Oh boy. Where. Do. I. Start. Have you ever watched the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and thought that it needed less atmosphere and bitchy characters? Well, this film is for you, whoever you are, if you even exist. This type of film is its own genre at this point. Brought to you by the combined “talent” of Uwe Boll and Marcel Walz, this stinker should have been left in the desert.Yes, Uwe Boll, the ruiner of video game adaptations and films in general produced this shit pile. Enough blathering, onto the plot summary, trust me, it will be very short.
Christine (Natalie Scheetz) takes her three “lovely” friends along with her for a wild bachelorette party in Vegas and due to pressure from Claire (Annika Strauss) and Barbara (Sarah Hayden), the group ends up taking the scenic i.e. get you killed route. If you’ve seen the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, you won’t find the ensuing killings all that surprising. What you will find lacking, however, is the constant tension that film managed to hold. Yes, my lovely poppets, this film is lacking in the one ingredient that even a gore fest needs to be interesting.
This film has terrible atmosphere issues. The desert can be a genuinely terrifying locale for a film. You’re all alone and everything out there wants to kill you. This film, however, has all the atmosphere of a wet fart blasting in your ear while you struggle to not kill the annoying people your forced to travel with. The way they use the soundtrack makes that comparison even more apt, as the orchestra freaks out everytime the killer appears on screen. Ah yes, the killer, what should represent the atmosphere coming to life to actually stab people, is just a bald guy with tattoos, a mask, and in need of a good shower. Jason he is not, and Leatherface would be laughing his ass off before chainsawing the guy in half. But back to the atmosphere.
This thing attempts, note that word, to recreate that grungy and uncomfortable feeling that Texas Chainsaw instilled in viewers. How does it attempt to do so? By having the first kill on screen be a bullet to the vagina, after the girl was raped with said gun. This Yeah, here’s the thing, when you throw that at us as the first scene, you establish your film as a gore and torture fest and the viewer will either turn it off or expect more of the same. Repeating the same scene later doesn’t add anything, it only detracts from what little tension it originally had. That means gore hounds will love this film right? Nope. Due to pacing issues and a generally confused plot, this thing takes forever to get to any kills and doesn’t show the impact for most of them. The kills are very generic as well, stabbings, slashings, and shooting are all you’ll get here. So gore hounds will be sorely disappointed.
I say this film is confused on what it wants to be, and that’s entirely true. This film has no identity of its own, as it cobbles together various films for inspiration without bringing its own twist to the table. Not helping is the characters.
Much like many a modern horror film, these characters suck and I hate them. None of them are likable to any degree and I’ll let you in on a little hint. The first scene? That’s a flash forward to when most of the characters are dead. Knowing that these characters, Barbara and Olivia,won’t make it, means I have no investment in getting to know these guys or care about if they make it out. This movie loves to jump around to various points in the story, and it does so horribly. This technique, like using a rape scene , should only be used by a filmmaker who knows what he’s doing. Also, no offense to these actresses, but no one performs well here. They all come across as bland, and a scene where they pick up a hitchhiker named Joe (Jeff Dylan Graham) comes across as stiff and awkward rather than terrifying.
Olivia (Christi Campbell) may as well have not been there, as she acts bitchy, gets taken out by a random cop, who never receives a name by the way, and is quickly killed. Barbara is in the same boat, other than being important enough to be there for the big reveal that Christine is actually a member of the Seed family and is evil. Claire is German, that’s basically the only thing separating her from the rest of these cardboard cutouts. That and her immense stupidity in suggesting that they take the scenic route (rule number one in these films, never take the scenic route.) All of the rules are broken in this film as they not only pick up a random hitchhiker (who turns out to be a rapist later), but go with the suspicious cop lady’s plan to split up. She also gets kidnapped and turns evil at the end for some reason, I guess Christine just liked her more than the others.
Christine is our main focus, as she actually gets character development, which spoils the ending completely. Surprise, the girl with the troubled past and inverted cross scars is actually part of the crazy religious kill cult. The signs pointing to this are far from subtle either, as they hammer it in at multiple points that something is wrong with Christine (she has to take medication, is troubled, etc.) What is slightly different is that her foster mother is in on the entire killer thing, alerting them that fresh kills are on the way. Yes, the killer family has a cellphone, and the local cop (who is of course in on it) has her son take selfies of her with a severed finger in her mouth with it.
Not that she lasts long, as they just decide to randomly kill her at the end. Why? She was loyal to your crazy murder scheme and was presumably covering up for you. With so little to focus on, the small errors here and there add up. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Cop Lady has a shirt that lists the district as Iowa, you couldn’t shoot the scene to hide that?
- Wounds lacked blood in certain scenes, yet other had mini fountains.
My suggestion should you come across this film?
Anyone out there seen this as well? What did you think? I would love to here suggestions for my next review.