If one seeks a low budget slasher film, filled with plenty of gore, fun, overwhelming supply of T&A, then, director David Worth who did House at the End of the Drive (2014) and vast experience in the horror genre, delivers a must see film, from screenwriter Doug Vandegrift for the fans.
David and Doug deliver a formula slasher, true the base model, a group of young individuals venture to an abandon location for fun, drinks and sex, and then introduce the hulking killer who has a twisted motive well this flick brings a slight variation on the reasons, by introducing PTSD. While the entire movie loads up on a deranged killer, which seems like a Jason Voorhees, by using an unlimited number of weapons, herein construction tools to kill his victims and never really speaking except for animalistic grunts. At first one believes this might be a torture porn production, as the killer toys with a capture victim (Coco Walker), but soon this dissipates. Jack also referred in the film, as James (Quincy Taylor), is a disfigured veteran, and eludes that the war was Vietnam, and the effects cause agonies in him to rage out-of-control. This film stretches even most dedicated horror fans suspension of disbelief with the group of young college friends who enjoy war games with paintballing; first, their equipment lacks all the safety gear possible, and then individuals themselves, unlikely to be a solid core of friends. The group of ‘friends’ contains two jock minded guys who bring along to women who they openly refer to as sluts, with a gay couple, and two aspiring filmmakers, then two nerdy stragglers, or in other terms covering of the demographics possible to attract a larger audience. One must note, it is the slasher genre, it already contains a built in core of loyal viewers, the expansion ratio, will have very little impact on a niche market. The nerdy couple has the most impact of the choosing the location, a Railroad Hospital, Alison Lani as Stella, oversized glasses and flannel shirts and Kevin James Sporman as Earl, with pens galore pocket protector, and surprising add the most depth to the film. Meanwhile the illusion to a secret that Bridget (Amanda Maddox) holds, portrayed in the worst way, everyone knows what it is long before it’s ever spoken and a tiresome secret. Next, the gay couple not very believable, about interesting wrinkle to the formula, with a hint to forward thinking of the future, has Jeremy Ebenstein (Mendal) and Daniel Rivera (Ricky) who burns up the screen.
While the paintball aspect shows, some originality, it is far from the first horror to include the topic, that leans to Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986) in which scenes actually include the play of it, and of course in this film the jocks, Kyle and Randall, portrayed by Zachery Meyer and Josh Jacques respectively, show off their gunning skills. However, in regard of the PTSD (a diagnosis coined in 1980 to replace shell shock), which is post traumatic stress disorder, the stretch falls apart, never really understanding how it affects Jack, whether a smell or sound that triggers, and then identify it to the right era. In the story James is a vet of Vietnam, again never directly stated, but the images of news coverage suggests it, though it also appears to show other conflicts, he appears as a great killer for a man in his late 50s since the Vietnam War ended in 1975. As Jack never speaks, the military quips sadly go unanswered and any rants of wars horrors vanish, a storyline by the numbers appears it place of any unexpected measures. PSTD, usually does not combine itself to the horror genre, needless to say the condition brings it own horrors, from treatment to hiding the symptoms, and few understanding it fully, though on Criminal Minds, the episode 17, in season 2 “Distress” did a wonderful job with comprehending and usage of flashbacks.
Dedicated fans and enthusiasts will enjoy the gore-o-plenty in Hazard Jack, set in the legendary Linda Vista Community Hospital, even with the clichés and low-budget concepts; sadly, the body count doesn’t fulfill the quota for a massacre. The closeout credits contain a thought provoking aspect, showing the homeless on the streets, many forgotten vets, with no funding, a world overlooking them and their service for our freedoms.