Gravestoned (2009) – By Duane L. Martin

A film director wants to make a horror movie.  Simple enough.  To that end, he hires a ganja smoking wannabe effects guy to create a realistic severed arm for the film.  Again, sounds pretty straight forward.  Unfortunately, to obtain the realest of realism, our ganja smoking buddy and his partner…obtain the body of a psychotic guy and sever his arm so it can be delivered to the movie set, which happens to be in a graveyard at night.  By the time it’s delivered however, it’s become incredibly "gamey" and also becomes misplaced when the ice chest it’s in is picked up by a cemetery maintenance guy and hauled off in his cart.

Eventually, the director shows up with his cinematographer and another assistant to check out the area and arrange the camera shots and what not.  That’s when the killings start.  See, there’s a one armed psycho running around the graveyard killing people with a machete.  I’m sure you can figure out who that is.  Anyway, a bit later, the cast starts showing up as well, including hot cheerleader girls who aren’t actresses, several guys who aren’t actors, a bizarre choreographer chick who’s actually a guy but is really a chick playing a guy playing a chick, a more mature but still smokin’ hot woman who’s the real choreographer, a couple of grave diggers who are too stoned to dig the hole for the body they’re supposed to be burying, etc…  Many of these people end up as fodder for the killer, yet believe it or not, a few actually survive all the way through the end of the film.

Despite the title, marijuana doesn’t actually play a huge part in the film.  The effects guys, the director’s assistant and the two grave diggers are really the only ones smoking any pot, and the only ones it seems to have any real bearing on are the two grave diggers who spend more time worrying about how to get the grave dug for them by the graveyard dogs than they do actually getting any work done.  Those two guys don’t even having anything to do with the story.  They’re more just a comical aside that we keep coming back to once in a while.

Now with a film like this, you’d probably expect it to be rather stupid.  However, there’s more than one kind of stupid.  There’s just the regular ‘ol stupid that makes you feel like you’re wasting your time, and then there’s the fun kind of stupid that keeps you laughing and smiling because it’s so amusing and keeps the movie entertaining.  In this film, we have sort of a blend of the two, but the majority of the film tends to falls on the side of stupid fun, which was actuallty a pleasant surprise.

There were three really stand out elements for me in this film that really made it fun, despite some other portions that really started to drag.  First was when the two guys severed the arm.  That whole scene was hilarious, and the effects guy’s partner’s reactions were just great.  He was getting really sick when they did it, and it was hilarious.

The second stand out thing for me was also from this same guy.  It was when they were driving the arm to the cemetery and it had started stinking really bad and the ice chest got open.  Their reaction to the smell, and again the same guy getting really sick was really funny and a lot of fun to watch.

And the third thing that I found really amusing was the two stoned grave diggers.  While their dialogue sounded rather memorized and recited, it was still quite funny, and I found myself eagerly anticipating the times we got to go back to them and see what they were up to, which was really never anything other than getting high and sitting there talking about how they could get the hole dug for them.  They even have a burrito for when they get the munchies, which they decide to bury where the grave’s supposed to be, thinking the dogs will come along and dig it up, thereby digging the grave for them.  Again, this is the kind of stupid humor that I always find so amusing in films.  It may not be some people’s cup of tea, but I personally love that kind of humor.

Still, despite the fun times, there were also parts of this movie that really started to drag, like when the girls were getting their choreography lesson.  Things got really slow at that point in the film for no other reason than to show hot girls dancing.  Now I have absolutely zero problem with hot girls dancing, especially when they’re as hot as the girls are in this film, but when it slows down the pacing of a film to the point where it makes you reach for the fast forward button, then it’s probably time to re-think the scene.  Hot girls dancing = awesome.  Hot girls dancing and slowing down the pacing of the film = not good.  Still, at least we get some amusement along with it in the form of the first choreographer, who was just bizarre to say the least.

The technicals of the film were all there and most of it was quite solid.  The sound was good, as was the cinematography and the editing.  The lighting was also quite good considering much of the movie takes place at night.  There weren’t any problems with seeing anything that was going on and low light grain wasn’t a problem at all.  The pacing had some issues, which I already discussed, but other than that it was a surprisingly solid film technically, and was actually way better than I had expected going into it.

While the film does have its problems, all in all I found it to be quite entertaining and I don’t have any problem at all recommending it to anyone who’s a fan of stupid humor.  Those who prefer more intellectual or satirical humor probably won’t find the movie to be as fun as I did, but personally, I rather enjoyed it.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out its website at http://www.gravestonedmovie.com.