Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jason goes to Holehead--day 5

A couple of movies last night, let's get right into it.

"Wicked Lake" started with two of my favorite things--tits! A nude model is posing in an art class. Most of the class is digging it, except for painfully shy (and painfully pink poofy shirt-wearing) Caleb. Caleb walks her home, and gets thiiiiis close to actually touching her boob, before they're interrupted by her roommate. So he goes home to be beaten by his psychotic brothers and father (think the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" family), and she goes to lez out with her three roommates. Later the four girls take a trip to a remote cabin on a lake. On the way, they have a run-in with some disgusting rednecks (one unashamedly masturbating to them in the truck stop). Meanwhile, they drop all sorts of hints that they're actually witches. That night, as they're settled into the cabin, they're suddenly interrupted by...Caleb and his psychotic inbred redneck family. At this point, I'm thinking 'Witches vs. psycho rednecks! This could be the greatest thing ever!' And then a strange thing happened. Slowly, the whole thing started to go flat. Yeah, the rednecks torture the witches until midnight, when the tide turns and they get their comeuppance. More rednecks show up, cops show up, and there's lots of blood and more boobie shots. But scenes started to drag. Everything was telegraphed 10 minutes in advance, and seemed to take 20 minutes to get there. And the cinematography went to hell, as the night scenes just weren't lit well enough to see anything. And frankly, every time they switched to the cops I just lost interest (even when the one cop turned out to be a psycho pervert freak). It's like the first half of the movie was shot, directed, and edited by a different (and more talented) person than the second half. I can't remember a movie where I liked it so much pretty well into the movie and ended up so disappointed. But at least there were enough tits to keep me watching to the end.

The next show started with a short, "Zombie Gets a Date". A quick little short about how awkward it is having dinner with a zombie. For example, instead of salad, they want braiiiins!

Then the feature was an ultra low-budget near hit, "The Vanguard". In a dystopian future, when we've run out of oil and overpopulation threatens our survival, scientists implemented a controversial plan of "depopulation" (i.e., mass killings of "undesirables"). But something went wrong, and the drug that was supposed to kill them off instead made them bloodthirsty zombies called "biosyns". One survivor, a loner named Max lives in the wilderness outside the safe zones. Soldiers--culled from the prison population--are sent on search and destroy missions against the biosyns, and possibly Max. One of the soldiers removes his control chip and goes rogue. And well, I don't want to give anything away. I call this a "near hit" because I liked the setup, I liked the political allegory, and I loved the ending (and would love to see the sequel). Unfortunately it just suffered from the low budget look (and sound) and a middle that tended to drag on. There were great ideas here, but a lot was lost due to my inability to suspend belief and see past the fact that it's just a bunch of guys running around in the woods (and one girl...like "Summer Scars" and "Homeworld"...this is a festival theme). As a cinephile, of course I rail against pointless remakes. But this is an example of when a remake--with a budget--is totally warranted. Great ideas, poor execution, possibly not the filmmaker's fault. So try again, with a little more professional production.

And that was Monday at Holehead. I'm in the final stretch now.

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