Holland (Brad Loree) hasn’t had much luck in life. First his parents are murdered, then his wife is killed and his daughter stolen from him, and then after he spends ten years drifting, looking for his daughter, he finally ends up getting a job as a cook in a diner, and even though he lives in a tent outdoors with a friend of his, his life seems to have settled down some. He’s even started up a relationship with a waitress at the diner who’s a single mom, and her daughter really likes him as well. This was about the time life had to kick him in the balls once again. His girlfriend ends up dead with her throat slashed, her daughter is taken and Holland is knocked out and wakes up in some basement chained to a pole. Soon after, hie girlfriend’s daughter is brought in and chained to another pole nearby. That’s when his tormenter, Mr. Hush, the man who killed his wife and stole his daughter, comes down and things begin to slowly become clear about why Holland has had such bad luck in his life. It seems that Mr. Hush has a vendetta against his bloodline, because Holland’s grandfather accidentally killed his wife back in the 30’s. He’s been taking revenge on their family line ever since, and now it’s Holland’s turn. Now Holland has to find a way to escape and stop this vile creature, and his weird little henchman Stark so he can save his own life, and the life of his girlfriend’s daughter before its too late.
I know that synopsis sucks, but it sucks for a reason. Even though I won’t be recommending this film, I didn’t want to spoil some of the key points for those who may want to see it at some point.
Now, I said I won’t be recommending this film, but why won’t I be recommending it? Well…
Here’s the deal. I was kind of intrigued by the description of this film, and the cast list looked pretty cool. Hell, Brad Loree alone has been in more stuff than you can imagine. So how could a film with such a great cast, and a cool concept like a retro 80’s style slasher film go so wrong? There was actually two main things that completely derailed this film, and multiple side issues, but I’m going to focus on the big two here.
First, the script was in desperate need of a complete rewrite. To say the plot of the film was lame would be paying it a compliment, but what made it worse was the poor writing. It actually could have been turned into a decent story with the proper writer(s) working on it, but the way it ended up being presented just felt weak. Compound that with a cast that for the most part sounds like they’re reciting memorized dialogue, and several cast members who completely fail in their reactions to various situations, and you can pretty much imagine how badly I just wanted it all to be over.
That’s the bad. Believe it or not, there actually are some good things to say about this film, and in the interest of fairness, I’m going to talk about those as well.
First, it’s well made. The production quality is generally quite good. It looks good visually, the sound is good, and the lighting is perfect. The editing is fine as well. The film moves along at a good pace and doesn’t feel like it’s chopped at all or lagging in spots.
As for the characters in the film, most of them are very likeable, especially Brad Loree, despite the recitations of his dialogue and his less than realistic reactions to various things. The acting ability of the entire cast ranged from poor to pretty decent. The only ones in this film that weren’t likeable were Mr. Hush and his assistant Stark, whom were rather annoying. Whenever they’re on screen, you almost can’t wait for them to be gone again. The whole thing between Mr. Hush and Holland felt way too dragged out and vague, and felt like it took forever for the whole story to be revealed. The award for the worst, most unrealistic reactions in the film have to go to his girlfriend’s daughter, who basically reacted to everything like she was watching some boring old movie. A teenage girl in most any other film would be crying hysterically and snotting all over herself, but not here.
The ending fight with Mr. Hush was also pretty enjoyable, though I saw what was coming a mile away. I wish I could talk more about it, but to go into detail would mean I’d have to include a spoiler that I’d rather not include here. Suffice it to say, the ending is quite predictable.
Poorly written and poorly acted, this film fails to deliver on its promise to be a cool throwback to the slasher flicks of the 80’s. Likeable characters weren’t enough to save it from a poorly written script and bad line delivery. If you want to see a cool 80’s slasher flick, then watch one. This one just doesn’t cut it.
If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out its page on the Kino website here, and if you’d like to pick up a copy for yourself, you can grab it from Amazon on DVD or blu-ray, or pick it up from any of the other usual outlets.