Sunday, April 17, 2011
Written by Hasso Wuerslin
Directed by David Giancola
Starring John James, Michael Pare, Morgan Fairchild (?!), Eustice
About three years ago, during a big Dynasty-watching kick, I went on a somewhat-typical trip to the IMDB and looked through the filmographies of some of our favorite actors to add some of their works to THE QUEUE.
About two weeks ago, this gem arrived in our house. In it, a man escapes from a low-security psychological ward and goes on a murderous rampage. That rampage intersects with the family of an electrician whose leg will expire in six months.
the first 20 minutes of this movie are horrifically terrible/awesome. so bad and yet so right. the rest of the movie is not really worth watching. this was put on the queue because of the co-star of jeff colby from "dynasty" and let me just tell you he acted the shit out of this movie. morgan fairchild deserves a shout out too for her spectacular rendition of matriarch. unfortunately, it gets old real quick. every choice made in this plot didn't make any logical sense. moster kept yelling at the screen "why doesn't she just___!!!" i got so annoyed at the frequency of his outbursts that he promised to stop. at least three different times. it's true. she had several chances to escape her abductor, stab her abductor, drive away from her abductor. and jeff colby who was stuck in a drainage pipe with his bad knees couldn't stand up, which also apparently means sit up, but by the time of his release (approximately 3 hours after his fall) despite the lack of cartilage in his knee joints was not only able to stand, but run. we also decided the part he fell into must have been 6' 2" because he's 6' 1", hence his inability to escape.
lastly, this movie was filmed in or around the year of 2000, but had the production quality and look of a movie from 1983. i kept having to remind myself of this. lastly, lastly the thought crossed my mind that perhaps this was made for lifetime, but being a semi-professional in this field, i realized that this was too poor to be a lifetime movie, and that's saying something.
Whoo. This movie alternated between being entertainingly terrible and head-smackingly frustrating. During its 90-minute runtime I must have made ten promises to stop yelling at the screen.
Starting with the opening scenes in what we first thought to be an exceedingly poorly-staffed medical hospital (which was revealed to be an even more-poorly-staffed mental hospital) this thing was ridiculous. This dude on crutches is terrorizing the three staff in the place; and then Unnamed Doctor #1 gets the drop on him, hits him with a crutch once, and runs away. This allows the patient to escape...and no longer need the crutches. Throughout the film, Dr. Cooze Man (the man "in charge of" the hospital) character makes it clear that the words "psychological" and "consultant" never coalesced anywhere within a hundred miles of the producers.
The other plot is similarly stupid. This couple have fallen on hard times. The husband, an electrician who can't learn to do anything else, because "I'm an electrician, damnit!" has damaged his leg in such a way that he lost his job and all medical benefits. This leg is usable when required to move the plot. But that isn't too often because he's at the bottom of a well for the majority of the movie. And this is an excellent choice, because it allows him to use his frog-face to emote--which is John James's specialty--when the editor remembers to cut back to him, which decreases in frequency as the movie continues.
"How does a gimpy electrician get to the bottom of a well?" I hear you ask. Well, you see, "Uncle Tom" stole a bunch of money and was so wracked with guilt that he killed himself. Of course, he left a map to the money which their daughter, Eustice, thought he didn't steal. Since the electrician can't work and his wife's only function is to place mugs with pictures of huskies on alternating sides of the sink they can afford neither mortgage nor leg surgery. So the husband and wife follow this extremely convoluted map to the only culvert within 20 miles, and the leg re-gimps itself at exactly the wrong time and he falls down the hole.
(Oh, yeah. In a news telecast which doesn't mention the new murderer at all we learn that the town is about to open a dam which will raise the river by forty-six feet. So they have two hours to get the money).
When the wife goes to get help, she discovers that the keys are locked in the car; and the first driver to offer assistance on the side of the road is the serial killer. You can figure out most of the remaining minutes, and what you can't would only frustrate you. To the point of fucking suicide.
Shitty script. Dumb, poorly-acted characters. Fat-fingered direction. Production value that makes a 2001 movie look like a 1985 movie. Potentially good times.
Just be drunk or high when you watch this and you'll be fine.