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The Hills Run Red (2009)

tn_hillsrunredTHE HILLS RUN RED probly isn’t a new classic, but I think it’s a solid DTV horror and a good take on the “meta-slasher” sub-subgenre that includes SCREAM and my unfavorite BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF etc. etc. This is another one about people making a documentary, but thank the Lord Christ it’s not presented as a documentary. Tyler (Tad Hilgenbrink, some guy from DISASTER MOVIE) is a film school nerd obsessed with a 1982 slasher movie called THE HILLS RUN RED (wait a minute… that’s what this movie is called! what on earth is going on here?). It was supposedly so horrifying it was pulled from release. The director and all prints of the movie have been missing for over 20 years.

mp_hillsrunredSo this nerd is working on a documentary about the movie. He tracks down the missing director’s daughter Alexa (Sophia Monk, who in some scenes looks eerily like a young Charlize Theron) and along with his girlfriend and best friend (who he doesn’t know are fucking each other) they take a trip to the original filming locations and interview locals about the legends they heard, like that they used real blood from a slaughterhouse in the movie. Meanwhile, somebody seems to be stalking them dressed as the movie’s killer “Babyface” (not to be confused with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, the singer and writer/producer for Bobby Brown, Paula Abdul and TLC. Or at least if it is supposed to be the same guy it’s not made clear enough in my opinion).

And things escalate from there. It pulls the carpet out from under the knowitall horror geeks by showing that some parts of the movie-within-the-movie are more real than they thought, and that some of what they think they know about the behind-the-scenes is bullshit. Everything they know comes into question, and they have to sort through what’s real, what’s legend, what’s screenplay. And this is one case where knowing everything could save their lives. It’s not just IMDb trivia anymore.

William Sadler makes a special appearance as the missing director. Things don’t end happily (SPOILER). I think this might be the first movie from the Dark Castle production company that I liked. It’s also released by the Warner Premiere label, which gives me more faith in DTV horror. This is definitely better than many theatrically released horror movies of the past several years.

Not everything feels right. Tyler doesn’t really come off as an authentic horror buff to me, despite his cool movie poster collection. It’s also laughable when he tries to be tough, like in the absurd sequence where he ties Alexa to her bed and helps her kick heroin and coke through the course of a single montage. Even the name of the director seems kind of forced: Wilson Wyler Concannon. I don’t know why that bugs me, but how bout something that sounds good? Yeah, I know, William Wyler, I get it. Whatever dude. Do better next time. Also, don’t name the kid’s best friend after Lalo Schifrin. It’s too distracting.

But overall this is an enjoyable movie with an understanding of slasher cliches and how to tweak them. It points some of them out and then violates them. For example, in this slasher movie people do try to protect themselves with guns (and slashers use them too). The car engines work and the cell phones don’t lose reception. Unlike most modern horror there are lots of boobs shown, and sex and drugs don’t seem to relate to who dies and who doesn’t. There’s a play on different horror cycles, with an older killer interested in slashing and a younger one more into “torture porn.”

Hell, they even use that limited-perspective-scare trick we were talking about in the [REC] comments. Tyler is taping at a camp site at night and he has headphones on. He notices he can hear rustling in the woods, because the mic is picking it up. So he points the camera into the woods, and through it you can’t see anything but you can hear something. Probly not half as scary as [REC] for those of you who liked that one, but it got me a little. Since the movie only very briefly uses documentary style maybe this is closer to the great use of blurry helmetcam footage in ALIENS than to [REC]. But we could also read it as a nod to that type of modern horror.

These aren’t really in-jokes, because it’s not jokey, and they’re not exactly references, because they don’t point to specific movies. They are meta though, because they’re referring to the traditions and cliches of the genre. But the reason it works is becasue the meta shit is just a bonus, not the main content. I think Babyface (again, not necessarily the same guy who wrote Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love To You”) is the best of the new batch of wannabe Jasons. According to the movie within the movie he’s an inbred who sliced off his own face as a kid and sewed on a doll face. Now he’s grown that way so he looks kind of like the doll from DEEP RED but with an exposed lower jaw. It’s a creepy look and there’s a cool little surprise with the character that works as a shock and leaves you with some questions, in a good way.

The director, Dave Parker, did that movie THE DEAD HATE THE LIVING!, which makes me more curious about that one. The writers were John Carchietta (LATE FEE – see below) and John Dombrow, re-written by David J. Schow (THE CROW, TEXAS CHAINSAW 3 and remake prequel).

There’s so many low budget horror movies coming out these days it’s hard to really know which ones are worth trying out. I was curious about this one after reading about it in Fangoria, but those things don’t always turn out so well. Other new ones I sampled recently were WRONG TURN 3 (mildly amusing) and LATE FEE (clever idea for structure, otherwise horrible, had to fast forward through parts). But Drew McWeeny wrote some nice things about this one and I don’t remember him freaking out about HATCHET or LESLIE VERNON so I gave it a shot, and I’m glad I did. Let me know what you guys think if you rent it.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 23rd, 2009 at 10:55 pm and is filed under Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

55 Responses to “The Hills Run Red (2009)”

  1. It’s difficult to tell from the picture above, but the baby mask is reminiscent of those freaky masks in BRAZIL. In a movie full of disquieting and strange imagery, it was those masks that freaked me out the most, probably because the men wearing them went about their “work” as if it was the most mundane thing imaginable.

  2. Nods and laughter about Babyface. I was going to make some crack about the killer in this movie having “Whip Appeal”, but that made me stop and wonder: has there been a slasher movie where the killer used a whip against his victims? I’m far from well-versed in slashers, other than the basics you mentioned in your recommendation column, but one thing that will perk me up is if bizarre or at least less-conventional implements are used as weapons by either the killer or the victims. Whips don’t exactly “slash”, but do something with a chain and hook, a la HELLRAISER, and you may have something. How about a killer yo-yo expert? He learned everything he knows from Tommy Smothers and went berzerk when the Smothers Brothers show was canceled back in the 60s? I’m sure this is all well-trod ground, but enlighten me, talkbackers.

    Babyface says, “It’s No Crime” to watch THE HILLS RUN RED!

  3. You’re right, whips don’t “slash,” they “lash.” So there’s the next wave of horror: the lasher film.

    MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN would be a basher film.

    I seem to remember some Italian horror with whips. I forget which ones.

  4. “The Dead Hate The Living” is pretty bad and amateurish, although I love the last shot in it. (But it also means that the movie stops when it gets interesting.)
    I read a while ago in an interview that the director had to cut 15 minutes of violence out of “The Hills Run Red” and Warner said that they will because of that never release an unrated version/director’s cut. Don’t know what to think of that. It sounds also like advertising bullshit to me. (“See the film, that was so controversial…”)

  5. The Whip and the Body?

  6. Vern – this kinda reads like a not-quite-rip-off of Cut – the *awesome* Australian horror which also uses the meta-movie device. And Sophie Monk is Australian. Coincidence? I think not.

  7. Haven’t seen this one, but I do remember seeing the cover. At first glance and not knowing any better, I passed this off as another sequel to the Hills Have Eyes. But with this recommendation and Mori’s, I think i’ll give it a chance. Its weird, I also read a review of this not too before reading yours on another site called Film School Rejects.

    Imagine if Babyface really was the killer though, and the movie picks up after where he disappeared being behind the scenes as well. Haven’t seen him in much after the whole 90’s era, so this could probably explain that. It would only make sense that after all that he has done in the business singing songs about love and loneliness he’d wanna kill somebody at some point. What happens when the “Water runs dry?” “The Hills Run Red”

    And yes, there was a slasher movie with a whip. It was called Passion of the Christ.

  8. After seeing how much of a lunatic he was in Public Enemies, someones should make a horror movie about the ghost of Babyface Nelson killing people at a bank. There’s a few interesting kills you could have, like someone being caught in the vault door closing on them, of someone being forcefed bags of pennies so they choke to death on them, stabbed in the eye with the desk pens (though he’d have to make sure they were at the desk since those babies are stuck to the things by chains, though if it was long enough, I suppose you could choke them with that too.).
    But speaking of weapons, do guns have much of a place as horror villain weapons? I know they’re a bit too easy, but with things like people going postal and random sniper rampages, there’s a lot of fear in the potential of being killed in an instant, and they can be rather messy and utilised for gory kills. Or maybe have a killer who kills people with a gun indirectly? Like shoot them in the ankle as they’re running away, so they stumble and fall on a pitchfork, or shoot a cable holding a lightning fixture up, so it falls down on top of them?

  9. Holy shit, when I just re-read your review and reached the part about the cliches and how the movie points them out and violates them, I suddenly remembered a made for TV movie from 10 years ago named “Monster!”. M. Emmet Walsh plays an old horror movie star who has to kill every year (or so. At least on a regular basis) a monster from one of his old movies. And because the monster comes from an old B-movie, it lives by the rules of these movies.


    Which means that it first kills a dog, then a young couple that has sex in the woods and so on. And all this pointing out/making fun/paying hommage to these classic b-movie rules features one of my faovurite pieces of dialogue ever!


    Walsh and his son (? Can’t remember. It’s been too long.) fight the monster and it looks like they have finally killed it. But then Walsh points out: “It’s not dead yet. I don’t hear any police sirens. The police never arrives before the monster is dead.” And of course the monster then pops up again.

    END OF SPOILER!!!!!!

    Like I said, it’s made for TV and therefore is pretty tame and has bad CGI Effects, but I remember that I was really entertained by it. It’s a miracle that Joe Dante had nothing to do with it. (It was produced by Robert Duncan “Lt. Tom Paris” McNeill and directed by John Lafia of “Child’s Play 2” fame.)

  10. I have to agree with you on this one. It’s not perfect, but it was very entertaining and for the most part it worked for me. It’s one of the better horror movies I’ve seen this year and I’ll probably end up buying it.

  11. I caught this one without any fanfare and I think one of the reasons I liked it so much is because I was just gonna give it five minutes to see how badly it sucked and call it a day. I had written this one off just by seeing the DVD box in a sea of crap DTV horror. Shame on me. Now how come this one just slipped out without anyone saying anything. I had people telling me that Midnight Movie was awesome for months and now I’ll never listen to those people about a horror movie ever again. No one made a peep about this and here it goes being pretty good.

  12. I still like Hatchet. It’s deeply, deeply flawed but the energy and passion of the cast and crew makes it a good time. And at least they had the balls to A) Be original and B) be a straight-ahead slasher movie without any meta or post-ironic shit. Yeah, there’s a bunch of unfunny jokes, but its the old school kind of comic relief instead of some Epic Movie bullshit. So I think at the end of the day I can call it a good movie and not have to feel to bad about it. Vern was right in his review about the music though, it does suck.

  13. I found it to be an effective riff on the slasher genre, but otherwise as a whole, it left me extremely unsatisfied. I had watched this film before I read that Drew liked it. And while I don’t always agree with Drew, I find more often than not, we have similar tastes. So I thought about why I didn’t like this and came up with the following.

    I too have a distinct love of DTV action movies and probably spend an equal amount of time watching them as I do watching “quality” films. I also watch an inordinate amount of DTV horror films and low budget horror films. So I am not sure why, but this film missed for me. Maybe because I still long for those days when you cared about a person, any person in the cast. I know that is not exactly a staple of the slasher genre, but Scream pulled it off. Texas Chainsaw Massacre pulled it off. Halloween pulled it off. Hell, even Bob Clark managed to generate some empathy in Black Christmas.

    With some of the advancements in genre film these days, like comic book movies suddenly having a strong narrative spine, I still hold out for an approach that makes me care about the characters.

    So in this film, the only reason I can think of that it missed for me was there was no heart, no soul to it beyond playing very well within the conventions of a slasher film. The main character was such a douchebag that it made me somewhat nauseous that he actually got what he wanted. Part of the buildup and my love for a film like The Hitcher (another film where I cared about the characters) was C. Thomas Howell being forced to become something he didn’t want to become. This fucking kid got exactly what he wanted all along. That kind of “Please don’t throw me in the briar patch” sentiment, I found annoying in this film just because the kid was just that damn douchey.

    Anyway, I know this is more thought than should have gone into a film like this, but hey, it happens.

  14. This is showing tomorrow night in the Irish Film Institute, as part of the Horrorthon weekend, in case anyone’s in Dublin and fancies checking it out. BLACK DYNAMITE was on last night and hopefully did well.

  15. I liked this well enough but I have to say I liked Wrong Turn 3 more. re:Italian horror with a whip, The Night Evelan Came Out Of Her Grave?

  16. Awesome. I just watched this last night. I disagree with Vern. I didn’t like it that much. It starts off great but when the credits end, it’s pretty boring. There is something not real scary about these films (and Masters of Horror eps) about lost movies and the search for them that never seems to ring true.

    I would also disagree that the film is a slasher film. While they talk about slasher film tropes and the film within the film is definitely a slasher, this movie is not. Unless you’re one of those people that thinks Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a slasher film too (which it’s not). I did like they attempted to get us to care about the characters but all the character moments came too early and too short.

    I thought Sophie Monk reminded me of Geena Davis actually.

    Oh man my hate of Hatchet is pretty “legendary” (if you read the Dread Central boards and realize I was talked about twice on their podcast without being mentioned by name) because the hype was overkill, the movie was terrible, and Adam Greene is buddies with most “journalists” in the horror community. Which is ironic considering I happen to think Spiral is pretty fucking great and I can’t wait for his next movie about the stranded skiiers.

    Point is, The Hills Run Red gets a thumbs down from me.

  17. Oh and even though Joe Lynch is also friends with everybody in the horror community, Wrong Turn 2 is pretty great.

  18. I think Hatchet is pretty okay, if overhyped. All of the characters are retards, but I like Kane Hodder’s performance (the way he moves is just so much more brutal than anybody else) and the gore effects by John Carl Buechler were great, particularly the part where somebody’s head gets ripped open like a Pez dispenser and their cheeks stretch and snap like mozzarella. That’s the kind of showstopper that the Friday the 13th remake needed.

  19. I actually really don’t like that kill because of how it’s directed. Instead of giving you a master jolt, they instead do some annoying film school shit by swooping the camera around the head. All I kept thinking was “cool effect” instead of “holy fuck balls” That’s never appropriate in a slasher film, imo.

  20. I disagree. A lot of slasher movies function merely as showcases for gore effects, starting with the first Friday the 13th. It’s what makes them more fun than so-called torture porn because you are fully aware that you’re just looking at latex and karo syrup rather than legitimate human suffering. Besides, at that point in Hatchet, after wink-wink-nudge-nudge cameos by Candyman and Freddy, all chance of being legitimately shocked was well and truly gone. All they wanted to do was dazzle with a self-conscious display of FX virtuosity, and that they did, in my opinion.

  21. Dead Hate The Living was terrible. Acting, pacing, writing, directing…all awful. Hatchet wasn’t perfect, but at least it was fun. I’ll check this out, though. Been hearing good things. Nice one, Vern.

  22. Ok , I’m officially sick with the horny teens fucking/cheating cliché , I’ve had enough . I’m also sick of the pranksters and stoners cliché . Last week I’ve seen “Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane” and “Day of the Dead : Remade ” and both have the kids fucking/cheating and generally doing extra-stupid things . Outbreak on a Plane is even worse because almost every single female character is a horny sexual fiend or a total bitch . We don’t need this stereotype in EVERY movie , even in horror movies this is only needed in the more fun-oriented slasher movies , like the Fridays . Look at Alien , The Thing or Dawn of the Dead , 3 of the best horror movies ever made ( and 3 completely different movies ) : no stupid kids . Nowadays it seems that , to give a movie , every kind of movie , an “edge” , the horny teens are a necessity . Michael Bay is secretly ashamed of doing a giant robots movie , so instead the REAL story is about an horny teen with his horny dog , and Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem is completely without badass characters ( a staple of both the original movies ) , but full of teens . These guys , well , they don’t know what to do with the material they’re given .

  23. I’m sick of horror movies about young people who go on camping trips together even though they obviously hate each other and have nothing in common. Why should we care about them if they don’t even care about each other?

  24. On the other end , yesterday I’ve seen Beyond Re-Animator , and you know the story with Dr. West : he’s doing his experiments , people die , re-animated parts , test subjects and “zombies” everywhere . This one is enjoyable , and the setting is a prison , a first in the Re-Animator movies . (SPOILERS) Well , during the end credits there’s a fight between The Warden’s Dick and a lab rat . Repeat this for a few seconds : Rat vs Penis.I’ve never seen something like that . I was drinking a coke and I almost choked to death while laughing , then I re-watched that shit 3 times yesterday and a couple more today . This is an accomplishment for a cheap HORROR B-movie : entertain you and threatening your very life . That’s what I want to see , not stupid teens .

  25. Mr. Majestyk : Then you will hate Outbreak on a Plane . Two teen couples , the girlfriend of one couple is secretly fucking the boy from the other couple , obviously the best friend of the boy from couple number one . The two girls hate each other so much , that there’s a fight between them during the flight , before the outbreak . What really pisses me off is that it’s just the 4 of them on vacation , no prankster or party animal character , no nerd or other stereotypes , just this 4 mental giants . Why they’re even traveling together ?

  26. Oh …My.. God …..Photographic evidence of MAD MAX: FURY ROAD over at AICN !!!! Yes , thank you God , Holy Harley Davidson , thank you !!! Thank you Odin , Thank you Cthulhu and Thank you Crom !!!

  27. I hear you MDM. Weirdly enough the cheating girlfriend and the junkie (and worse) are more sympathetic than the relatively innocent protagonist. I also prefer ones where you like the characters (like Laurie in HALLOWEEN). It’s more the ideas and the bad guys that I like, kind of like HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES I guess. The protagonists are a weak spot.

    That said, they’re less obnoxious than in some movies, like somebody mentioned WRONG TURN 2. I mean that one was kind of amusing because of all the ridiculous CGI kills. Definitely more memorable than the first one. But I hated the characters, especially the douchebag director in the Battle Royale shirt who was obviously supposed to be a stand-in for the actual director and therefore made me hate him even though, unlike everybody at Chud, I don’t know him.

  28. I don’t know, sometime when they make the characters really, really sympathetic it takes some of the fun out of watching a slasher movie. I don’t know, I can’t really stand the crying and begging in movies, which is weird, because I do love horror and slasher movies, but when characters are helpless and pleading for their lives it just loses me. Kind of like rape scenes. I can watch movies with ‘serious’ violence and whatnot, but when they put in a rape scene I honestly think they ruin the movies. I don’t understand why I have that line, but I do. Hope I’m not alone in that.
    The point I guess, is sometimes putting assholes as your victims can still leave you with a good movie.

  29. “…when they put in a rape scene I honestly think they ruin the movies. I don’t understand why I have that line…”

    Probably means you’re not a psychopath and you don’t hate women. Well, we all have our faults as human beings.

  30. Brendan – Do you draw a distinctions between the rape scenes in films? BLUE VELVET, FOXY BROWN, THRILLER – these bothered me, but I didn’t find them exploitative. IRREVERSIBLE, on the other hand, offended me. I’m not sure I can articulate why.

    Obviously there’s no wrong answer, just curious.

  31. I think when a filmmaker throws in a rape scene to either A) shock and offend you (Irreversible) or B) to try to make someone seem like a scumbag without actually working on things like charcaterization or a good performance (Halloween Rob Zombie Director’s Cut) or C) comedic effect (Crank, High Plains Drifter, kindof) that’s when they lose me. I mean, in Blue Velvet, wasn’t the victim a sex slave, and the whole point was trying to save her (haven’t see the movie in forever).

    And frankbooth, thanks, that’s nice of you to say, but what confuses me is that I can watch Violence against women, and while it is usually nastier and instantly makes me hate whoever inflicted said violence, I can stomach it, even get over it (see Steve McQueen smack Ali McGraw around in The Getaway, it’s a brutal moment, but he manages to redeem himself over the course of the movie) btu rape, I don’t know. I think it ties into the begging thing I mentioned again, the helplessness and all. I just don’t want to seem like a hypocrite when I talk about horror and thrillers and stuff, telling people they’re to thin-skinned to appreciate movies I like, while at the same time having moral outrage at some other thing that doens’t bother people to watch.

  32. I just realized that we’re talking about rape, BLUE VELVET, and a member of the conversation named Frank Booth is reassuring us that we’re not psychopaths. That’s the internet for you.

    I think you’re right about IRREVERSIBLE: there’s nothing resembling a character in that movie, just a bunch of easy gestures. The scenes have the depth of Halmark cards. And that rape scene is just so much overkill.

    Now that I think about it, the use of rape as a form of character shorthand is more common than I earlier thought. A Whole bunch of Asian ghost movies rely on gang rape as a catalyst for a vengeful ghost. There’s got to be a better way to make these films.

  33. I’ve struggled with that before. I got a problem with rape scenes in movies too, which makes perfect sense unless you consider that my favorite types of movies have high body counts. Why am I okay with fake murder and not fake rape? I don’t exactly know. In a weird way I kind of think the most justifiable rape scenes are in revenge movies like I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE and LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT where the whole point of the movie is about the horribleness of the rape and the quest to avenge it. But I still have a hard time watching those and recommending them to anyone.

  34. I think the difference between Killing and rape in fiction is that murder has an almost instant consequence on the victim, then it’s over, whereas rape has a longer lasting effect. Killing can also have a multitude of motivations and effects, some of which CAN be positive, but nothing positive ever motivates or comes from rape. Though isn’t it weird that when it’s a man being raped, it’s often played off as not so bad, or even FUNNY? Especially when the joke is being raped in prison, or by an an animal (see the gorilla at the end of Trading Places in the cage with the hired goon dressed up as a fellow ape). And in the film 40 Days and 40 Nights, Josh Hartnett’s character is raped by his ex-girlfriend and has to APOLOGISE for it!

  35. Not to mention the millions of movies that play the Banjo melody from Deliverance during or after a male-rape joke. WTF is up with that?

  36. I’m pretty sick of Deliverance references altogether. Who the hell are these screenwriters who think that joke is still funny?

  37. I disagree with Mr. Majestik. Yes, slasher movies are a showcase for gore effects. The difference between the gore effects in F13 and that scene in Hatchet is how it’s filmed. One of the reasons why slasher films work for many people is because the violence is presented in a “realistic” fashion. When you start doing fancy camera tricks in addition to the gore, it takes away from the reality of the situation. It then loses its intended effect.

  38. I don’t think it was a fancy camera trick. They just circled the effect so that you could see it from all sides in one shot. Most effects can’t be shown from every angle because of tubes, wires, etc., but this one was so well done that you could do a 360 on it and it still worked. They were showing off the effect, not the camerawork.

  39. It’s still a fancy camera trick and it still takes one out of the movie completely.

    Also, since when did knowing the cast and crew had a great time making a film excuse a film from being horrible?

  40. Here is the slasher recommendation I’m going to give. It’s called Intruder and it’s the best example that you can have all the neat camera tricks in the world but you don’t use it during the gore scenes.

  41. I guess we just wanted different things out of Hatchet. I was never “in” the movie to begin with. It’s a completely self-conscious slasher homage that can’t be taken seriously for a single second, so I liked that they were basically just like “Here is our awesome gore effect. Cool, huh?” It’s the equivalent of a cheesy guitar solo: awesome if you like that sort of thing, self-indulgent and annoying if you don’t.

    But to show that we have some common ground, Laurence, I actually recommended Intruder in an earlier thread because of its abundance of different cams. My favorite was rotary phone cam.

  42. Have you guys seen From Dusk Till Dawn 2? Same director, and that’s the main thing I remember about it too is all the gimmicky POV shots. My favorite was the oscillating fan POV.

  43. I’ll never forget fan cam.

    The director is one of Sam Raimi’s buddies from his Detroit days, Scott Spiegel. He and mutual friend Josh Becker (Running Time, Thou Shalt Not Kill…Except) always seem to be trying to out-Raimi Raimi in terms of crazy camera calisthenics, but they’re so self-conscious about that it ends up being funny. They have ideas for “cool” shots, but they have no impact because they’re just visual novelties, whereas Raimi’s shots induct you into a strange dreamworld where you can’t quite trust your eyes. There’s a purpose to it beyond just showing off.

    That said, I like all of the movies I just mentioned, so I don’t really mind. Keep doing what you’re doing, guys.

  44. Majestyk is awesome ’cause he took a swipe at misspelling his name by misspelling my name by changing one letter around and we both agree Rotery Phone Cam is the best thing camera shot in the movie. I wonder, did you see the uncut version or the cut version? The uncut version is on the Comcast version. The head sawed in half effect is amazingly awesome and graphic.

  45. I didn’t even realize I misspelled your name, but yes, I agree, that was awesome of me.

    I don’t know what version of Intruder I saw. Whatever one is on the DVD. It’s still amazingly fucking gruesome even if it is the cut version.

  46. It appears the DVD version is the uncut version.

  47. So I’m watching the Incredibly Strange Film Show and there might be an even more uncut version of the film because they show the hook going through Sam Raimi’s head.

  48. Is WRONG TURN 3 the one with Henry Rollins? If so, I saw it on “Syfy” a few weeks back. Borderline watchable, but a great badass role for Henry.

  49. That’s Wrong Turn 2. The movie is just alright, but I agree that Rollins was awesome. The whole movie should have been about him fucking up them inbreds Hopper-in-TCM2 style.

    On a related note, I am sorry to hear that Hopper has the butt cancer. Perhaps it’s from all the scenery he’s chewed over the course of his career. All that fiber is murder on the colon.

    Okay, that’s not cool. Seriously, hope you pull through, Mr. Hopper.

  50. Ah geez, they wasted Henry on #2? Rookie move, guys. Although I found the movie dull and pointless, I was almost ready to completely forgive all the second Henry blows up two mutant children and gives an absolutely COMMITED “ooh-RAH!”

    Unfortunately, the filmmakers squandered the massive goodwill they earned by that one line by making it the only fucking thing he does in the entire movie. Still, it confirms my theory that Rollins and the world are just waiting for that one magic moment when he gets a truly great badass script. If one line (which is actually just a grunt) almost made me forget all the tedium up to that point, how great will an actual one-liner be coming out of the man? Pretty fucking great is my guess.

  51. They didn’t waste him as bad as they did in Feast. He just hangs around in his underwear acting like a douche, then the monsters use his head as a battering ram. Good stuff, but not worthy of Rollins. Use Judah Friedlander’s head as a weapon? Comedy Heaven.

  52. He really shouldn’t have worn that trucker hat that said BATTERING RAM on it.

  53. Been working through some more obscure shit, and I finally caught this one. Overall, it was okay, but pretty forgettable and kind of a waste. I liked HAUNT, HELL-FEST, and HALLOWEEN 2018 all better than this, for whatever those are worth as benchmarks.

    -Generic cast – The lead is weak, the cast is bland, and there just aren’t a lot characters or a lot diversity among them. Man, where were all you woke fuckers in 2009, because this is just white, white, white and bland, bland, bland. Give me some characters with personality, interesting, looks, or pop. Sure, the main blonde girl is a collagen-infused babe, but she’s also a fairly cliche “hot blonde,” so, even she comes off feeling pretty generic. She works well as one character among many, but when the most visual variety you have is “there’s a blonde one,” well, nuff said.
    -The non-flashback kill count is pretty weak.
    -The mash-up of different populist horror sub-genres never quite comes together and just feels like an unwieldy high-concept mess of elements. “It’s like classic slasher meets redneck horror meta slasher meets mockumentary meets torture porn” meets who cares?
    -They clearly had a good enough budget to make something with the look and production values of an 80 minute episode of CSI, which is not trivial — it’s not silly or incompetent looking, just completely generic and uninspired-looking.

    -One exception on the look is Babyface’s look itself, and that is an important exception. He’s got a cool look, and there’s an effectively grotesque origin montage at the beginning.
    -One murder involving tension wires is a fun and inspired idea that is undercut by an iffy CGI pay-off. Points for imagination.
    -The film is thoroughly “not incompetent.” There’s nothing unforgivably embarrassing or utterly laughable. That’s faint praise though, and it’s part of the problem. Just doesn’t register as much.
    -William Sadler always brings it, and this is no exception, but his character is so, so, so campy and broad that it’s a distraction. The film doesn’t descend into utter shit-eating hamminess until the third act. It’s an interesting left turn, I guess, but the parts don’t fit together well. Just doesn’t gel for me. Still, I award an obligatory point for including Sadler.

    [Side note: I agree that Dark Castle has been almost all failures, but I did like the HOUSE OF WAX remake; this was like HOUSE OF WAX remake with about 1/10 the apparent production value/budget, which is probably about right].

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