother to make it sound like someone actually said them. And at least twice on the box it mentions a "true story" or "urband legend" or whatever- what story? What urban legend? There wasn't anything there to even be considered an urban legend at all. "Campfire Urban Legend, Bloody Jack, comes to life in this brutal telling of the true story behind one of America's most prolific serial killers." Uh, what? The killer in the movie is never called "Bloody Jack". True story? True stories usually have, you know, details. "One of America's most prolific serial killers"? How can someone be "prolific" if they're never identified a single time? This movie was a headache from beginning to end. I watched it at 1.5x speed and it still went by too slowly.
Camp Daze (2005)
When you watch this movie, make sure you watch it with a bunch of gay friends.
I did, and a good time was had by all.
First off, let me say that this movie is garbage. It just is. Now that that's out of the way, it DOES have some good points, but for the most part, it's garbage.
The main garbage point is the story. It had amazing potential- but was extremely poorly executed. Did any of you ever see that episode of the Aladdin cartoon where they got caught up in this weird magical time loop? If so, you've seen how GOOD this movie's plot could have been. If not, you've only seen how BAD this movie's plot could have been.
This movie is about some people who stumble upon a camp caught in a 24-hour time loop in which people get killed, every day, by an unseen killer (or killers). This is a great plot- except THE KILLERS AND SOME OF THE VICTIMS KNOW ABOUT THE LOOP. The ONLY way that this plot would have been even remotely sensical is if everyone involved has no knowledge of it whatsoever. If you committed a bunch of murders, and then got killed yourself, and then found out that your exploits caused you and those around you to loop over and over repeatedly, would you keep doing it? And, if so, would you keep falling for the same traps over and over? The killers, however, don't seem to care. They're perfectly content with killing the same people, every day, over and over, and then getting killed themselves (without, you know, stopping their own deaths), without any regard for what's going on.
The audio is terrible, the acting is terrible, the camera-work is terrible, and the story is absolutely terrible. The blatant homo-eroticism is the only thing driving this movie.
Carnage Road (2000)
Boredom: The Legend of Low-Budget
Wow. Not many movies (since Camp Blood) have been this terrible. This, right here, is my poster example of a horrible movie. The plot makes no sense, the characters HAD to have been added in as an afterthought, and I'm tempted to think that whoever made this movie only had a vague idea of what movies were.
First off, let me just make one statement. This movie is about a random killer who stalks and kills people in the desert. That's right, a DESERT. You know, one of those barren locations with little or no landmarks, and NOTHING TO HIDE BEHIND. So many scenes in this movie (including the very first) involve the characters standing or walking by, thirty feet from the killer, who happens to be hiding behind NOTHING. He's just standing there. Sometimes, such as in the cast of the first scene, there's a six-inch tall tumbleweed and a strip of wood on the ground, not even tall enough to block the camera let alone an entire person, but apparently none of the characters noticed him.
Second, the characters are ridiculous. Four photography students- I don't even know if they're supposed to have met before this movie begins- all go out into the desert to take pictures. Alright, sounds okay so far. Except that none of them brought any food, water, or supplies for their day-trip into the DESERT. And, not even that, but ONE of them has a camera. I'm strongly tempted to believe that whoever directed this had never been to a photography class- or even knew what photography class was. Every time the characters "Stop to take pictures", do you think they take any that would be seen in a photography class? No. They take the kind of pictures you'd take on your vacation into the desert. (Nothing experimenting with lighting, no scenery shots, no nothing- all of their pictures are just the two girls standing in front of something, hugging, or whatever.) Third, the action scenes are terrible. What was with that scene where Quiltface walks towards them for five minutes as they stand in front of the camera shaking? It's just one shot, over-the-shoulder, as Quiltface takes his sweet time walking towards them. Didn't they think, during those five minutes, of, I don't know, walking away? He's not even moving very fast.
Fourth, it's quite clear that they got halfway through shooting and then couldn't think of how to end the movie. So, once all of the characters are dead, the one with the most grievous injury (the guy with the machete blow to the head, as opposed to the girl who got slashed in the side) gets up, somehow, and finds help. (And his injury gets smaller and smaller by the end of the movie, at which point it's gone entirely.) And it's also clear that they didn't want their special FX makeup to go to waste, as they hold each gore-shot for several more seconds than necessary (as the actor just sits there still).
Fifth, the movie ends after the one survivor rides away, in a vehicle, for at least an hour (we assume). And yet, somehow, Quiltface is there when the van stops for a potty break.
Avoid this movie. It's terrible. It's not the actors' fault, it's not the writers' fault, it's not the director's fault. It's the fault of whoever gave them funding for this garbage.
Wrong Turn (2003)
The way you know you took a wrong turn? You keep seeing the same things over and over. Just like this movie.
So, I saw this movie at the rental place, and my fiancé says, "Oh, I saw that movie a few years ago." I asked her what it was about, and she said, "I can't remember, but it's got crazy mutated hillbillies." I thought to myself, "Hmm... that sounds a lot like The Hills Have Eyes." Boy, was I wrong. This movie isn't a lot like The Hills Have Eyes- it's the exact same movie.
Er, well, it takes place in a forest. But aside from that, it's the same movie. It's got the main character(s) looking for a shortcut through the wilderness, the crazy gas station attendant who somehow lets the main character(s) know about a non-existent shortcut, the tires blow out, the crazy hillbillies kill people, steal their cars, and eat them. That's really the whole movie, and that's all there was to The Hills Have Eyes. (The original, AND the remake.) And I have to say the worst part is watching the interviews with the director and cast and hear them talk about how original it was, and the director even mentions, "It's a mix between Deliverance and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre." I guess it sort of would have thrown everyone off if he instead said, "It's really the exact same movie someone made twenty years ago, and will remake in a couple years, but it takes place in a forest. So that's what makes it worth seeing." In other words, I realized I took a Wrong Turn when I noticed the same recurring landmarks over and over and over. Or, in this case, plot lines.