Holy crap, it’s Day 300! Honestly, I doubted I would get this far.
I know today is supposed to be Kid’s Film Friday, but the scariest flick in the Children section on Netflix was Cop and a Half. I love you Burt Reynolds, but not that much. I’ve gone for something a bit more festive today instead.
This is why I’m single.
A guy in a mining helmet murderises his way through a small town in Patrick Lussier’s first delve into 3D before the mad triumph that was Drive Angry.
00:00 I’m liking these headlines. They really embrace the 3D the way it should be done. I can tell this isn’t going to be “Ooh, look at the depth of the scenery”, it’s going to be “Aah! Shit keeps flying right at me!” Bring it on, Paddy.
00:02 Wow, she must be the most observant nurse in history. Turn around dammit!
00:03 This isn’t a film, it’s a special effects showreel. That is some magnificent carnage, by the way. Well done, Mr Gary J. Tunnicliffe. You and the set decorators must have had an absolute ball on this picture.
00:04 Hey, it’s that guy! Sheriff Burke is the same actor who played the Marshall chasing Nicolas Cage in Drive Angry. His name’s Tom Atkins, and he’s a bit of a genre legend.
00:05 And we cut to a bunch of “teens” having a party in an abandoned mine. Do these idiots not realise they’re living in a horror flick? And why is Dean Winchester driving a pick-up? Where’s the Impala?
00:06 I’m going to be paying extra attention looking out for co-writer Todd Farmer’s inevitable cameo, being murdered in some wonderfully gory fashion.
00:08 Yeah, that was a cheap fake jump scare, kid. Must try hard– OH NICE! That’s it, decision made. I’m going out to get this flick in 3D.
00:09 Shit, he’s just killed everybody already. How are they going to stretch this out for another 90 minutes?
00:12 That was one damn strong windscreen.
00:13 Come on Dean, it’s not like you to go wandering about in the dark without at least a few guns. Never mind, your back-up’s here. And it’s the old geezers.
00:15 Wait, what? Ten years later?
00:16 I SAW THAT LOOK! Methinks the new Sheriff is playing away from home. You know what that means, don’t you? The chances of him and that little hotty making it to the end credits are somewhere between slim and none, and Slim just left town. On the plus side, Edi Gathegi will definitely not be reprising his role from X-Men: First Class (as Black Guy Who Dies First) due to the prologue’s impressive body count.
00:18 Well there’s a twist. Come on, Sheriff. If you’re going to cheat on your wife (though if you’re married to Jamie King I can’t understand why you would want to) at least have the sense to wear a raincoat. Rookie mistake.
00:19 Dean’s back in town, looking all rugged and scowly.
00:22 Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Todd Farmer. You can tell he wrote the flick, because he’s being straddled by a naked lady. Funnily enough, that’s how his character was introduced in Drive Angry too, which he also wrote. He’ll be dead within five minutes. Guaranteed.
00:24 There is a woman wearing nothing but stripper heels walking through a motel parking lot, with a gun in her hand. She looks good though.
00:25 Told ya! Hell, it wasn’t even five minutes. Bet you wish that gun was loaded now, eh girl?
00:28 “What do you want?!” says the naked lady (yep, she’s still naked). I think he wants to kill you, dear. I mean that’s just a wild guess, but there is some evidence to support my hypothesis…
00:29 …Like the fact that you are now dead.
00:34 It’s geezer time! Dean just got suckerpunched by a ninety-year-old man. That wouldn’t have happened if Sammy had been there to watch his back, instead of being off doing his own horror remake.
00:38 Yes, I know this is a quicky horror flick, but it actually has quite a decent cast (mostly), and the characters are reasonably well-drawn. It’s not bad, by any means. Tonally, it’s all over the place though; small-town drama to gore-fest and back every ten minutes.
00:39 Why does everybody keep asking Dean where he’s been for the last ten years? Do they not get The CW in this town?
00:40 Say hi to character actor extraordinaire Marc Macauley, and his lustrous Moustache of Power! You may not know the name (in fact, unless you’re me or part of his immediate family you almost definitely don’t) but you will recognise that moustache.
00:41 These tunnel sets are decent, I have to say. They really set a mood of claustrophobia and impending doom*. Going by my aforementioned Ten Minute Rule, it’ll soon be time for another mini-massacre. Stay tuned folks…
00:41 (still) Come on, Netflix. Quit screwing around and just play the movie.
00:42 That’s a nice shot. It sort of spoils the whole red herring mystery bit, but damn that is a nice shot. Dean and The Killer, face to face through the cage. Applause, applause Mr Lussier.
00:44 Shit, the big guy’s got El Asesino on the ropes. But with almost an hour of the movie left, I’m inclined to think the tide may turn soon enough.
00:44 (and a half) Yep.
00:44 (and two thirds) Jaws Zoom! I’d love to see how that comes out in 3D**
00:45 Asked about the man who has just been hit in the head and chest a dozen times with a pickaxe: “Is he dead?” Is it stupid question day?
00:47 “You mean my wife, Sarah? Who lives in my house? Mother of my son? Who I share a bed with? WHO I HAVE SEX WITH?!” Yeah, I think that last one pretty much goes without saying at this point. No need to rub it in, dickhead.
00:48 Ooh, revelation time. So the town fathers took it upon themselves to kill the mass murderer and cover it up, vigilante-style. I could swear I’ve heard that one before…
00:49 And the grave is empty. Sorry, Dean. No bones for you to burn.
00:51 Dean’s change of heart (Geddit? Cos it’s Valentine’s Day?!) has been somewhat clumsily handled. He was all fired-up to sell the mine and clear off out of town again, and now he’s talking about staying on after only two brief conversations with Jamie King… Actually, never mind. It makes perfect sense.
00:52 The identity of the killer could still go either way. It could be Harry, the unkillable boogeyman, or it could be a copycat. At this point, I’m not placing any bets one way or t’other.
00:54 I understand that you’re in a horror flick, Dean, but why are you going back to the mine alone after dark? Does the phrase “asking for trouble” mean nothing to you?
00:55 The score is nothing you haven’t heard in a thousand other slasher flicks. Clichéd as all hell, but still moderately effective for what it is.
00:57 Even though I saw that death scene coming a mile away, it was easily the most cringeworthy one yet. Drawn out and unsettling, with a real punch at the end.
00:58 Do all those crime scene photos really need to be up on the wall like that? It makes you wonder if the Harmony Police Dept just can’t afford a filing cabinet.
00:59 Ben is but a shell of a man. (Sorry, I couldn’t let that one go.)
01:02 “There’s nobody here”. Things not to say in a horror movie #34
01:03 That’s the second time someone’s gone for the old running stumble.
01:04 Three to one, she drops those keys.
01:05 (I’m glad no-one took that bet)
01:09 Once again, it’s Old Geezer to the rescue. Is the kid still alive, I wonder?
01:10 Hang on, how does Geezer know that the killer is in the house…? I smell a rat. Or maybe it’s just a plot hole.
01:12 Nice one! Gary J. Tunnicliffe, you have just outdone yourself.
01:12 (and four fifths) Twice!! Shame about Geezer, but that was a sweet 3D death.
01:15 It’s a red herring duel! Dean says that Sheriff is up to no good, while Sheriff is saying that Dean has been in the funny farm for the last seven years (but we know the truth, don’t we?)
01:17 Lussier and his cinematographer Brian Pearson are really embracing the “throw everything we can think of straight at the camera” philosophy of 3D filmmaking. While the Cameron school of thought does have its merits, this way is definitely more fun.
01:18 The Guess the Killer angle is working quite well too. I think Scream was the last flick to really pull that trick off. The suspect pool isn’t huge, but they’re keeping you guessing.
01:22 We’re down to the Final Girl chase scene. It’s Jamie King against Mr Pickaxe in today’s deathmatch down in the mines.
01:25 Sheriff is going for the double bluff. I honestly don’t know which way this is going to go; Dean or Sheriff. There could still be a third option though.
01:27 That was a neat little fake-out, but the answer is… You know what? I’m not going to do that to you.
01:30 So while these two are battling to the death with an assortment of sharp hand tools, Jamie King is what, doing her nails? She is lovely and all, but seems to be about as useful as a chocolate fireguard when it comes to a gunfight.
01:34 Holy shit! It’s the end of the movie and the black dude’s still alive! That wasn’t meant to be as facetious as it sounds. Incidentally, facetious is the only word in the English language to feature all five vowels in correct alphabetical order.
So, that was My Bloody Valentine redux. I have to admit, I’ve never had the pleasure of the original version so I was about as far from precious about it as it’s possible to get. That was a lot of fun though. If this trend for dipping into the vaults continues, I hope it’s Lussier and Farmer that take the lead instead of Platinum Dunes.
*Wikipedia says it’s a real mine. My bad.
**Film geek moment.